‘Tis the Season to Plan Ahead!

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Join us for a fun filled week ahead!
Monday, September 23rd – Saturday, September 28th

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Need more air off the tee? Here’s how to max your hang time for more distance

Written by: Dave Leadbetter

Those stingers you see the pros hit on television look cool, and they’re valuable shots on a windy day, but the last thing most amateurs need is a low-trajectory tee shot. You need more hang time. Studies have proved that the slower you swing, the more you’ll benefit from a trajectory that keeps the ball in the air longer. And thanks to radar systems like TrackMan, we also know that the optimum way to increase air time is to hit up on the ball with your driver. But this notion of hitting up on it requires clarification.

To catch the ball on the upswing with the driver, many golfers find themselves swinging while keeping their weight on their back foot (right foot for right-handers). Unfortunately, that’s usually going to lead to poor contact with the ball—typically a topped or thin shot. It’s also a weak hit because there’s no weight shift toward the target.

Your first move to start the downswing should always be to get your weight moving into your front foot. But if you’re worried that shifting forward won’t let you swing up on the ball, here’s the adjustment you need to make: As your club approaches the ball, feel like you’re standing up with your hips thrusting forward. This stand-up/hip-thrust move will shallow your club’s path and allow it to sweep the ball off the tee. That’s how you hit up on it.

The benefit is that it lets you use the ground under your feet to create thrust. From there, just swing through until the club finishes behind your body—and watch the ball fly.

Source: golfdigest.com

Join us for a casual evening of free entertainment under the PohlCat Outdoor Tent!

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH

7:00PM – 8:30PM

Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Attendees will need to bring their own chairs.

SURF ZUP is on a mission to bring back the great guitar instrumental hits from the 60’s. Come on out and enjoy an evening of “Surf Music”!

7 shots anybody can rely on in the heat of competition

Written by: Ron Kaspriske

For some, golf is stress relief—a pastoral stroll interspersed by 70 or 80 golf swings and maybe a stop for a hot dog at the turn. For others, it’s a fist-clenching, nerve-racking, nearly out-of-body experience where success is often defined by getting through 18 holes without feeling like you need to see a therapist afterward. We’ve been there, too. For the latter, the adventure is only exacerbated when playing for money, or in a tournament, or with strangers, or in front of a crowd—or all of the above.

If you’re faced with needing to execute in one of these competitive moments, but your central nervous system is failing like the Manhattan power grid on a 95-degree day, you need a go-to shot you can rely on. What’s a go-to shot? It’s one that might not make the highlight reel on a newscast or go viral on YouTube, but it’s so reliable and easy to execute that you can use it even when flop sweat is blurring your vision. Here are seven shots that will become second-nature once you’ve worked on them:

OFF THE TEE

Let’s start with a little honesty. Most golfers lean on their driver when they need a great tee shot. You know it, we know it. We’ve got a clutch drive when getting it in play is paramount. This shot will come out low, probably move a little left to right (for right-handers), and chase down the fairway when it lands.

1 . Tee the ball down about half as high as normal.
2 . Grip down an inch on your driver.
3 . Play the ball halfway between center in your stance and your lead heel.
4 . Make a slow, steady backswing.
5 . When you swing down into the ball, feel like your chest is on top of it.
6 . Swing through impact, finishing when your right shoulder is pointing at the target.

APPROACH FROM THE DEEP STUFF

Unless the ball is sitting up in the grass, flying it all the way to the hole might be too much to ask for in pressure situations. You need a shot that advances the ball, so it lands back in the fairway or possibly chases up near the green leaving you with an easy chip or putt. If there’s a window, you might roll it on.This is the play.

1 . Take a high-lofted club.
2 . Grip down an inch.
3 . Take a stance that gives you the best chance at minimizing contact with the rough, bush, fescue, etc.
4 . Make a steep backswing, feeling like you’re lifting the club nearly straight up.
5 . Swing down directly at the ball, but with less-than-full effort, so you maintain your address posture.
6 . Follow through as best you can, an expect the ball to come out hot and roll once it lands.

