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A Swing misconception, address is not impact !

Many golfers come to me for lessons, many have played for years , some for less than a year, some are total beginners,  they all have have misconceptions of what makes a good golf swing, they have totally the wrong information. But if that is all you know , that is what you try and do, and it leads them into going down the long road of tips, quick fixes, listening to their playing partners which although are trying to help, are not qualified to assess and explain how a golf swing works and deliver a structured way of learning.

No, we all know it takes work, commitment  and dedication to improve, but you also need the right information to improve, you could spend hours, months , years, doing completely the wrong thing !

When a golfer comes to me to have a lesson, they usually will want to improve their ball striking, they want more consistency and they want more distance.  

When I see them  there is a definite pattern of misconception of where they should be at impact.

They all believe that if they return the golf club to their address position at impact they will hit good shots !

How wrong can they be.

I video their swing and when they swing down, the club head is virtually at the same point at the 9 o clock position on the downswing as it is at the 9 o clock position on the upswing ! 

If you imagine looking at a circle face on, their club almost traces the same line, has the same width up and down!  They are doing what they believe to be correct, but it is totally wrong. You will not see this on a good player.

What they get when they do this is hit fat shots, that is hitting the ground before the ball or thin shots which is hitting the ball on the upswing.They are so inconsistent, they are frustrated.

When they hit the thin shot they believe this happens because the have lifted their head !  Another misconception !

How do I change this belief ?

Easy , I just show them the impact alignments first, show them how to get there and get them to feel it.

So here are the key points. 

Hands ahead of the ball, around 4 to 6 inches.

Shaft will be leaning forwards.

Weight on the left side, head does not move forward at impact.  

Hips are open to target, shoulders less, more parallel to target. 

Right side lower than address.

Right elbow still bent at impact.

They get it straight away, a light seems to go on, they understand that you strike down on the ball, to achieve a better compression of the ball, get a better flight on the ball, and retain more energy into impact.

They were throwing the energy away so early, they wanted to get the club head to the ball so fast , they did not use their body, their pivot to transport their arms down into the release area, so now they will have energy stored , to release into the ball and the turf after impact.   

They will not be manipulating the club with their hands, they will be more consistent, they will be using their body in the correct sequence, the club will be accelerating into the ball, they will get more distance, and of course they can now strike down on the ball and achieve better contact.

All of this achieved by explaining  a misconception and the golfer getting the facts behind a good swing.

 

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

What you can learn from my golf lesson to me?

I have been busy coaching and have not had the quality time to work on my swing. I wanted to change a few things, so I thought it would be a good idea  to give you my thoughts and also give you an insight as to how I go about making a change in my swing.

My swing changeFirst I needed to see my swing on video, to get a clear picture of where I am NOW in my swing, not where I FEEL I am, this is a huge part of working on the right thing, its so easy to trust your feel, or you may look in a mirror, the problem is you PLACE the club where you want it and its not in real MOTION.

The other great teaching aid is my analysis software, I can place the hi speed camera on a tripod, film my swing then download it in to my Mac, I can draw lines angles etc.

So, I want to keep my head more centred, I have a habit of moving too much to the right and also lifting my spine angle on my backswing, basically I need to stay more centred and stay more over the ball.

The picture on the right feels so dramatically different to me , yet it looks slightly different here, trust me its  a HUGE CHANGE in the feeling of my swing!

Now the feeling I got when I did this was as if  my upper body was moving left on my backswing and also moving downwards!

It was very strange feeling and immediately I was out of my comfort zone!!!

I hit around sixty balls, filming each one and checking it on my camera.

Guess what my brain was telling me , yes you are moving way to the left, yes I am moving so far downwards with my shoulders that it was ridiculous!

I FELT as if I was moving left with my upper body about ten inches, and my chest was going down about four inches!

Ok , so I checked in the camera, and no way was I moving downwards, no way was I moving to the left!!

It was marginal, a slight difference!

Incredible yes?

Well this is what happens when you try and change an established swing pattern, you are virtually on auto pilot when you swing and although my conscious mind was telling me yes you are doing what you want, my video told me different!

So my next step was to super exaggerate the movement I wanted with the camera rolling, this felt so EXTREME it was ridiculous.

GOOD GETTING BETTER!

Gradually I was starting to get more accustomed to this feeling, I started hitting the ball more crisply, it was going straighter and a bit further with more height.

Its simple really , all I have to do is do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I was doing before and EXAGGERATE it about 100% and I think I will get where I want to be !!!

It is work in progress as Tiger calls it, and that is so true.

For all my students and all you golfers out there taking lessons, all your teachers know how hard it is to make a change, we have all been there, it doesn’t happen in one lesson, it takes, patience, perseverance , dedication to the cause.

