Wedges: Friction and Trajectory

The other day during a Three Day Golf School I hit four demonstration pitch shots for my students. My intent was to repeat the same shot in each attempt, with the only difference being how I manipulated the amount of friction between the club face and the ball.

The amount of loft I was able to deliver for each of the four shots was between 44.3º and 45.3º - the best I've been able to do! The interesting part is that the launch angles ranged from 30.4º tall the way up to 40.0º. How does that happen?

The Four Shots

The Four Shots

The reasons why the launch angles are different is something that too few golfers (and coaches) understand and while I've written on this before it's a mission of mine to get the good word out. My intent was to carry each shot 50 yards and they are all played in the same fashion, with the same club except for shot 4.

Shot 1 - clean, dry club face and a clean, dry range ball. Spin rate - 6246 rpm. Launch is a respectable 32.1º

Shot 2 - clean, wet club face and a clean, wet range ball. Spin rate - 2782 rpm. Launch is a whopping 40º

Shot 3 - clean, dry club face and a clean, dry premium ball. Spin rate 6923 rpm. Launch is the lowest at 30.4º

Shot 4 - clean, dry grooveless club face and a clean, dry range ball. Spin rate is 5837 rpm. Launch is decent at 33.6º

I must mention that in order to 'manage' the friction between the club face and the ball each of these shots is played off a tee so as to eliminate grass and outside matter from interfering.

While the loft is maintained the launch, spin rate and peak height can be greatly influenced by the amount of friction generated between the club face and the ball. The moral of the story here is that the best pitchers in the world hit low launching, high spinning shots when the conditions allow. There is more at play than simply the loft at impact determining the launch angle. As you can tell friction plays a massive role too. It is my hope that in understanding this you will be less likely to try and 'fix' something that isn't broken. Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

Luke Donald

Luke Donald

 

 

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.

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Register for Coach Camp London HERE

 

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.

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: 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!

Coach Camp Presentations

Coach Camp 2016 was a tremendous success and now you have an opportunity to learn from all the presenters as if you were there. From trending #1 on Twitter to all the rave reviews we've received I believe that whether you're a golfer or coach you will benefit from the information shared in seven plus hours of presentations available here.

The videos are broken into segments but unfortunately do not include Scott Fawcett's presentation as he opted to not include his proprietary information. The cost is $150 and is payable once you have registered at www.coachcampvideo.com.

The topics for each presentation are as follows:

Martin Chuck - Developing Your Teaching Style (59 min)

Dana Dahlquist - The Golf Machine and the "P" System (61 min)

Joseph Mayo - Wrist Angles, Hand Path and Sweet Spot Orientation (56 min)

Andrew Rice - Forward! Information and Tools to Help any Coach and Golfer Improve (52 min)

Live Lesson Golfer Evaluation 1 - In this segment each of the four main presenters evaluate a student and share how they would work to help this golfer improve (25 min)

Live Lesson Golfer Evaluation 2 - In this segment each of the four main presenters continue their evaluation and discuss a plan to move forward (28 min)

Dr. Morris Pickens - How to Practice and Improve Short Game (25 min)

Curious Coaches - Matt Wilson and Corey Lundberg discuss the Coaching Spectrum (47 min)

Business Development - Each of the feature presenters shares their ideas on what they are doing to grow their teaching business. (47 min)

On Range Driver and Wedge Session with Feature Presenters - Here the group discusses their favorite drills and ideas to hit drivers and wedges better. (82 min)

Question and Answer Session - numerous interesting questions along with a fabulous Joe Mayo segment on why it's important to keep the center of mass of the club out of line with the hand path. (68 min)

The videos will give you insight into what some of the top coaches and minds in the game of golf are working on to improve their students performance. They include individual presentations from Martin Chuck, Dana Dahlquist, Joe Mayo and Andrew Rice. Our guest presenters, Dr. Morris Pickens and Matt Wilson and Corey Lundberg from Curious Coaches are also featured. Perhaps one of the most insightful segments is the lesson evaluation each feature presenter did with 10 handicap golfer Karl Deblitz. There are also in depth discussions on wedge and driver play.

I am confident that whether you're  a golfer looking to improve your ball striking or coach looking to advance the quality of your information you will find these presentations to be immensely helpful. One veteran attendee echoed the sentiments of many others when he said, "This was the best education experience I have ever attended!