APPROACHES FROM THE FAIRWAY (OR FIRST CUT)

Hitting a green when you’re nervous is a lot simpler if your go-to shot is a shortened one that you’ve practiced. If you go with a full swing, you’ll have too much time for your brain to short-circuit and produce a wonky move. A cut-off iron shot will give you your best chance at solid contact. It also flies lower and is more accurate. The three-quarter iron shot might soon be your best friend.

1 . Use a club one longer than normal.
2 . Play the ball roughly center in your stance.
3 . Make an unhurried swing back and through, focusing on solid contact.
4 . Think: shoulder height to shoulder height. Your swing ends going back when your hands are shoulder high and ends going through when they reach the opposite shoulder.

IN THE ROUGH AROUND THE GREEN

There are a number of pressure situations when just getting the ball on the green is enough to make you breathe easier. You need a pitch that delivers every time. So forget about the low-percentage lob shot. And we’re certainly not talking about taking it in low and hoping there’s enough spin on the ball for it to check up. You need a technique that’s simple to repeat and is forgiving enough to still work even if you hit it a little fat.

1 . Grab your highest-lofted wedge.
2 . Take a slightly wider-than-normal stance, and open your body in relation to the target.
3 . Play the ball roughly in line with your front foot’s heel.
4 . Take the club back until the butt end of the shaft is pointing downward at the ball.
5 . While rotating your entire body toward the target, pull the butt end of the club toward the ball, keeping your left hand palm down and your trail hand palm up.
6 . Don’t stop the swing or your body rotation until your hands are at least shoulder height in the follow-through.

GREENSIDE BUNKERS

Sand shots should be easy because you can strike an area anywhere from right behind the ball to four inches behind it and still get the ball on the green. But when something is on the line, the fear of catching too much ball can creep into your mind and you end up making a short, choppy swing that leaves it in the sand. Don’t let that happen again by using this reliable bunker shot.

1 . Grab your highest-lofted wedge.
2 . Address the ball off your front foot.
3 . Take a wider stance, put all your weight on your front foot, and open your body in a little in relation to the target.
4 . Pick a spot two inches behind the ball and stare at that spot intently, erasing the ball from your mind.
5 . Hinge the club up quickly in the backswing.
6 . Splash the back of the club down on the spot you were staring at.
7 . Finish with the club over your lead shoulder. (Don’t stop short of that.)

JUST OFF THE GREEN

Chipping it close when a match or round is on the line is a skill that doesn’t have to be reserved for better players only. There’s a technique you can employ that makes it fairly easy to get the ball on the green quickly and rolling like a putt. Try this.

1 . Use a gap wedge or a 9-iron.
2 . Play the ball center in your stance.
3 . Pick a spot that’s a third of the way to the hole on the line you think it would roll along to the hole if it were a putt.
4 . Take your putting grip and set the clubshaft nearly vertical.
5 . Mimic a putting stroke at the same fluid pace (and length) as if you were putting from that distance.
6 . Keep the clubface low and moving toward your target after impact.

MAKABLE PUTTS

When it comes to putting, the bad news is that you can do everything right and still miss. Imperfections in the green, cleat marks, a gust of wind—it doesn’t take much for a putt to rim out. That being said, you can give your makable putts a real chance of going in if you focus on one thing—face control.

1 . Once you’re confident in your read, set up to the ball so you’re eye closest to the target is directly over the ball or just inside of it.
2 . Hold the putter in whatever way minimizes control of the handle with your dominant hand. You just want that hand to lightly hold on. (The claw-style grip can help.)
3 . When you make the stroke, keep your lower body as still as possible.
4 . Trace the putterhead down the line of putt after it strikes the ball.
5 . Hold your finish position, including posture, until the ball falls in the cup.

