Golf Swings Archives

What you can learn from Luke Donald BMW PGA champion

Did any of you see Luke Donald win the BMW PGA championship at Wentworth on Sunday?

He was the defending champion and he achieved another PGA victory in fine style, this also took him back to world no 1.

It  looked like it was going to be a duel between two Englishmen, Donald and Justin Rose over the final eighteen holes, and even though Donald had a two stroke lead over Rose you never know what will happen in golf.

As it turned out Donald had his usual precision with the irons, and the putter was working well, he shot a 68 and won by four from Rose and Paul Lawrie, who shot a  great final round of  66 to share second place.

So how did Luke beat all his rivals?

Obviously he had all parts of his game under control, and when he had opportunities to make birdies his strength his putting, came to the fore.

Rose did have his opportunities but could not get those putts to drop when he had to.

I followed Luke round Wentworth on Tuesday the practice day, I always go on the practice days because I can take my camera and you can get  up close for some great swing sequences.

Luke was with Dave Allred his performance coach who has given Luke a more focused and measurable practice regime.

He really does work hard on his bunker play which is spectacular, virtually every hole played he hit practice bunker shots from all different areas around the greens.

I watched him earlier in the year at Dove Mountain for the WGC matchplay tournament and he would practice his putting for at least an hour every day, and using his putting aids to help him, a tee either end of the putt with string tied between them, he had his putting mirror all lined up, and had his caddie watching. He also putted with one hand his right and was making fifteen foot putts regularly!

Its not just putting a few balls round the green for an hour.

They say he is a short hitter, well he hit drives at Wentworth between 280 yds to 320 yds, its all relative, ok some players hit it thirty yds longer, but they do say, drive for show and putt for dough!  

His great strength is he sticks to his game plan and he knows his strengths and weaknesses, what he can and can’t do under pressure, and keeps going relentlessy, he doesn’t force things and if he makes a birdie great, and if he makes a bogey he just continues, he can forget the bad shot and usually bounces back with a birdie on the next hole.

His body language and demeanour are very good you don’t know if he has had a good or bad hole, or round.

Lessons to learn 

Have a practice routine and a plan of improvement.

Practice your putting and bunker play.

Keep calm and focused during play.

Know your strengths and weaknesses and don’t try shots on the course you have never practiced. 

 

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

My Youtube channel     Bowngolf

 

 

Rory McIlroy using Pivot Power

Here is US Open champion Rory McIlroy using his pivot in the correct downswing sequence to retain the energy created, loaded and stored in his backswing and unleash amazing clubhead speed through the impact zone.

A great example here.

For someone 5ft 10 in & 11st 6 lb/160 lbs to hit the ball 300 yds with a 3 metal on one tee shot! is incredible and to also hit many drives over 300 yds and play with that control is amazing.

His performance in winning the US Open will be talked about for some time, he was two strokes a round better than his nearest rival, he led from start to finish, all his so called weaknesses as repeated over and over by the golf analysts dissappeared, his putting would not hold up, could he scramble, his course management was poor, no what we all saw was a young man unleashing his pure golfing talent on the golfing world, he was focused, he had something to prove, his swing a thing of beauty was under full control, the crowd loved him, he destroyed his Augusta woes, & he is the youngest US Open champion for over eighty years ! WOW !

His whole game seemed to click, the putting looked good, his control of distance and holing out was exceptional, his short game was on song, his irons were like lasers, especially the first three rounds, all you saw were irons right on the flags, his driving was immense, long and high with draw, which suited the course, he looked fearless, and he had control over his mind, which was a huge factor in this incredible performance.

The stats for the tournament , in greens in regulation and driving accuracy and distance were brilliant.

So Rory had the whole package this week, and I sincerely hope we see him have many more major wins in the coming years.

Rory we all knew you had the talent and the game, and now you have that inner belief and strength that all winners possess , Congratulations to you & as the americans say you were AWESOME !

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

Youtube channel Bowngolf

Rory McIlroy Hi speed video analysis

Rory is on the range at the BMW tour event at Wentworth May 2010, he worked his way through the bag, starting with the wedge, I have sequences here of a five iron,3 metal and driver to show you. He was hitting easy 3 metal shots, staying low and straight, then he would cut loose and the ball would just keep rising on a much higher trajectory as he inceased his power.

What an amazing talent at 20, winning a US PGA tour event in fantastic style, I remember thinking as I watched him shoot 65-62 over the last two rounds, this is how we would dream to play golf, massive drives, laser irons and holing putts, calm and controlled, it looked so easy to him.Those two rounds were very exceptional and I believe they are going to be rare for anyone to reproduce, especially on such a high calibre golf course as Quail Hollow.

His rhythm is superb, his balance, his fluidity of movement is second to none, it is all done with such flowing grace, that here is a very special golfer, who when in full flow makes golf look so easy, even more so than Tiger, who has more of a carved out or chiselled golf swing, more man made, and of course he has made significant changes to his swing through out his career, and I believe he is in the process of making more changes now. I can’t wait to see him back at the heights we all know he can achieve. Back to Rory.

What can you learn.