To make your purchase go to www.coachcampvideo.com 

NOTICE

It has come to our attention that privacy protected videos will not currently display properly using the iOS 9.3 system or Safari 9.1 on Mac.  This is a known issue with Apple that was caused by their latest update, and they are currently working to fix it.  On your Mac, you may use a different browser or an earlier version of Safari.  Unfortunately, your iOS device running 9.3 will not be able to display these videos properly until Apple releases a new iOS update.  We apologize for any inconvenience to our iOS 9.3 and Safari 9.1 users, Apple is working to correct the problem.

New Home for Andrew Rice Golf

The Club at Savannah Harbor

The Club at Savannah Harbor

I'm pleased to announce that I have partnered with the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa and starting on February 15th I will be the new Director of Instruction at the Club at Savannah Harbor.

This is where my Three Day Golf Schools and all individual instruction will be based and I couldn't be more excited to be positioned just minutes from the heart of the Savannah Historic District (voted "Best Small City in the USA" by Conde Nast 2015).

Not only is this a great golf school location, but it's also a fantastic retreat for couples. Whether you're looking to take a lesson, play a world-class golf course, relax in the Heavenly Spa or just explore one of America's most historic cities, the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa (voted one of "Georgia's Top Golf Resorts" by Golf Week 2015) will meet all your needs.

This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I cannot wait to welcome you to Savannah Harbor - I know you're going to love it. 

For more information on my upcoming golf schools please contact my Managing Director at terri@andrewricegolf.com or to book your next lesson contact me at andrew@andrewricegolf.com

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This is going to be good....

Join My Team...

It's FREE! This is something I'm very excited to share with you as I know it's going to upgrade our ability to interact and connect. I have partnered with an amazing technology company called Edufii. Edufii is the social network for skills development. It is going to enable us to connect and collaborate more efficiently and effectively to improve your golf and for 90 days my Andrew Rice All Access Preview Team is completely FREE of charge. No more links or long videos, just 'bite sized' nuggets of information to help us connect and learn in a distraction free mobile environment. I’ll be sharing drills, practice info, updates, challenges and much, much more all directly to your mobile device instead of using email, Facebook etc. To join the Andrew Rice All Access Preview Team click the link below and create your account, then be sure to download the app too. Signing up should take you about 60 seconds! 

Edufii is currently only offering this opportunity to a limited number of coaches so I’m thrilled to be on the forefront of this cutting­-edge mobile technology while bringing you a whole new level of interactive coaching.

This promises to be an absolute game changer for all involved plus a whole lot of fun! Since we’re just getting started, this program is FREE for the next 90 days.  Join today and experience this revolutionary way to stay connected.

Divot Patterns

It has often amazed me how a golfer's personality tends to shine through in the manner in which they practice. Some are neat and tidy while others seem to be all over the map! Good golfers however, always seem to manage their practice sessions and the turf they have at their disposal. Creating good divot patterns when you practice might not be the key to you shooting under par, but you'll look good and might even make a few friends while you're at it...

The Excavator

The Excavator

The excavator tends to:

  • be a more experienced and often, better player
  • clear cut any and all life forms from the rectangle where they've been hitting irons
  • make it very difficult for the turf they use to grow back in a timely fashion
  • cause the practice tee to be uneven and wavy
The Roamer

The Roamer

The roamer tends to:

  • use up as much space on the practice tee as is humanly possible
  • be a type AA personality
  • not be too bad for turf growth and management
  • makes it very difficult for the golfer using the space behind them
The Striper

The Striper

The striper tends to:

  • be an experienced, better golfer
  • is efficient with turf usage - they get the most out of the space they use
  • make it easy for the turf to recover and fill in
  • use an alignment aid to help both their golf and divot patterns
  • is a friend to superintendents everywhere

This video with Chris Young, head superintendent at Berkeley Hall, will help you get the picture...

If you feel this article and video could be a help to golfers and superintendents where you play and practice please share it with them. This is a must share for all excavators and roamers you know.

Thanks for tuning in.

Weight Shift vs Pressure Shift in the Golf Swing

The SwingCatalyst Pressure Plate and 3D Force Plate has been invaluable tool, not only to my students, but also to my understanding of how the golf swing works. Here's a video explaining something that took me quite a while to comprehend. There can be a significant difference between where a golfer's weight is at a point in the swing and where they are exerting pressure on the ground. This should clarify....

