You Need More Power

Yes! Don't we all? As with all things in life some things are easier said than done and this is no different, but it IS possible. Have you heard about using the ground to generate more power? This is what I'll be addressing in this article - pushing off the ground in order to generate greater club speeds and longer shots. Take a look...

So here's what we're looking for just prior to starting the downswing:

  • The trail knee maintains its position as the golfer starts the downswing. Just for a little while...
  • The lead side separates as the player glides into their front side. This creates some leg separation.
  • There should be a definite lowering or unweighting in the early downswing.
  • The late downswing should be characterized by an upward thrust away from the ground.

Notice in the image below how in the early downswing my belt buckle is significantly lower than it is half way through the follow through...

Image 11.JPG

This is something that all long drivers take full advantage of - that ability to really thrust up from the ground and in most cases actually push both feet off the ground. It's that push that will help to really get the clubhead moving. 

Thanks for reading/watching and if you have a friend who would really benefit from this information please share it.

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.

Knowledge to Help You Spin Your Wedges

When it comes to wedge shots, spin has always been somewhat mystical. Why will one shot check like crazy while most shots seem to want to scamper well beyond the pin?

This is a little experiment I do in all my Three Day Golf Schools to illustrate a few of the important factors that influence spin rates...

This video clearly illustrates the role of water, grass, a premium golf ball and a clean clubface - the big factors that influence friction between face and ball and ultimately, spin.

As a golfer you are fully responsible for how the sole of the club interacts with the ground while you are only partially responsible for how the face interacts with the golf ball. Understanding factors that serve to decrease friction will only help you from trying to fix a motion that isn't broken.

While it is important to realize that we don't need maximum spin in order to pitch well, we do need ENOUGH spin. To generate more RPM's use a professional grade wedge, replace it as often as needed, keep the face clean and dry and use a premium golf ball. Of course hitting from a tight, dry fairway would be nice too, but we cannot always control that one...

For more on wedge spin and improved wedge play see:

The Wedge Project

Spinning the Wedges - Friction

 

 

A Sample Golf Lesson

I wanted to share a recent lesson I did. Keep in mind that that this lesson went completely as intended - it doesn't always work that way. My objective for Halle, who is a promising young high school golfer, is to improve the quality of her ball striking. Watch...

She improved her posture by not extending her lower back as much and her swing notes were:

  • Feel the hips working more up and down vs level - Sam Snead image. This would serve to improve body motion and discourage the arms from working behind her too much.
  • Consciously keep her arms more in front of her. A drill was to make back swings while backed up against a wall. This would keep her arms from getting deep and allow them to work in front of her on the way down.
  • Sense the hands tracking left of the target through impact. She has worked on the dispersion drill in the past and has had good success with it.

Hand path is often over looked and is an important part of what I teach on a daily basis. Thanks for watching!

This free website's biggest source of support is when you decide to book a lesson or golf school. You can contact me HERE. If you live in another state or country please consider making a purchase HERE or  HERE. It will help your game in addition to helping me to keep adding to this free website. Thanks again for your support! Andrew.

A Golfer's Instinct

It never ceases to amaze me how important instinct is in any golfer's swing - that instinct to position their body or the club in such a manner as to give any shot the best possible chance of finishing at the target. Good golf instincts are the result of years playing the game, but also to a lesser degree, a player's innate talent.

In order to test and better understand this instinct I came up with an idea - I would change my normal grip to 90 degrees open and then 90 degrees closed as shown below and test my ability to adjust to the vastly different clubface angles - yet still attempt to get the ball to the target.

Now, as you might imagine, with an approximate 180 degrees difference between the face angle for these two shots I didn't get up and hit it beautifully straight away, but I was amazed that it only took 2-3 swings with each to adjust and get the ball to fly pretty much toward the target.

The image below shows the drastic difference that was required at impact in order to produce an acceptable result for each option. (The "weak" grip option is on the left while the "strong" grip option is on the right) It's also important to understand that the difference you're looking at is not from grip alone, quite the contrary. It is primarily my instinct to get the ball to the target that leads to the changes.

The TrackMan data shows how much the change in face angle altered both the shape of the swing and my impact alignments. There was more than a 10 degree difference between my clubpath with each swing and the swing plane (VSP) with each swing - both numbers that golfers tend to be very consistent with.