Don’t get distracted from your main goal, work at it, write it down in your golf notebook, what you are changing, how the new change feels to you.

So when your instructor tells you do do something new, it feels weird, you feel that you cannot hit the ball at all, this will pass, its called CHANGE, not of us like it, but stick with it and have faith and belief in it and maybe like Justin Rose you will get your reward!!

Good luck!

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

To Subscribe to my golf channel http://bit.ly/15yVpdy

 

 

The DNA of your Golf Swing

There is so much misleading and contradictory information in the golf instruction world. No wonder golfers are not improving as they should.

Anyone who wants to improve their game and get better has to start by taking a very close look at how they swing the club.

See the reality. Usually how your swing feels is not for real, feelings can mislead. How can you analyse and get feedback while you are in the moment of swinging the club ?     

Video analysis is where you must start, look at your swing, see it, picture it .

You now have a reference point, a starting point so you can move forwards.

You don’t have to do everything perfectly to hit good golf shots, just remember that when you are on the range trying to analyse every inch of your swing, no wonder there is a lot of paralysis through analysis out there.

The Master Keys as I call them or the DNA of your golf swing are crucial for your golfing improvement. What are they you might ask, well go to my website and you will get the information you need to lower your scores and enjoy your golf. Golf is meant to be enjoyed ! So take a look.

Your confidence will rise because for the first time you have a plan of improvement.Its just that learning, and mastering a move  like the golf swing is not an instant thing , you have to have control over the four Master Keys.

I call it the Master Keys to good golf, and really its the DNA if you will, once you have learnt it, golf becomes FUN & you become a better striker of the golf ball.

 

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

 

Why are golfers handicaps not getting lower!

So in the main they do not know what to practice, they haven’t the awareness of what they are doing, they try to swing too hard, there is no blueprint to guide them through and keep them on course.

This sounds really worrying, golfers do want to improve don’t they?

My aim is to help you sort out these issues and get you all playing better golf and having more FUN !

What I do in my coaching is first of all give my students , if they are beginners, is a blueprint of the key things they need to do, keep it simple, not too much information, it is so easy to overload with information, it can become  paralysis through analysis if the coach gives out too much info, especially if the coach is not as experienced and is trying too hard.

Less is more, it will pay off.

If I have a golfer who has played for many years and cannot make long term commitment to rebuilding their swing, guess what I don’t. Be realistic they cannot swing like Tiger Woods, so lets use what they have and work in such a way that we fix the key components and with these changes they will play better. You do not have to have a great looking swing to play better and lower your scores, you must understand what makes your swing work and then it’s maintainance, through correct understanding of your swing you can practice much more constructively.

You are not just hitting balls trying to find a swing, YOU KNOW YOUR SWING !

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

A student of mine had a one hour lesson with me today, I had previously given him a video lesson about eighteen months ago, he had to stop playing for six months because he had  broken his wrist snowboarding .

Luckily everything had healed up well and he no discomfort or mobility problems.

He had at  one time been of three handicap, but was now playing off fourteen, he explained that he could not hit the driver as he wanted , it was either starting straight  and cutting to the right towards the end of its flight or flying straight left of target, could also start it left going left. He can hit the ball 280 off the tee and is a powerful player.

So I stood behind him as he set up to the ball with the driver, I always look at alignment, posture, ball position, grip, weight distribution at address.

I let him hit five or six drives, all were either starting straght and cutting about 40 yards to the right, or starting left and cutting thirty yards to the right.

From down the line I could see his downswing path was slightly across and above his intended path into the ball, his backswing was on plane, his turn was a fraction short but controlled, very strong at the top.

He had a narrow stance, his ball position was slightly to far back, his right shoulder was out of alignment to the left, and he looked a bit top heavy at at set up, weight to much towards his toes. 

So I got him to move his right foot across to the right about six inches, his ball position one inch further forward, move his weight further back towards his heels, and move his right shoulder down and back slightly.so that he was now parallel to his target, altough he felt his shoulders were closed !

He now had had more weight behind the ball at address and was better balanced and more stable and grounded

All in all I moved  the ball one inch, his upper body one inch, his weight from his toes to just over his ankle joint , so he was better balanced,  and his spine angle came up slightly, and he was nearer the ball slightly.   So we made about six inches of adjustments in total. He now had his upper body aligned better to the target. No need to alter his grip, it was perfect , his backswing was compact, on plane, no swing thoughts needed, no conscious manipulation of the hands now needed as he swings .

First swing he hit a long high shot, a strong flight, that after it reached the top of its flight it very slightly turned to the left as it came back to earth !

He actually hit it virtually straight , slight draw and long , WOW !