Of course it's also important to keep in mind that how a golfer pressures the ground will ultimately determine how they eventually shift their weight. 

Thanks for checking in and I hope this stuff helps your game!

Prepare to Play Great Golf

In today's fast paced world there isn't enough time to play golf, never mind work in a proper warm-up before you play. With the help of Berkeley Hall's TPI Certified trainer, Derek Lemire, this article isolates a few important exercises you can sneak in before the round to help you better prepare to play some great golf.

Here is a breakdown of the key areas to focus on and suggested exercises to complete:

HIPS

  1. Hip Kick (0:50)
  2. Hip Rotation (1:05)
  3. Hip Tilt (1:35)
  4. Internal Hip Rotation (2:10)
  5. External Hip Rotation (2:25)
  6. Hip Flexion (2:35)
  7. Hip Separation (3:10)

LEGS & SPINE

  1. Hamstring Stretch (3:45)
  2. Lateral Lunge with Rotation (4:30)
  3. Forward Lunge with Rotation (5:15)

SHOULDERS & LATS

  1. Vertical Shoulder Activation (5:45)
  2. Scarecrow/9090 (6:10)
  3. Shoulder Fly (6:30)
  4. Lat Stretch (6:50)

CORE ACTIVATION

  1. Forward Plank (8:00)
  2. Side Plank (8:30)

I would encourage you to select two from each body zone and work towards incorporating them into either your daily routine or at the very least do them before going out to play.

Remember this - if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll continue to be the golfer you've always been! Accept the challenge and commit to the change.

 

Top 100 Most Popular Golf Instructors

A list with a twist! The crew at swingmangolf.com recently came up with a novel way to rank golf instructors by using advanced Google analytics to analyze over 600 coaches to see which of them were most sought after by the golfing public. Which teachers are being watched and read online more than any other?

Mark Crossfield

Mark Crossfield

Here are the Top 50 from the list:

43rd Josh Zander, James Sieckmann, Jeff Ritter, Maggie Noel, Pia Nilsson, Mike Malaska, Bill Harmon, Gary Gilchrist

38th Suzy Whaley, Grant Waite, Claude Harmon III, Ben Doyle, Mark Blackburn

35th Mac O'Grady, Darrell Klassen, Mike Adams

30th Stan Utley, Brian Manzella, Pete Cowen, Chuck Cook, Zach Allen, 

25th Bob Toski, Kelvin Miyahira, Meredith Kirk, Jim Hardy, Bobby Clampett

21st Andrew Rice, Peter Kostis, Wayne Defrancesco, Manuel De La Torre

18th Doug Tewell, Dave Stockton, Martin Chuck

16th Monte Scheinblum, Todd Graves

12th Dave Pelz, Michael Breed, Mike Bender, Jimmy Ballard

9th Jim McLean, Martin Hall, Shawn Clement

8th Todd Anderson

7th David Leadbetter

6th Paul Wilson

5th Chris Como

3rd Hank Haney, Sean Foley

2nd Butch Harmon

1st Mark Crossfield

(Article and full list HERE)

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

An interesting list that is bound to raise a few eyebrows. A few points to note:

  • All the teachers in the Top 5, except Mark Crossfield, have at some point coached Tiger Woods.
  • Faculty from  Revolution Golf are nicely represented with Sean Foley (3rd), Jim McLean (9th), Martin Chuck (18th) and yours truly (21st).
  • Both Berkeley Hall teachers were in the Top 100 with Krista Dunton coming in 82nd.

I was honored to be recognized by you, the golfing public, and I am fully committed to upgrade the quality of the information I share with you on a daily basis. My philosophy is this - I want to communicate the most accurate information available in a manner that is easily understood by all golfers.

Thanks for reading and for your support!

Every Shot Counts by Mark Broadie

With Every Shot Counts Mark Broadie has written the most important golf book I have ever read. I say that because the book has done more to shape how I coach and deliver a golfer to their full potential than any technical manuscript before it.

Mark Broadie has done an exceptional job in sifting through the mountain of Shotlink data generated by the PGA Tour over the last decade. A Columbia Business School professor and avid golfer, Broadie is widely credited with coming up with strokes gained - a measurement of how much better or worse a golfer performs off the tee or from any given distance when compared with all other PGA Tour players.

