How to Shallow the Shaft

For most golfers this is a biggie! If they can manage to get the shaft to shallow or flatten in the early stages of the downswing their chances of drawing the ball, along with a consistently crisp strike are greatly improved.

There are a few key factors to implement that will firm up your ability to shallow the shaft in transition. Watch...

My three important keys are:

  1. A flat lead wrist at the top of the backswing. If you can shoot in the 60's this is not imperative, but it will make the job of flattening the lead wrist in transition and the downswing that much easier.
  2. Get the shaft either straight or laid-off at the top of the backswing. Where you point the handle ultimately determines where the shaft is angled and it's much easier to manage it this way.
  3. Allow the hands to travel out or in front of you slightly as you start down. Be careful you don't over do this, but there are few things worse than getting the hands tucked in behind you in the downswing.
Woods, Trevino, Pettersson and Snead

Woods, Trevino, Pettersson and Snead

In the above image Tiger displays a flat left wrist and a slightly laid-off shaft, Trevino has shallowed the shaft and has a flat lead wrist, Carl Pettersson really gets his hands to travel out at the start of the downswing and Snead follows suit. All positive swing elements to emulate.

I would recommend you start your quest to improve this important swing factor in front of a mirror. Get a feel for each of the three keys by watching them and "seeing" what they need to feel like and then you'll be free to head out to the practice ground.

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.

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!

Masters Week 2012

The cream of the crop always rises in golf's major championships and nowhere is this more true than at Augusta National for the Masters.  Here are a few interesting notes to help get you prepared for the event:

If you, like me, are filling out a Masters pool keep the following in mind:

  • Phil Mickelson has only finished outside the top 10 in twice in the last 13 years
  • Graeme McDowell, outside his tie for 17th in 2009, has missed the cut in his other three Masters starts
  • Martin Kaymer is 0-for-4 in getting to the weekend at the Masters (despite his Monday hole in one) and Louis Oosthuizen is 0-3 in cuts made
  • Geoff Ogilvy has six Masters starts, has never missed a cut, and counts three top-16 finishes, including a T4 last year
  • Ian Poulter’s T27 in 2011 was his worst showing in the last five years. He tied for 10th in 2010
  • Justin Rose has never missed the cut in six starts at Augusta. He tied for fifth in 2007, was T11 a year ago, and rolls in with a good dose of confidence
  • David Toms has bounced back with three top-24 finishes in his last four starts
  • Lee Westwood has three top-11 finishes in his last four Masters starts, his best showing being a solo runner-up two years ago
  • Remember what Rory McIlroy did through the first 63 holes last year...and how he recovered from that final nine at Congressional
  • Tiger Woods has won one green jacket in the last 10 years. Yet, dating to his last Masters victory in 2005, he has not finished worse than T6.

If I could pick any three golfers I'd have to go with (in this order) Rory, Phil and Tiger (yes, I know I'm going way out on a limb here)! My sleepers would be Cabrera, Ogilvy and KJ...

I am surprised and disappointed that the Augusta powers have failed to extend an invitation to Ernie Els. Ernie is currently playing beautifully, having finished outside the top 20 only once in his last 5 events. He is 34th in the Fedex Cup and ranked 58th in the world. Not to mention that he has often (albeit, not often enough) contended for the green jacket.  Is Ryo Ishikawa really better than the Big Easy? Or does he just command a greater Japanese television audience?

That being said here is the FIELD and how they qualified.

Full TV Schedule (information found at Masters.com)

Par 3 contest

Wednesday, April 4 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on ESPN

First-round coverage

Thursday, April 5 from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Second-round coverage

Friday, April 6 from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Third-round coverage

Saturday, April 7 at 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on CBS

Final-round coverage

Sunday, April 8 at 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on CBS

As always the premium at Augusta is on the shortgame. Here is Geoff Ogilvy talking about the two toughest chips that almost all golfers will face during the week:

One of the toughest chips you can face on the course is from right of the 11th green, a spot where it seems at least one player in every group is playing from during the tournament. Bailing out away from the water is very tempting but no bargain. It is almost impossible to land a chip short on that green with any confidence; you just don’t know what the ball is going to do after it pitches. Then when it does get on the green it invariably races away. It’s such a subtle test, but one that gives the course much of its character.