What can you take away from this test:

  • A golfer's primary instinct is to have the ball finish at the target. This instinct might cause them to swing and respond in unusual ways, but they are doing all they can to generate a successful outcome
  • Face angle can greatly influence the appearance and effectiveness of any golf swing
  • An open face throughout the swing will often encourage an out-to-in clubpath, while a closed face throughout the swing will often encourage an in-to-out clubpath
  • An open face will often promote a lower swing plane while a closed face will often elevate the swing plane through impact
  • Practicing unusual techniques and methods that are well outside your comfort zone will actually improve your instincts to make the ball go to the target and ultimately make you a better golfer

The next time you go out to practice, work towards bettering your golf instinct. As Chris Como once said:

 Repeatability does not necessarily come from just trying to be more repeatable. Learn to solve similar 'problems' in a variety of ways...

Think, and practice, a little outside of your box.

2015 Three Day Golf Schools at Berkeley Hall

This is the year! You've promised yourself you're going to do something about your golf game and you know that in order to upgrade the outcome you must upgrade the input. I invite you to come and spend three days with me in the South Carolina Lowcountry and let me help you understand exactly what your game needs in order to better enjoy your time out on the golf course. In my schools the favorable 4:1 student to teacher ratio allows you to receive the personal attention you need to become the golfer you know you're capable of being. Contact me today to learn about what I can do to help you become a better golfer...

Here's what a Three Day Golf School at Berkeley Hall Includes:

  • Over 20 hours of instruction coached entirely by Andrew 
  • Daily on-course situational learning with Andrew
  • The use of cutting edge teaching technology from TrackMan and SwingCatalyst
  • A personalized practice project for each student
  • Daily V1 summary videos
  • Andrew Rice Golf Gift Package
  • Lunch And non-alcoholic beverages each day at Berkeley Hall
  • Complimentary follow up via email, Skype or telephone

Golf School Itinerary:

Berkeley Hall North #11

Thursday (Day One) - Where Are You Going and How to Get There

  • 8:30 - 9:00 am Meet and Greet at the Berkeley Hall Learning Center

  • 9:00 - 12:00 pm  Warm Up and 'Interview' followed by Initial Video, TrackMan and SwingCatalyst Force Plate analysis. Group Discussion And Demonstration - The Importance of a Sound Impact position.

  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm  Lunch in the Berkeley Hall Tap Room  
  • 1:00 - 3:00 pm  Custom Drill Station and Movement Pattern Development. The Driver - Understanding Distance, Club path and Gear Effect
  • 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Taking It To The Course: On-Course Scramble with Andrew - Applying What You've Learned

On Day One the road map to improvement will have been plotted. With the aid of high speed video, TrackMan and SwingCatalyst you will have a much clearer vision as to what it's going to take for you to reach your goals. Each student will receive a summary video.

Friday (Day Two) - You've Got to Work 

  • 9:00 - 10:00 am  Warming Up Properly with Head TPI Trainer, Derek Lemire at the Learning Center 
  • 10:00 - 12:00 pm Drills and Continuation Of Day One Movement Pattern Development 
  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm  Lunch in the Berkeley Hall Tap Room  
  • 1:00 - 3:00 pm The Science Behind Superb Wedge Play. Group Discussion And Demonstration: Bunker Play, Pitching and Chipping
  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm Taking It To The Course: On-Course Scramble with Andrew - Applying Heat to What You've Learned. 

On Day Two you will start to take ownership of the recommended technical changes. While the body might be aching, your mind should be crystal clear as you start to see the road map to improvement that has been mapped out before you. Each student will receive a summary video.

Saturday (Day Three) - Bring it Home

  • 8:30 – 9:00 am  A Proper Warm Up session at the Learning Center - also Q & A
  • 9:00 - 10:30 am Putting: Green Reading, Capture Speed, Drills and Pre-Shot Routine
  • 10:30 – 12:00 pm Continuation of Custom Development Strategy. Group Discussion and Demonstration: Uneven Terrain, Hybrids, Fairway Woods and Long Approach Shots
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch in the Berkeley Hall Tap Room 
  • 1:00 - 3:00 pm Final Video Session with Summary. Each player receives their Personalized Practice Project
  •  3:00 - 5:00 pm Taking It To The Course: On-Course Scramble with Andrew. 