He was delighted, he now needs to practice recognising where he is at set up, and start to get the feel of his new set up so he can reproduce the correct alignments easily and feel comfortable.

So to sum up.

He had too much weight on his toes, ball too far back and his upper body was out of alignment , so he found it very difficult to swing the club on the correct plane through the impact zone, he said ” I feel less effort as I swing, its more fluid now, I am not fighting it”

Always look at your set up first, grip, posture, ball position, weight distribution, and alignment first, get these right first before making any swing changes, everyone should be able to have a good set up, its so important.

 

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

 

Bradley Dredge Hi -speed video Driver swing

This Hi -speed video of Bradley was taken at the Open qualifier at Sunningdale on Monday 7th June, he is hitting his first tee shot of the afternoon round on the Old course, on his way to a 65, and it was a perfect shot , straight and long, in the middle of the fairway.

This is a really good angle to see  his sequence of movement throughout his swing. Which as you can see is superb.

His posture is balanced and the angle of his spine and knee flex are perfect, he is balanced, athletic, he is grounded and  ready to move into his swing.You need a strong base, and be well planted if you are going to generate power in your swing, and Bradley does this so well.

He starts  his movement superbly,  his chest, arms and club are perfectly synchronised as he move into his backswing, he is just coiling up his chest and his hips are responding to the turn. He has  a great backswing wind up, is well balanced and has more weight on his right side .

Watch his transition closely, you can really see how his hips move first on the downswing, and his upper body is still coiled, he is not starting down with his arms or wrists, they are trailing behind.

The club is lagging behind, as his body moves left and starts to unwind, incredible energy is being stored by correct sequencing of his body . A major key in accuracy and power.

He has power, rhythm, great balance, athleticism, a superb golf swing, I wonder why he is not in contention more, it may be putting and short game that is just holding him back or maybe the mental side, but the swing does look very good. A very good model for you to see, very sound technique with great power. 

Lee is now ranked number 3 in the world, and he has got to that ranking by performing at a very high level consistently.

I was watching him practice at the BMW championship at Wentworth, and you can see the  hi -speed video I took.

Here is a player who has got a lot of confidence in his ability at the moment,  his all round game is very high, his driving is his strength, his putting has really improved and so has his short game.

What can you learn from Lee?


He is very precise with his set up and alignment,  has great rythm and balance and has worked very hard on his weaknesses which were his pitching, chipping and sand shots. Now these areas of his game are much improved, his consistency in his scoring has greatly improved as well, so when he hits the errant shot he can get up and down and  keep his score together, which breeds more confidence. 

Watching all these top players at Wentworth , it is such a small margin that divides the winners, the losers, the players that make the cut, and the ones that don’t, they all strike the ball so well on the range, it is how they play the game on the course that makes the difference . How do they cope with a bad swing, a bad bounce, wrong club selection, bad luck, the conditions of the course,  can they continue to play their game under pressure, how is their confidence, do they believe they can win, believe they can make that crucial putt, can they take the chance when it comes, have they got the inner strength to keep going. do they really believe in themselves?

My key points to improve  are.

  1. Find a good Instructor
  2. Video your swing and know your swing.
  3. Know your weaknesses.
  4. Have a plan to work on them.
  5. Work on your mind game.

The Blueprint for Change!

Recreational golfers are not improving  because they do not understand what they have to do to change or modify their technique, and also they do not appreciate how much quality repetition is involved in changing an old habit into a reliable new one.

Sticking at changing a old habit to a new one  is very hard, you need huge discipline , it involves several thousand correct repetitions of the one specific move you are working on, and that takes several weeks of intense effort, it is the same as getting fit by going to the gym, you must do it regularly to reap the rewards.

Here is an example, if you can do one hundred correct repetitions every day for one week= 700

Repeat for four weeks = 2,800 reps you will start to really own that movement, not having to think it through. It can take between 3-5 thousand repetitions to OWN the new move 

So you can see that when you go to the range and hit 100 balls with the intention  of improving your swing  the results will be poor, because you are not creating the new pathway in your swing, you might be “thinking the new move” but you cannot make a swing change and hit balls swinging at full speed and do it correctly. 

You cannot change a motor skill that quickly, you have to learn new pathways and build up a new pattern, which takes time, dedication and focus.

I give my students a blueprint of what they need to do technically and give them the required amount of repetitions so they can achieve their goal. Do the new movement at a very slow pace, feel and see that it is correct every time.

Success  Regime

  1. Slow motion moves only.
  2. Every practice session do at least 100 reps.
  3. Continue this routine every day for 4 weeks. 

You have the information, why not start right now  and really IMPROVE?

Make 2010 your year !

So HOW do YOU develop a better golf game?

To learn and improve should be your goal, if you are not learning and working on improving you will probably  be gradually getting worse!