The same is true behind the 15th green. It is so difficult to judge how much forward momentum the ball will have after it bounces and how fast it needs to be moving once it gets onto the sloping putting surface. And again, it is a shot that tends to come up a lot over the course of the tournament. Go for that green in two every day and you are likely to finish over the back at least twice.

Having had the opportunity to play both of these chip shots I can second his thoughts. I would almost always go for the front portion of the green at 11 rather than bail out right - water or not. Very tough approach from the right side there.

Here are a few sites that do a fantastic job covering the event:

GolfDigest.com

GeoffShackelford.com

Golf.com

Golfweek.com

To see unique photographs from a few of my previous visits to Augusta National click HERE and HERE

Have a fantastic week and enjoy the golf!

The 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits

Here are a few of my thoughts after witnessing the PGA Championship:

  • Martin Kaymer played like a champion and he thoroughly deserved the title. Don't forget the up and down on the 72nd hole he had, not to mention the stunning two he made at 17 in the playoff. I love to see talented, hard working youngsters breaking through. Well done Martin, Louis and Graeme!
  • You would think the PGA of America could have one of their 28,000 members to follow the final group so as to avoid what happened on the 72nd hole. I do not blame anybody for the incident and it is certainly Dustin Johnson's responsibility to know where he is playing from, but let's have a little foresight here....

  • Whistling Straits has more bunkers than all the courses in Africa (not a true statement, but it just might!) and it needs to get pushed off the edge of Wisconsin and into the lake! In fact while they're at it they can push another future PGA site, The Ocean Course at Kiawah into the ocean too. The last time I checked golf was meant to be fun and you couldn't pay me enough to play those two courses in particular. They are both horrible!

  • How about this picture posted at PGA.com of some kids building sand castles in a bunker! How many majors will this ever happen at? I guess that's what happens when you have 1000 too many bunkers.

  • Poor Nick Watney - what started as such a promising day turned into a demoralizing experience. I hope he can come back from this.
  • Dustin Johnson is a tough kid and I believe his 72nd hole nightmare will only steel his attitude towards greater heights. I firmly believe he will come back better than ever from this.
  • I like the way Bubba played the playoff, but he simply must opt to miss long on the final hole versus a shot that has the potential to be short - especially since Kaymer had a poor lie in the rough.
  • For all the focus on Tiger I don't believe he seems to be swinging any better YET. Every time I saw him on day 4 he finished with his right shoulder high from the clubhead being trapped behind him and seemed as wild as ever. I do think his change to Sean Foley is an excellent choice and he will get better under his guidance. And no Sean Foley is not a Stack and Tilter, just an instructor who understands that all swings are unique unto the individual and everything in the swing should be directed around impact.

  • A little insider info is that Tiger called up Foley right after he and Hank parted ways and asked Foley to drop all his other students (notably Mahan and O'Hair) and start teaching only him. Foley said, "Thanks, but no thanks!"
  • I'm sure it's just me, but the PGA Championship is really starting to feel like the fifth major - and there are only four! It just does not appeal to me in the unique manner each of the other three majors do. Anybody up for starting a petition for only three majors?

Masters 2010: Thrilling Lefty Wins Green Jacket

Mickelson is Master again! (AP) Eighteen of the last nineteen years the winner has come from the final group out on Sunday at the Masters; Tiger has never won a major championship when coming from behind on a Sunday; Phil has three majors while Westwood only has a handful of close calls; we should have seen it all along - this was Phil's event to win or lose and when he grabbed the event event by the scruff of the neck on the 13th hole Sunday with an emphatic six iron from the trees, he showed he had clearly opted for a courageous and thrilling victory!