Source: golfdigest.com

How a doorframe can help your golf swing

Written by: Keely Levins

Let’s talk about hip turn. James Kinney, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers and Director of Instruction at GolfTec Omaha, says that from the data GolfTec has collected, they’ve found lower handicap golfers have a more centered lower body at the top of the swing. Meaning, they don’t sway.

If you’re swaying off the ball, you’re moving yourself off of your starting position. The low point of your swing moves back when you sway back, so you’re going to have to shift forward to get your club to bottom out where the ball is. That takes a lot of timing, and is going to end up producing some ugly shots.

So, instead, Kinney says you should turn.

“When turning your hips, you are able to stay more centered over the golf ball in your backswing and the low point of your swing stays in the proper position, resulting in consistent contact.”

To practice turning, Kinney says to set up in a doorway. Have your back foot against the doorframe. When you make your lower body move back, your hip will hit the door fame if you’re swaying. If you’re turning, your hips are safe from hitting the frame.

Remember that feeling of turning when you’re on the course and your ball striking is going to get a whole lot more consistent.

Source: golfdigest.com

As Tiger Woods says, “explosive power starts from the ground up”

Written by: Deborah Vangellow

You can’t start a car from a dead start and put it immediately up to 70 miles per hour. No matter how powerful your engine, you must have a gradual acceleration of speed. So it is in the golf swing.” — Mickey Wright

“Explosive power starts from the ground up..flat-out, lower body initiated power…my legs and hips drive forward and my upper body simply unwinds.” –Tiger Woods

We all have a love of power and yearn to achieve more of it in the golf swing. Muscular power is the rate of energy expended and it depends on the amount of energy available and the time taken to expend it. This is really about the amount of weight moved and the time involved to move it. Why is this relevant to the golf swing? Simply put, you have permission to move when making a full swing motion!

The modern swing seems to be all about rotation (torque, twist, turn, X-factor, etc.) are swing buzz words that are understood as the answer to a powerful swing and thus, increased distance. I believe these things can create substantial power, but done alone, could they be creating the possibility for injury. It seems to me that the more that I understand about anatomy, the more I believe that the body is not designed for the said rotational activity by itself in the golf swing. However, if there is some lateral movement allowed, this alone could put less stress on the back and joints, freeing up the shoulders to turn. Thus, shifting and turning (movement) is both accepted and possibly necessary for both power and accuracy. Movement, to me, is natural, athletic, and rhythmical…all words we strive for in sport.

I can appreciate the concern about lateral movement in the swing. We all are afraid of “swaying” or “sliding”. Simply, if your head movement is minimal the motion will instead look efficient and powerful. Additionally, if your swing is a result of a good kinetic chain (the muscle groups in the body working in a series or order of movement) and you utilize a good pivot, I think you will believe in movement.

A good pivot is a shift-turn-shift-turn sequence. Many times, it can seem like a player is only turning because this pivot sequence is happening in such a small amount of space. Upon closer examination, you will see that the most efficient swings incorporate a two-legged balanced start with a one-legged balance top swing position to a one-legged balance finish position.

Basically, you are creating a right side axis that will free the left side to turn outward behind the golf ball. This not only gives more time for the club to get to the top of the backswing, but also permits a good shoulder turn. As it is in the backswing, the forward swing is simply a change of axis and weight shift from the right foot to the left foot with a turn through to a balanced finish position.

The assertive leg drive/thrust/step is desirable to create a “running start” at and through the golf ball, creating optimal clubhead speed. In almost all sports that involve throwing or striking, the athlete makes a “running start” of sorts. Not only does this legwork/hip-work provide additional club speed in the golf swing, but it also gives you the secondary benefit of maintaining balance as your arms swing forward.

There are several ways to “get” this weight transfer ideal. Some like to think of shifting their center of gravity to the right and left and others imagine a lower spine shifting from right to left in a “wrecking ball” image. With both of these images, the top of the spine (head relatively still) remains in a fixed position, acting as a fulcrum for the swing in a pendulum-type motion. The head may move some but will not move in such a way that the movement becomes metronome-like.