On Day Three ownership of the positive changes is well underway. You'll be armed with the necessary tools to help you journey to your golf potential. Each student will receive a summary video and follow up email outlining their personal Practice Project.

For questions please contact me via email at andrew@andrewricegolf.com or call at (843)247-4688

Tuition: $1750 per person

($900 Deposit due at time of booking. Payment of deposit indicates you have read and agree with the cancellation policy)

Tuition and Accommodation at Berkeley Hall Cottages:

Berkeley Hall Cottages

Berkeley Hall Cottages

High season - $2,150 (pp double sharing for 3 nights), $2,350 (single for 3 nights)

(Additional nights available for $195 plus taxes)

Low season - $2,050 (pp double sharing for 3 nights), $2,250 (single for 3 nights)

(Additional nights available for $145 plus taxes)

Low Season: May 1 to Sept 30 and Dec 1 to Feb 28, High Season: Mar 1 to April 30 and Oct 1 to Nov 31

2015 Golf School Dates: 

  1. February            19-21
  2. March                19-21
  3. March                26-28
  4. April                  9-11*      (Masters School)
  5. April                  16-18*    (Heritage School)
  6. May                   7-9
  7. May                   14-16
  8. June                   18-20
  9. September        24-26
  10. October            22-24
  11. October            29-31

Each school is limited to four golfers unless specifically requested or indicated. Schools marked with an * will have additional experiences and costs.

Contact Andrew Rice at andrew@andrewricegolf.com for availability and further information. Please specify school number and/or dates that your interested in.

Berkeley Hall South #16

Berkeley Hall South #16

I look forward to sharing three enjoyable days of coaching, learning and camaraderie with you....

TrackMan at Berkeley Hall

Berkeley Hall and Andrew Rice Golf are proud to announce the acquisition of a TrackMan radar unit.  TrackMan is golf’s leading instructional analysis and club fitting application and offers golf professionals and their clients exciting and innovative solutions to game and equipment improvement.
Facilities that currently utilize a TrackMan include Baltusrol, Islesworth and Augusta National.  Touring professional owners include British Open Champion Darren Clarke, Lucas Glover, Martin Kaymer and Dustin Johnson.  While all of golf's greatest instructors consult TrackMan in their teaching - they include Butch Harmon, David Leadbetter, Jim McLean and Sean Foley.
 
Here's how you too can benefit from this technology:
 
Thursday October 20th will be TrackMan Day at Berkeley Hall.  Starting at 9AM Andrew will offer a "Gain Ten Yards or It's Free" promotion.  Each session will be 20 minutes and the cost is $50.  Bring a seven iron and a driver to your session to start seeing what this new technology can do for your game. Oh yes, and if you don't gain 10 yards with your driver the session is free...! Call Andrew at (843)247-4688 to reserve your spot.
 
Ever wondered how far you should hit your driver?  Each week on Tuesdays and Fridays from 12-2PM Andrew will be offering club fitting on the TrackMan.  Each fitting session will last approximately an hour and you will leave knowing your equipment is taylor-made for you and your needs.  Fitting are billed at the same rate as lessons. 
Of course TrackMan will also be utilized in all lessons.  If you would like to understand and "quantify" your shots like never before come out to Berkeley Hall and get together with Andrew.
 To learn more about TrackMan please either go to their website or read this earlier article from my website... 
Wouldn't you like to hit the driver 25 yards longer? Don't you want to get back to enjoying the game?  Call today and book yourself a session on TrackMan to discover why golf’s leading authorities and professionals all choose this leading technology for swing and ball flight analysis.

Golf Instruction News

The Berkeley Hall Learning Center has just been completely upgraded! We have just had all our computers upgraded with the latest software from V1 Golf. Students will now be able to view a summary from their golf lesson online in their own V1 locker or on their smartphone. Students will even have the ability to upload their lessons onto Facebook for all their friends and family to see. The changes at the Learning Center include an expansion of our indoor putting capabilities, two Casio EX-F1 Exlim 300 frame per second cameras (for amazing high speed footage of a golf swing!) and the ability to view your golf swing on a 50" HD screen. Casio EX-F1 Exlim Camera

Read More