While watching the broadcast I could not help but think back to the "old" days when players had legitimate shots at making eagles and birdies on the inward nine that always made for the most exciting finish in golf. The difference this year was that players seemed to have that ability on the front nine as well. I eventually lost track of all the eagles being made in my giddy stupor over how much fun this golf tournament was to watch. From the freak pine stamen event on the second green, to Tiger's hole out on the 7th, to the most fun sand shot I have ever seen (Westwood, also at the 7th) the front nine gets my vote as the most thrilling nine holes of any major championship in recent memory.

If only the powers that be at Augusta National could comprehend how much the golf community enjoyed seeing Couples, Watson and Langer have a chance; how much we enjoyed watching the youthful passion of Anthony Kim shoot 31 on the back  to be in with a chance; and most of all some of the memorable shots that were played from the most improbable places on the golf course. This course set up, coupled with the near perfect conditions, made for a Masters of old - one where the roars replaced the groans and red replaced black on the large manually operated scoreboards. Please keep this balance between difficulty and achievability because it was so much better than what the last few years have held. Who cares what the winning score is? A week from now no one will remember. You got it right this year (with a little help from Mother Nature!).

Here are a few interesting points I noticed:

Choi and Woods were in sync all week (Tielemans/SI)

  • KJ and Tiger played together all four days and matched each other on the scorecard every day. I wonder when the last time that happened was?
  • The Phil Mickelson "pine stamen" incident on the 2nd green was the freakiest thing I have ever seen on a putting green - watch the footage here. Bobby Jones always spoke about destiny; what did this mean? Absolutely nothing in the end.
  • Jason Dufner birdied the last three holes (16, 17 and 18) on Friday to make the cut at +3!
  • When Anthony Kim gets hot lookout! I doubt if there are many players, Tiger included, who can match him shot for shot.
  • Sergio Garcia scored 154 (+10) on the weekend in perfect conditions. Whaat? How can a golfer with such talent underachieve so well? It must be due to the fact he is playing against more than just the other golfers in the field each week.... Bad, bad attitude.
  • It was good to see Adam Scott and Trevor Immelman hang in over the weekend and both finish in the top twenty.
  • Y.E. Yang is a tough customer and never even got a glimpse or a mention - even after a solid 70 and another top ten finish in a major.
  • Matteo Manassero is a name that we will be hearing for a very long time time. Not only did he post an excellent final score, but he did exceptionally well in most of the stat categories. He hit the second most fairways for the week!
  • I find myself completely unable to root for Tiger Woods.

Stats for the top five finishers: (out of 49 players who made the cut)

Driving Distance

Mickelson 2nd / Westwood 6th / Kim 38th / Choi 42nd / Woods 19th

GIR

Mickelson 5th / Westwood 1st / Kim 10th / Choi 4th / Woods 17th

FIR

Mickelson 45th / Westwood 43rd / Kim 46th / Choi 24th / Woods 38th

Total Putts

Mickelson 13th / Westwood 36th / Kim 6th / Choi 5th / Woods 3rd

 

Quote of the Day goes to Phil Mickelson when asked about the difference between a great shot and a smart shot:

A great shot is one that you pull off and a smart shot is the one you hit when you don't have the guts try it!

 

A Friend in Need..... (Getty)

Complete Final Leaderboard

Putt Like Phil by Dave Stockton Sr. (Phil's new putting coach)

What's in Lee Westwood's bag

This Masters Week was Hard to Beat by John Steinbreder

Masters Thoughts: Thursday

Tiger Woods (Vuich/SI) Here are a few impressions from the opening round at Augusta National on Thursday:

  • The day was all about Tiger and judging by the golf he played - rightly so! While he received multiple fortuitous bounces (8, 9, 10, 11) he left his fair share of 8 footers out there. On Thursday he was a modern day Seve Ballesteros playing at full steam. Good to watch for sure.
  • That being said, Tiger still has a long way to go in improving his reaction to less than stellar shots. I saw and heard multiple GD's and what looked like an f-bomb.
  • Shingo - what happened to the hat?
  • Charl Schwartzel is the real deal! He played a fantastic opener and I look for him to still be around come Sunday. He gets my vote as the best swing in golf at the moment.
  • Aaah Freddy - that swing is perhaps even smoother and freer than it has ever looked. And I love the "golf sneakers", with no socks none the less, to go along with no glove. He looked and swung like a friend had pulled him off the couch for a quick evening 5 holes at their local track! Did you know that Fred is -77 for 12 rounds on the Champions Tour this year....! Yesterday was the lowest round he has ever had at Augusta National.

Freddy Couples (Beck/SI)

  • Each time I checked the leaderboard a different Champions Tour golfer was leading - first Langer, then Watson and finally Freddy Couples. What a great day for golf!
  • I can see the emergency meeting Thursday night with the superintendent: How do we get rid of these silly pine stamens? Why is there pine pollen floating on the ponds? And why are the scores so low? I'm sure every stamen you saw yesterday is already off property, but can you picture Augusta with no pine trees next year?
  • What happened to Ernie and Angel on the back nine yesterday? Els played a fine round, but spoiled it with an ugly double at the closer for 71 and Cabrera had it to -3 before dropping four shots in the final four holes for 73.
  • I love what Jack and Arnie did to start the tournament. Call me sentimental, I just think it adds so much to the event and it's tradition. Gary Player where are you?
  • KJ Choi is swinging and putting beautifully and I look for him to be around on Sunday. Playing with Tiger seemed to spur him on.
  • Does Matt Kuchar have the flattest back swing you have ever seen?
  • If you have not used the scoreboard at Masters.com I would highly recommend it. It includes video highlights for multiple shots from each player - take a look!
  • It was good to see Trevor Immelman and Adam Scott have nice openers. Two young stars who have been missing for awhile.
  • In the battle of the long bombers Dustin Johnson (305.50 yds) currently holds a 1 yard advantage over playing partner Alvaro Quiros (304.50 yds)
  • Lookout for Phil.....lookout!

GIR Stats

FIR Stats

Putting Stats

Driving Distance Stats

News and Notes

Early moring golf anyone....?

  • Could there be many things better in life than getting up early on a beautiful day to play 18 or 36 holes with close friends on a really fun golf course?
  • The weather is getting better here in South Carolina and we are catching glimpses of Spring being just around the corner. I get the sense that most golfers have a case of "cabin fever" due to the taxing winter we have all experienced and are desperate to get out and play a little golf. Nothing turns my mind more to golf than warmth and sunshine after a long, cold winter.
  • Jim Furyk and Ernie Els have won on the PGA Tour the last two weeks - is it really 2010? Its starting to feel a bit like old times. Even Vijay and KJ Choi have been playing better lately!

Tiger Woods

  • As I'm sure you all know Tiger Woods is playing at Augusta. Tiger has surprised us all in many ways throughout his career, but this move truly puzzles me. I had always been under the impression that the man in the red shirt was about winning major championships, yet coming back at the Masters, instead of getting an additional prior event under his belt, tells me this is more about image and self preservation than major championship victories. What chance does he have of winning - really? By not playing at Bay Hill and starting at Augusta National he has said to me that he would rather preserve what is left of his "aura" (with substantial help from the good people in the green jackets!) than give himself another opportunity to get one notch closer to Jack.