Students who learn to swing a golf club with me are given “permission to move”. For so many, it is such a relief and their swings (in terms of power and accuracy) improve and overall enjoyment intensifies. These things, coupled with less strain and pain in the body, have convinced them that this is the way to go. Go back to being an athlete…step and throw the club around the circle like you are throwing a ball and you will be convinced that this is the way to go too!

 

Source: golfwrx.com

Stickney: Plane shifts used by the pros

Written by: Tom Stickney II

One of the most perplexing aspects of golf for the average player is how the club should transition. In fact, the “over the top” motion is what keeps all of the teaching professionals in business! On Tour, you see many different ways to move the club on the way down and Homer Kelley, in his book, The Golfing Machine, identified seven different ways to transition the club. In this article, we’ll only discuss a few of them.

The first two shifts we’ll examine are the extremes of up and around.

Up and Under

This swing model is made famous by Jim Furyk and obviously there are many levels of up and under but the basic idea is to lift the club to the top which gives you more room to “drop it under” on the way down. Some people love this feeling and it is quite simple when practiced a time or two.

One of the most perplexing aspects of golf for the average player is how the club should transition. In fact, the “over the top” motion is what keeps all of the teaching professionals in business! On Tour, you see many different ways to move the club on the way down and Homer Kelley, in his book, The Golfing Machine, identified seven different ways to transition the club. In this article, we’ll only discuss a few of them.

The first two shifts we’ll examine are the extremes of up and around.

Up and Under

This swing model is made famous by Jim Furyk and obviously there are many levels of up and under but the basic idea is to lift the club to the top which gives you more room to “drop it under” on the way down. Some people love this feeling and it is quite simple when practiced a time or two.

You will notice a takeaway that is slightly lifted and outside moving the arms into a more upright position at the top. From there the arms fall down and behind the player allowing the club to be delivered from the inside.

Around and Under

The opposite player of the Up and Under player takes the club more around the body into a short, flat, and tight position like Matt Kucher. It is here that some players feel that it is much simpler to come from the inside when the club is in a lower and more rounded position at the top.

This swing model is exemplified with a takeaway that works around the body off the start and continues all the way to the top placing the club in a “flatter” condition. From there the club basically returns from the inside as a slight shift is made to the inside. Some players feel this is the easiest way to move the club to the inside.

Now that we have covered the two extreme positions of Up and Around, the rest of the world is somewhere in the middle of these two positions. Personally, it does not matter where you play from as long as the club moves into a solid position on the way down.

Let’s discuss the middle positions and how to transition the club from there…

Reverse Shift

The Reverse Shift is shown best by Nick Faldo back in his hey-day. The club is taken to the top and the entire triangle formed by the arms is shifted rearward to begin the downswing thus moving the club into an inside delivery position.

When the entire triangle falls rearward it allows the club to flatten and the club to move from the inside. Transitional tempo is the key to this move because it won’t work if you get too fast.

Flatten the Shaft

Most of the players today on Tour are subscribing to this type of plane shift as the club shaft flattens out behind the player allowing the hands to move down the correct path. If the hands get too far behind the player then the path can easily shift too rightward in the above swing pattern but not with this swing model.

Here you can see that the club shaft flattened and the clubhead fell behind my hands lowering the center of mass and this places the club in an inside delivery position with the hands in the correct position at belt-high. This is a great way to transition the club for people who tend to get “stuck” on the way down.

So now that we’ve seen the most common plane shift models that move the club back to the inside which one is the best or the easiest? Basically, the one that makes the most sense to you as a player. One of these styles will feel “easier” than the other ones and allow you to shift your swing path more rightward during impact so you can move the ball right to left easier (for the right-handed player).

Enjoy trying these shifts and remember that all four can work for you at any given time!

Source: GolfWRX.com