The PGA Tour has been using strokes gained putting for a while now, but Broadie has also developed strokes gained driving for tee shots; strokes gained approach for shots of more than 100 yards; and strokes gained short game for shots of less than 100 yards, excluding putts. Add them together and you get total strokes gained.

From 2004-12 the top 10 players in total strokes gained were: Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson. A pretty impressive list and arguably the best players in the game over the last decade.

The author goes on to show how these proven golfers outperformed their counterparts - "Two-thirds of the strokes they gained were from shots outside of 100 yards and one-third was from inside 100 yards," Broadie said. "Putting accounted for just 15 percent of the scoring difference between the top 10 golfers in the world and the average PGA Tour pro."

Wow! I have quizzed many of my students over the past few weeks on how they would rank, in order of importance, the four primary areas that contribute to the standard of any golfer. I think one person (who had secretly read about the book and it's findings) got the order correct. Most of them had it completely backwards. It also shocked me how many ranked putting as the most important factor.

Here is the order: (followed by the player who gained the most strokes on their competitors over the last decade)

  1. Approach shots outside 100 yards (Tiger Woods)
  2. Driving (Bubba Watson)
  3. Short game shots inside 100 yards (Steve Stricker)
  4. Putting (Luke Donald)

To me this order is hugely important as it should influence the manner in which you go about improving. I have encouraged all my students to ramp up the amount of long iron, hybrid and driver practice they have been doing.

Essentially, good golfers are good because they hit it good.

markbroadie

The book also shows the importance of length and what an asset making the ball go a long way is. Bubba Watson has literally pummeled his competitors off the tee with brute power and speed. Now all of my competitive students work on speed sets to increase their clubhead speed as much as possible.

The book is filled with valuable nuggets for both the better and weekend golfer - far too many to mention in an article like this. It includes drills for putting and even ideas on how to approach challenging tee shots dependent on your ability. If you are an avid golfer or coach and you find that your progress has plateaued, do yourself a favor and go out and buy this book and commit to reading it twice. The second time with a highlighter in hand!

If you don't get anything from it call me and I'll refund you your money...

Guidelines for Junior Golfers

Junior Golfer

I have so much to say to junior golfers – they are the future of the game.  Here is a summary of what I believe to be the most important points for them to observe:

  • Always walk versus ride! Golf carts have been forced into the game primarily for financial reasons. They do not speed up the game; they do not provide the golfer with a better experience; and they do not improve the design of golf courses!  Do yourself a favor and commit to never riding again unless it is absolutely called for.
  • Compete, casually and seriously, as often as possible. One of the primary reasons boys are much better chippers than girls is because they love to compete and try unique shots around the practice green. It is this competitive environment that stretches them to create new and better shots. Apply this philosophy to every element of the game.
  • Study and learn to appreciate the history of the game.  Do you know who Bobby Jones is?  Why is St. Andrews such a special place?  Who is Dr. Alister MacKenzie? I wholeheartedly believe that this is an element of the game that is being lost on our young golfers – an appreciation of all who have walked the fairways before them.  Read books and ask questions!  You will be better off for it.
  • Take full advantage of every opportunity you are presented with.  Do not give yourself the chance to look back on your career and regret that you did not give everything 100% effort.  Do everything to the best of your ability!
  • Heart always beats out a pretty swing!  When it comes to the game of golf, this statement will forever be true.  All of the great champions played with a tremendous amount of heart; not all of them had pretty swings.
  • Have fun with the short game. Try to hit the craziest shots you can imagine.  It will teach you how to control your club face and ultimately the ball.  I actually remember having SW long drive contests. Try to hit the highest, lowest, shortest shots you can think of; it all adds up to creativity around the greens.
  • Work hard at the game. It’ll teach you about life and its challenges. Golf, like life, is not always fair, but patience, belief and persistence will pay off in the end.
  • You do not have to be the next Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus.  This is a huge problem I see amongst junior golfers and their parents.  When did it stop being okay for junior golfers to just simply play the game for enjoyment? It seems that every junior golfer and their parents have their sights set on grandeur and no expense or sacrifice is too great for a slim shot at stardom. If you want to be as good as you can, by all means go for it, but if you just like the game for what it is, take it easy and just have fun.
  • Play with the best golfers you can find. Nothing will improve your game as quickly as playing with players that are a lot better than you.
  • If you are over 15 and serious about being good you need to look into getting stronger and fitter. Find a trainer who knows the golf swing and how to train for golf.
  • Respect the etiquette, honesty and integrity of the game. Play the game at a different level than your peers. The vast majority of champions in the game were very clear in this regard – play golf the way it was meant to be played!  Behave in a first class fashion on the course and it will start to carry over into all areas of your life.
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A Note to Parents:

Give your young golfers a chance to have a great time playing and practicing the game.  This way they will learn to love the game and when they love the game they will come back to it over and over.  This is the only way they will ever reach their full potential - if you will allow them to have fun while playing golf!I have seen the game become work and a career for too many 12 and 13 year olds.  I taught perhaps the best female junior golfer of all time in Aree Song At 13 she had won the US Junior, the very first AJGA event she played in, finished in the top 10 in an LPGA major and was a first team AJGA All-American.  Aree, now in her late twenties, no longer plays on the tour.  She should be a dominant force in the prime of her career! We can all guess why she no longer has a passion for the game.  Trust me; I have seen the right way and the wrong way; tread lightly and let them have fun.

Winter Weather Drills

With the entire northern hemisphere seemingly in the grip of the polar ice cap I have come up with two drills that can be performed without a club and indoors.  They should prove to be invaluable to golfers of every caliber. The Ball Compression Drill

The Ball Compression Drill

This is a drill to do at home or in the gym and translates the feeling of impact nicely. Be sure to only drive the hips to compress the physio ball and not the entire body.  Do this drill on a regular basis and you will really start to gain a sense for what the downswing should feel like.

Arms at Impact Drill

This drill conveys the feel for what the hands and arms need to be doing as they approach impact. It can easily be done indoors and is something that every golfer could benefit from.  Be sure to start this drill with some crease in the right elbow and right wrist if you are a right hander.

If you are hunkered down indoors yet still feel the need to work on your game these drills will go a long way towards preparing you for when the season rolls around. Please view all the above drills and others on my Youtube channel. Just enter andrewricegolf to see them all.

Thank You and Merry Christmas!

Thank you so much for your support and readership in 2013 and I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Without you my passion would be pointless....

Holiday Gift Certificate Specials:

  • Series of Five Lessons (Pay for 5 and get 1 FREE)
  • Series of Ten Lessons (Pay for 10 and get 2 FREE)
  • Members receive $10 off a One Hour Lesson
  • Non-members receive $20 off a One Hour Lesson
  • Great Offers for Wedge and TrackMan Group Sessions starting at $75 in the New Year too!

The member lesson rate is $120 per hour and the non-member lesson rate is $175 per hour. Payments can be made via PayPal.

Please contact arice(at)berkeleyhallclub.com for further details.

I am also very excited to release what is the culmination of almost three years of research and testing . The Wedge Project is an in depth video that explains what is important to being able to hit consistently crisp, zippy wedge shots. Please trust me on this one - I know I have been promising this video for some time now - it will be worth the wait and every penny you spend on it!

Here is a little of what you can expect...

I anticipate the cost to be in the $14 range and it will be available via download from my website. The video will be somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes in length and will include numerous drills and a clear explanation of what really is important when you have a wedge in your hand.

Please be patient with the release of this video as I would much the final product be a little late and great than early and mediocre. I know you're going to love it, simply because what I share WORKS!

I am looking forward to an exciting 2014 as I spend my first full year at Berkeley Hall in a long time. I hope we can all get to spend some time together on the lesson tee or online in the upcoming year.  Thank you for everything!

#wedgeproject

My Day with Chuck Cook and Stan Utley

Utley, Cook and Rice I was recently invited to present at the Illinois PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit alongside Stan Utley and Chuck Cook. Besides it being a tremendous privilege for me the day was both educational and entertaining. I thought it would be beneficial to relay a few of the nuggets they shared during the course of the day.

Chuck Cook

The theme of Chuck's presentation revolved around what he teaches and why. His themes were:

  • a flat or bowed lead wrist
  • a straight plane line (similar to the "one-plane" look, but with the elbows staying in front of the chest like Jason Dufner)
  • lag is a major power source - use it, don't lose it!