Tavistock Cup Logo 2010

  • An interesting note from the Tavistock Cup - Elin was present without Tiger at the lavish party thrown for participants and sponsors at Isleworth last night. Tiger was practicing at Augusta yesterday so read whatever you want into that.
  • My picks for Augusta currently are Phil and the Goose. Lefty has been very quiet lately but that frequently has no bearing on his play in the majors and the Goose has been resurgent with his new belly putter. The course suits his big power game and I really think he might do something there this year.
  • If anybody out there would like a golf lesson to "dust the rust" from their frigid golf games please give me a call at  (843)247-4688 if you are within reach of South Carolina or if not, shoot me a video via www.v1golfacademy.com where I am listed as a V1 instructor. The cost for video lessons via V1 is $40 and turnaround time is 48 hours. I would appreciate the opportunity to help make 2010 a great year for golf.
  • A recent quote from a golfer who purchased "It's All About Impact"

"I have now read through your book, It's All About Impact, twice. It is very well-done with good, understandable explanations, and the photos illustrate well and definitely define "a picture is worth a thousand words"! I had actually played Monday and just focusing on the 84 degrees and impact made a noticeable difference with balance and actual ball contact. I still have a way to go to get the correct divot but it sure seemed to simplify thoughts. I actually started hitting with more distance without trying due to the more solid contact. Every day is a different day but this sure helps consistency. Thanks!!" DB

 

I hope "It's All About Impact" can do the same for you and your golf this year!

Please feel free to contact me with any golf queries, questions or ideas you may have. And thanks very much for reading!

2009 in Review

That's all she wrote! The 2009 "official" golf season is in the books and while there were glimmers of excitement, I felt like the year was not one to write home about. Here are a few thoughts: Tiger Woods eclipsed the $10 million mark again - Steve Stricker, his nearest challenger was more than $4 million behind!

Steve StrickerNo majors for Tiger. If he does not win at Augusta next year I predict Hank Haney will be looking for some new students. Biggest surprises in the top 20 on the money list: Kevin Na; Z. and D. Johnson; Y.E. Yang; Brian Gay; Lucas Glover. How about this list of golfers outside the top 125: Chris DiMarco; Carl Pettersson; Stuart Appleby; Rocco; Chez Reavie; Johnson Wagner; Trevor Immelman; Ken Duke and multiple other tour winners.

Read More

Swing Self-Analysis for Golfers

I am not a fan of the way Tiger is playing his golf at the moment. Greg Norman and Nick Faldo played golf the way it was supposed to be played. Tiger seems to overpower the course and by blasting the ball everywhere, getting it up and down and making putts he continues to win. Almost like a modern Seve Ballesteros! Successful but not proper.

Read More

Swing Methods and the Fifteen Second Flameout

Butch Harmon

Have you ever noticed how various swing fads seem to come and go?  It seems like just the other day that Bennett and Plummer's "Stack and Tilt" swing was the only way to hit a ball properly.  How about David Leadbetter?  When was the last time you heard from him or one of his players?  Do you remember Jimmy Ballard and "connection"? What about Jim Hardy and his "One Plane Swing"It boggles my mind how these methods pop up, become the hot item and then flare out almost as quickly as they arrived on the scene.  They all have one thing in common that led to their 'success';  a tour golfer who wins an event or two with this 'new and amazing swing' they just learned.  The golfer, feeling indebted to the teacher, proudly proclaims that they could not have achieved their success without this newly discovered way to swing.  Please!
Understand that most of these ideas are thought up by very intelligent and well educated golf teachers.  The problem I have with these methodologies, however,  is that they set their own style of swinging the club.  In other words, the club must be swung in a certain fashion for it to work or function correctly.  I say an emphatic, "Nonsense!" I do not claim to know everything about the golf swing, but I do know that every great player has a different swing that produces fantastic results - or they would not be great!  There cannot possibly be one 'correct' way to swing the club!            