1. Rory is very relaxed at set up, excellent posture, alignment, great grip, looking ready and balanced to move into his swing.

2. Starts moving his chest, and arms so well together, and as he continues to turn his right side away his wrists hinge so naturally as he continues to wind up his chest, core and hips into a superbly poised and balanced location, no excess motion as he continues to move into the transition of his golf swing.

3. He starts down with a slight squat of the legs as they and the hips start to drag and pull the trunk and the arms downwards, a superb sequence of motion, maintainig lag not only between his arms and the shaft, you can see the shaft loading, but also note how he uses pivot lag, in other words how the sequence of his body unwinds relative to each other, creating the most powerfull movement he can to hit the ball prodigious distances.
He is working very hard here and creating lots of power, yet in real time it looks so smooth and fluid, because his sequence of movement is so tremendous and flows so well into a free flowing finish, he continues to turn his right side through to a very full finish, wish I was that flexible !

If Rory can continue to stay healthy, learn how to keep his score going when not quite at his best and eliminate small errors of judgement on course, such as course management and shot selection, there will be no stopping this young man becoming a regular tour winner where ever he plays in the world and become the best european player since Seve and Nick!

This is the start of giving you the information you need to really improve your golf .

I will be talking about the things you need to understand and more importantly to execute, which will enable you to lower your scores consistently.

Also you can tell me what you want to know!

I have been a PGA professional since 1975 and in the coaching industry for over thirty years and it still amazes me that people are not getting better !

With all that digital video has to offer, the internet, the books that are written by the best players in the world telling you how to play, how they think or feel they do it, the coverage on tv and seeing the best players play the game.

Why are golfers handicaps not getting any lower ?

Any Ideas?

I have a few here we go.

  1. Most golfers do not  know what to practice.
  2. They just  want to hit it as hard as they can.
  3. They have no awareness of where the club is in relation to their body.
  4. They have no plan of action or blueprint.
  5. They do not practice enough.
  6. What they feel they are doing bears no relationship to what is really happening in their swing.

US Open Merion Hogan and the rest.

Hogan swing sequence driverWell a US Open is nearly here, and its at the famous Merion golf club in Pennsylvania this year.

An iconic image in golf is the golfing legend Ben Hogan hitting a 1 iron into the 18th green at Merion in 1950 to make a par and get into a  three man 18 hole play off with Lloyd Mangrum & Tom Fazio.

In those days you played thirty six holes on the last day & Ben Hogan had only eighteen months earlier survived a terrible car crash that nearly killed him, so he played thirty six holes, then had to play another eighteen on legs that were weakened and fatigued, yet he went on to win that US.Open!

He then won the 1951 and 1953 US.Opens as well as the 1948 US Open.

Hence the Ben Hogan legend and Hollywood made a movie about his life called Follow the Sun.

Tiger Woods is the same age as Ben Hogan when Hogan won in 1950, Hogan won six more of his nine majors after this win, will Tiger get the win which will catapult him to more majors?

If Tiger does win win it will be his fourth US Open, tying him with Hogan, Nicklaus, Jones, and Willie Anderson.

The first two rounds pair up Tiger Woods, Rory Mcilroy and Adam Scott, world number one , two and three, and it should be a great battle to see who comes out on top, as these three players are probably the best to watch.

You can look at these great players and many more on my Youtube channel David Bown PGA

Take a look at my golf channel, click subscribe and learn from the greatest players in the world!

 

Happy Golfing!

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

 

 

 

 

Common mistakes I see on the range !

I thought I would go through with you the things I see most when I am coaching students for the first time.
If you like the common trends amongst beginners.

Problem Areas.

1.Tension is always apparent, in the hands and wrists, I see so many learners who think that power comes from the hands and wrists, as we know they transfer power when allowed to.

2. Poor placement of hands on the golf club, thumbs straight down the grip, restricting any freedom of movement through the hands and wrists.

3. Posture problems, bent spine, restricting the turn of the body during the swing, you need good alignment and good posture to make a sound swing.

All these problems are pretty simple to fix, good preparation in your set up will help so much with your stability and coordination throughout the swing, which leads to more consistency and less effort.

4. The pivot is a major source of power and consistency, if this is not working effeciently you will have severe problems, usually trying to use the hands to compensate for these errors, and leading to frustration as no two shots are the same!

I give my students drills to do so they can recognise /feel where they need to make the body go, immediately their balance improves and so does their coordination. So Recognise it, Monitor it, Practice it, Groove it ! That is true with every aspect of learning this game.

5. Truly understanding what the hands do throughout the golf swing, golfers get them working in some strange ways, the hands must be educated, you must recognise what they do and how they move, otherwise again inconsistency and more frustration.

Understand that quick fixes never lead to consistent levels of performance, you need a swing map , a direction, a blueprint if you will, so you can start your journey the right way which leads to improvement and more enjoyment of this great and challenging game.

When shall we start on your journey of improvement ?

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

Youtube channel Bowngolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I met a new student his name is Derek Shao, a young man who has worked in London and now is going back to work in Hong Kong in two weeks time.

He told me he had played for one year, and had a few golf lessons, his average scores are around the one hundred mark.