A few important ideas he shared with the group were:

  • There has never been a swing method that has lasted
  • If the face is shut you need to outrun it with something
  • The weight moves where the hips are pointing
  • I don't like a lot of hip drive
  • Both feet should be flat on the ground at impact with irons
  • To make any golfer better, take their weakest element and turn it into a strength
  • Let juniors smash the ball with all they've got until they stop growing - then work on technique

Here is a swing by Jason Dufner, one of Chuck premier students - this swing seems to epitomize so much of what Chuck stressed as he spoke about the swing...

Jason Dufner

Stan Utley

As you may well know Stan's teaching focuses primarily on the shortgame and putting. Here are some of the important principles Stan shared in his presentation:

  • Putt with dead strength - he described "dead strength" as being similar to dropping your limp arm against your side
  • Let the putter drop and crash into the ball - I love saying it that way!
  • An important point in both chipping and putting is to put pressure on the ball
  • He is an advocate of wristy putting with soft, loose elbows
  • Where you strike the ball on the face vertically with the putter is very important
  • Finish the putting stroke with the putter low and the right shoulder high
  • Have the handle travel more slowly so the clubhead can travel faster

I really enjoyed so much of what Stan had to say as he seemed to be a proponent of so much of what I preach in both the shortgame and putting.

It was great to listen to these exemplary teachers, but the highlight of my day was being able to present my teaching approach to the Illinois PGA membership. Thanks to Nick Papadakes and all the staff at Olympia Fields CC for a very cool experience and I look forward to my next opportunity...

Country Music and a Recipe for Success...

Zac Brown Band 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:

HARD WORK

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.

PROFESSIONALISM

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!

GRATITUDE

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.

Zac Brown Gives Thanks

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?

#southerngroundfestival

 

 

Get a Grip...On the Ball!

Grip the Road... 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.

Grip the Ball...

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....

Ultimate Spin Wedge Shootout | Andrew Rice Golf

Hitting Draws and Smash Factor

Bobby Locke There has been a fair amount of banter online recently regarding various topics and I thought it would help both of us if I jotted down a few thoughts:

Hitting Draws

A functional draw is one that finishes at the target - something many of us strive for. In order to hit functional draws you need a clubpath that is traveling outward (in to out) and a clubface that is angled slightly closed relative to the clubpath, yet open to the target (assuming center contact). 

It is possible to hit both functional draws, ones that finish at the target, and bad draws, ones that move away from the target, with a clubface that is open, square and closed to the target at impact. You can even hit good and bad draws with the appropriate clubpath, but I believe an outward moving clubpath is integral to hitting functional draws. And here's why...

I am yet to teach a golfer who fades the ball that consistently swings from in to out!

Clubpath is king and clubface is queen - I might get the desired shot shape with clubface, but I cannot get the desired result without clubpath. It is simply not possible to hit a functional draw with a clubpath that travels from out to in (assuming center contact). It is clearly not the only thing, but in my opinion it is the most important thing.

I am well aware there are many different ways to achieve this and whether as a coach or golfer you upgrade the clubface first or the clubpath first is entirely up to you. After all it's all about results no?

Smash Factor

Many golfers and TrackMan users are under the impression that smash factor indicates how well a ball was hit, or how centered the strike was - this is not necessarily the case. A high smash factor purely indicates high ball speed relative to club speed. Here is the simplified formula:

Smash Factor (Simple)

It is quite possible to have  a smash factor with irons that is too high. Golfers who play from a closed face position and who tend to flight the ball low will often have a higher smash factor than golfers who flight the ball appropriately. This does not mean the low ball hitters are striking it better, it just means they are generating too much linear ball speed off of a particular club.

It is important for golfers to understand that ball type and condition, dynamic loft, clubhead mass, attack angle, CoR and of course quality of strike go into determining the smash factor for any given shot.

The objective with the driver should be 1.50 or higher, but with the shorter clubs a higher smash just might not necessarily better. Go for solid hits and ball flight over smash factor any day!

A Note to Golf Coaches: 

I have made more than my fair share of mistakes in life. From these mistakes I have learned and improved as a coach and a person. One of the many valuable lessons I have learned from making mistakes is to never deride, belittle or insult another golf coach. It does nothing to enhance your image or reputation and you will never look better while attempting to make someone else look worse. Be wise when addressing other coaches and the methods they employ - you'll be better off for it.