So learn and improve but how?

You will not be able to do this on your own, how many of the best Tour players in the world have no coach?

They all have either a coach who works with them consistently, or a coach who really knows their swing and they see them for check ups periodically.

Tianlang Guan the 14 year old wonder kid who made the cut at the Masters, what an incredible performance that was, is going to work with Tigers coach Sean Foley very soon! He certainly believes he can improve!

You can always improve!

So you need a structured plan, an overview of things you want to improve.

How do you practice and work on your desired plan?

For example say you are going to improve your grip, how do you do it?

How much intensity do you need to really own your grip, your set up, get your alignment, improve your golf swing?

A lot, but make sure the time YOU can put in is not wasted going down blind alleys, listening to bad advice.

Get your club, a eight iron is fine, place your left hand on the club, I cannot in this post show you how to hold the club, I need to see your grip, but I will advise you on your approach and how to practice.

Once you have your hand placed on the club how you need it to be, look at how your hand lays on the grip, feel it, look at it, feel the contact points on your hand, close your eyes, increase your awareness between your hands and the club.

Place your right hand on the grip, mould it onto the left, check that is on the club the way you desire, look at your hands, feel the way the grip lays in the hands, feel the pressure points, close your eyes, sense it, feel it.

You need your grip to be moulded correctly and feel the club is a natural attachment  to your hands.

Hands need to be Educated

Your hands as Homer Kelley said in his book The Golfing Machine, are the command post, they give you feedback of the club face, but only if you have educated hands, hands that are sensitive and understand how to work during the swing.

The great Henry Cotton was another who preached about the brain and hand to club face connection, this is an area of the game that has been in the shadows of late, its more popular at the moment to talk about hips, lag, biomechanics etc.

But how many top golfers have uneducated hands, and no feel of the club face throughout the swing? None of them!

I think you will agree they all really can feel what their hands are doing and where they need to go, throughout the golf swing.

This is what you really need as well, its your only contact with the golf club, you need to be aware, so your hands in time will feel more comfortable, they will be stable, strong, sensitive to movement,  they will be able to give you accurate feedback and will give you a feel of the club face that you have never experienced before!

They will be trained, not two hands doing their own thing, trying to hit the ball!

To improve in anything you need good information, you also need better awareness, heightened senses, better visualisation, better feel,  better planning, more focus!

Wise Words

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

I see golfers doing exactly that on the driving range!

 

Happy golfing,

David

 

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 David Bown PGA and click SUBSCRIBE to get your free videos.

To get your online swing analysis and improve YOUR golf go to my website for more information  www.bowngolf.com

 

 

 

 David impact

How many times have I heard this, a student wants to improve their golf swing but is frightened of making any changes.

Well it is quite normal to dislike change in our lives anyway, but if you are not succeding in what you do in your life, you had better start looking to change some things.

It is the same in golf.

What I would be very careful of is making wholesale changes to your golf swing all at once, in a desire to get things right.

 Even if the student has several areas that need improvement, I make sure I know which areas to work on first, and I do not want my students to be overloaded and weighed down with lots of technique, that will only stall our progress.  

I need to plan what to change , when to change, and feed these changes into their golf swing over a period of time.

Can a student do this on their own?

Are you kidding, NO WAY.

You will need help from an expert, a PGA professional who has been recommended to you, or go online and look in your area and see what golf professionals are out there, check out their website, get a feel for their enthusiasm, what  training have they done, their experience. Give them a call, tell them what you want from them.

They will be happy to help you.

When a student comes to me , I always ask them two things.

1. What are you doing at the moment to improve your golf?

2. What is the most important thing to you about your golf?

This gives me exactly what I need to know, what they are doing now, and what really matters to them in their golf game.  

When working with a new student who wants to really improve I  make sure I really understand their swing, their pattern of movement, how this effects their ball flight, and what corrections need to be implemented.

They need to be made aware that they need time to implement some changes and they may feel a bit awkward, this is perfectly normal.

How can you change something in your swing and have it still feeling the same!

The real key here to improvement is only working on a couple of things at once, sticking with them, being patient, making sure the student REALLY understands that, and that you are a team and working to a  plan.

For example.

It could be posture, maybe the student cannot turn because their posture will not allow it, or maybe they have a misconception about how to move in their swing, which is creating the problem.

So I look at the core issue that is making this golfer inconsistent and work from there.

This approach of being a team and working to a plan will create the right learning environment for the student and the coach.

It breeds confidence because the student knows exactly what to do, and why it effects the flight of the ball.

When your student has clear precise targets to aim at it really helps their focus, they are not distracted by their golfing buddies offering tips on every swing, they know their swing, they know how to improve it.

The results will be rewarding. 

 

 

 

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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