David Leadbetter

 It's a classic case of putting form before function!  "If you swing this new and amazing way you will achieve desired results!"  The best players of all time have always had a knack of getting the club on the ball correctly and the game today is no different.  A feathery needed to be stuck the same way a ProV1X needs to be hit.  Well almost!  If every golfer out there could understand impact and physics that make the ball go in the right place AND the wrong place they would be far better off.  What difference is perfecting the wrist angle at position seven in the moveaway going to make in your game and ability to compress a golf ball!  Form will always follow function.  Just ask Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, Raymond Floyd, Bobby Jones, Nancy Lopez, Walter Hagen, Bobby Locke.......
Function must be King when you work on your game.  Get the ball to sound, feel and fly like you want it to and you are a happy, and very good, golfer!
Things to Ponder:
  • Watching the AT&T on Sunday looked like the King (Tiger) was taking his young Prince (Kim) out for a little schooling.
  • Anyone got an over under on the number of days before Carolyn Bivens is out as the LPGA commissioner?
  • Why when a golfer sets up with their body aiming left it is an 'open' stance and when their clubface is aiming right it is an 'open' face?  Blame the Scots and single malt whiskey for that one.
  • I have a feeling Paddy Harrington will be back in contention at next weeks 'Open' Championship.
  • A claim could be made that Phil has choked away both majors so far this year!?

Hey, thanks for reading and please tell your friends about this amazing new website that is the latest and greatest golf blog in the whole wide world!!

Choking, Putting and the US Open

One of the greatest choking hazards a golfer faces is a large lead with 18 or fewer holes to play.  And here's why; any golfer within 8 strokes of you has a legitimate shot at catching you!  When a golfer get's out in front they often start to play a different style of golf and we have all seen the results of this change - Norman in '96 Masters  (I could put multiple events for Norman here), Van de Velde in the '99 Open, Palmer with a 7 shot lead and 9 holes to go in the US Open at Olympic......

Jean van de Velde
Jean van de Velde

(Did you know - Jean Van de Velde's ball crossed the burn 8 times on the 72nd hole of the '99 British Open!)

With a big lead the mind and approach tends to change and when that happens you are in big trouble.  Think of it this way - if you were competing in a one round event against all the players within 8 strokes of you, you could play relatively well, yet still lose to one or more of the players in that limited field by more than 8 strokes!  And that's without any change in approach!

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have a large lead (and I hope you do!) forget protecting and go out and play golf the way you played to get yourself in that position! Play the event as if it were a one round shootout and all the golfers are tied with you starting the round.  A golf tournament is a marathon; you can only play protective golf (and get away with it!) with three  or fewer holes to go.

A FURTHER UPDATE ON THE "RELEASE THE PUTTER" POST:

I thought the following two photographs might clarify the difference between a proper release of the putter and a non-release.

The Correct Release
The Correct Release
No Release
No Release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope the above pictures help to clarify any confusion that there might have been.  The furthest point from the axis of a pendulum travels the furthest.

Let the putter head swing!

U.S. Open Notes:

If you are ever in the Hilton Head area and are looking to go and catch some fish please look up my friend Capt. Christiaan Pollitzer on the Bulldog.  I fished with him yesterday and we caught 6 cobia and a red snapper amongst various other denizons of the deep!  I actually invited friends to a cobia dinner before we even left the dock - the man is a fishing legend!

Slow the Golf Ball Down - It Goes Way Too Far!

Phil and Tiger (Cannon/Getty)I watched the broadcast from Quail Hollow yesterday and was shocked at what I saw; these golfers were playing some of the hardest holes I have ever seen with 9-irons and wedges for their approaches.  I have been to this event and the 'Green Mile' holes are as they have been promoted - BRUTAL!  The leaders made them look a little silly (even though none of them managed to hit the 17th green!):

  • O'Hair had 154 yds. left in to the 480 yard 16th and the hole played slightly into the wind! Nine iron!
  • Number 17 played 225 yds. to the back pin and into a light wind.  Now I comprehend that the green was rock hard and with water lurking over the green and a back pin the optimal spot was to leave the ball a little short, but Lucas Glover hit a 5-iron!  That is ridiculous!
  • The uphill closing hole measures 478 yds. and played slightly down breeze.  Tiger Woods hit 3-wood, 9-iron to pin high! (Tiger also drove the 14th green (345yds.) with his 3-wood)  Bubba Watson had a flip wedge in from 135 yds. after hitting what looked like an easy cut driver!  Number 18 is the hardest hole I think I have ever seen and to play it with a fairway metal and a short iron is just wrong.
  • Bubba Watson hit a tournament long drive of 374 yards!  I know the guy is long but that is obscene.