I asked him what he wanted out of his golf lesson, he told me he wanted to fix his slice and hit the ball further.

Not an unusual request down on the driving range!

He hit a few golf shots and yes, they all sliced a long way, very high, losing a lot of distance.

The Cause

Derek  had put so much effort into moving, to try and get more clubhead speed, he moved his whole upper body way too much, both going back and through.

The reason this was happening was because he thought incorrectly that he had to use the strength from his arms and shoulders, to generate more distance, so he then gripped the club to tightly and made his upper body dominate his downswing, making the club wipe across the ball from out to in.

Derek was so keen to work with me and improve we had six sessions in five days working on full swing, chipping, putting, and bunker shots.

He was very focused and asked many questions. He was a great student to work with, and he got great results.

The Correction

I worked on getting him to hold the club in a more relaxed way, getting the tension out of his shoulders, forearms and wrists, he was so tight!

A key thought for Derek was to feel softer in his wrists, this took some getting used too as before he had no wrist hinge to speak of, because he was so tight, just a massive turn of his upper body on his backswing, and a corresponding twist on his downswing.

Also, having a feeling of letting his arms just fall down at the start of his downswing, this helped him keep the club on the desired  plane into the impact zone, and helped him resist pushing with his upper body, creating that twist.

During our last session Derek was hitting his eight iron, six iron and his 17 deg hybrid either straight or with a slight draw, his ball flight was lower.  He had increased his distance considerably and was not exhausted after hitting sixty balls! 

I was very impressed with his results, his striking of the ball was much crisper, and a good twenty five yards longer, and there was more to come. 

As Derek left I congratulated him on what he had achieved and asked him when he was going to play next & try his new swing?

He replied I am playing tomorrow at St Georges Hill, and playing Walton Heath a few days later!

Great stuff Derek.  Enjoy your golf!   

 

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

Youtube channel Bowngolf

    

Practicing what I preach !

Simon Khan Hi -speed video 3 metal What can you learn?

 

Here is Simon Khan playing a 3 metal at Walton Heath in the U.S. Open qualifier.

His shot went straight onto the green at a short par four of 275 yds, he two putted for a birdie.

Key points for you to see are how he starts the centre of his body moving, his core and chest, his arms go along for the ride , everything has moved in unison, his right side, his hip and chest all turn away very smoothly.

This is a great angle to see his transition from upswing into his start down.

You can clearly see like all top players his lower half starts moving back towards the target first, transferring his weight onto his left leg, this gives him a great platform and stability, so he can swing down in the correct sequence to create his maximum power.

His wrists respond to this move, the club is being pulled or dragged downwards on plane into impact . He has not used his wrists from the top , he has retained their energy and used the correct sequence of motion in his downswing, which is feet pushing into the ground, to give stability for his hips and thighs to do their work, which in turn starts to unwind the core and the chest , which pulls the arms downwards, so the arms and wrists can transfer their energy into the club at the right time.    

His swing is  smooth and unhurried, no wasted motion and very efficient and deceptively powerful, everything is working in the correct sequence, that is why it looks so smooth.

What can you learn.

  1. Start your move of trunk arms and club away from the ball in unison.
  2. Let your right hip and shoulder turn, keeping your right leg in its flex.
  3. Unwind in the correct sequence into the downswing, learn to use your powerhouse , your body, not your arms and wrists. 

Wow what a performance! Darren Clarke Open Champion 2011

After all those years of trying to win the Open, Darren Clarke finally achieved his golfing dream!
To become the champion golfer for 2011 and go down in history as the Open champion.

He had control of his swing and his mind during those four rounds of golf played in atrocious and testing weather conditions.
What a deserving champion, we all know the hard times Darren has had to go through, and to come through all of that, come out the other side, and win now, must be even more special to him .

He was asked at the beginning of the week all about Rory, how is he playing etc, all the younger players were in the limelight, it was the new age of the young guns, so we were told, McIlroy, Fowler, Mannessaro, Ishikowa, Donald is world number one, Westwood was there, Poulter, Rose, Casey.
The Americans were out of it we were told. Well they were all over the leaderboard this year!

Good old Darren!

Golf is a funny old game, and just because we witness a sensational performance by Rory Mcilroy to become US Open champion, GMac wins the year before, Donald is world number one, Westwood is always around, Harrington won back to back Opens, the media tell us that the Americans are finished, rubbish!

A class act is a class act whatever their nationality. They have players coming through and they want to turn the momentum around.

European golf is outstanding, we are very strong, Ryder cup success, success breeds success. A fellow European tour player wins a major, the next guy says I can beat him, I play every week against him, and I have beaten him on the regular tour, I can do it again.

I think Rory Mcilroy has learned a lot from Darren Clarke, but Darren has learned a lot from a young gun called Rory, mainly, CONFIDENCE and FOCUS and BELIEF, he always had the skills, the ball striking ability, he won WGC event against Tiger several years ago.

Interestingly the swing I show you was taken last year when Darren had to qualify at Sunningdale to play in the 2010 Open!


What a difference a year makes!

Keep believing, no matter what happens.

Darren did!

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

Youtube channel Bowngolf

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