I firmly believe that the USGA and RnA has dropped the ball (pun intended) on this matter and something needs to be done soon.  Gone are the days of upper echelon golfers hitting a 3-iron into a par four unless weather conditions exist.  Without changing the ball the only way that could be done would be to have par fours of over 530 yards and golf courses that measure 8,000 yards!  Whether it means changing the size of the ball, it's dimples, materials or construction, something needs to be done.

For more detailed quotes and information on this topic please link to http://www.geoffshackelford.com/the-list/

Things to ponder:

  • Zach Johnson looked like a regular weekend warrior out there on the 2nd hole; a little cart path, a little pine, a three putt, hello triple!
  • Sean O'Hair's mental toughness will carry him far.  Even though he finished bogey, bogey I never thought he looked afraid.
  • Well done to Bubba Watson!  He is more of what the PGA Tour needs and no that new hair-do is not a mullet.
  • Tiger needs to lose the driver and hit 3-wood on every hole.  The driver and 3-wood swings look so different.
  • How about David Feherty calling Tiger a loser!?  Tiger smiled, but I don't think we'll be seeing Feherty do the Tiger post-round interviews any longer.
  • Brandel Chamblee made the one of the dumbest statement of the year following the broadcast on the Golf Channel. In referring to Tiger's position at the top of his backswing;  "He needs to do something, because you cannot play golf from there!"  I'd like to not play like that.
  • The so-called 5th major is at TPC Sawgrass this week and it is my opinion that any golf course where every player in the field can hit 9 iron or less into more than half the holes cannot possibly be a major. (#1,2,4,6,9,10,11,12,16 and 17)

The 84 Degree Secret! (Part 4)

Body position is the most important factor influencing impact and the quality of the golf shots you are hitting. In the illustration notice how Annika's right side seems to form a straight line. From the outside of her back foot all the way up her right side to the right side of her head can be covered with a straight line laying at 84 degrees. This indicates the 84 degree secret.

Mickey Wright

It is quite amazing how many of the top golfers obey this '84 Degree Secret'!

To be clear this is not Stack and Tilt which actually encouraged the golfer to feel as if they are leaning towards the target. Here the upper body remains steady/centered while the body pivots to the top without drifting across the line.

The '84 Degree Secret' is essential to achieving a correct impact as it makes it simple for the golfer to get to the proper hit position. Think of it this way; if you move the upper body six inches off the ball in the backswing, you now have to find a way to get it back to where it started, at exactly the right time, and in one third the amount of time it took to get it out of position.

Keep the upper body centered/over the ball and you will start to compress the ball like never before!

A recap of the last four articles and how they pertain to a great impact:

  • A strong grip allows the handle to lead the club head with the club face remaining square.
  • A 'vertical' set-up where the head is centered between the feet and there is minimal shoulder tilt prepares the body for the proper pivot.
  • A steeper shoulder pivot keeps the upper body centered and allows for a descending attack into the ball.
  • The 84 degree secret! Eliminate lateral motion and keep the head over the ball to make for a simplified transition into the hit.

Should you have any questions or queries please feel free to post a comment!

Things to ponder:

  • Tiger is in for a battle this weekend! Good for golf and good for us.
  • Quail Hollow has the look and feel of a US Open, but trust me it is not even close. There are six holes on the course where I would be thinking birdie! Now the other twelve are a different story......
  • There are over 15 million active blogs available online. Thanks for reading this one!
  • I like what Stuart Appleby said about the 17th at Quail Hollow, "Bad design!" I second that motion.
  • Phil seems to be working out and in better shape, yet how does he always manage to look a little chubby to me? Amy needs to up his shirt size me thinks.
  • Please post a comment - I am heartbroken that there have not been any thus far.........
  • Stay well!