How To Improve Archives

The Five Steps to Golfing Success!

Where are you on your path to golfing success?

Are you all packed ready to take on the challenge, have you got the nessesary tools/skills?

Do you know where you want to go?

Do you know where you are right now?

Let me look at the first point, where are you now, well you probably really like golf, you would like to be better at it, you don`t have as much time as you would like to play or practice, you play once every two weeks, you might go to the range once a or twice a month.

You expect to play well and hit good shots, you get frustrated when you do not, this is a pretty good analysis of your game right now.

So how do you change, well first it is so important to really know where you are before you start on your journey of improvement, not where YOU believe or hope you are.

Please do not be embarrased or have an ego, be honest with yourself, I know its hard.

Are you making the right choices? If you are not getting better then NO you are not!

Step 1. Please see an expert, not a golfing buddy/ friend to help you, go to a PGA professional who has been trained and has researched the game over many years, to help your golf.

Step 2. See your swing on video, it will help you see things better, you pro will be able to explain to you exactly where you are now and show you how you can achieve where you want to be, playing better golf.

Step 3. Once you have your static alignments sound ie. Grip, Posture, ball position, alignment, which is not difficult, this will allow you to move with good motion. So its like anything Set -up for success not failure.

Step 4 You will need to understand how to move your body correctly during your swing, so its the Pivot that is a key component of the good golfer. Learn how to move. The club will follow.

Step 5 Yes you guessed it Practice, rehearse what you have been shown, to improve at anything you need to actually do it, sounds easy but it is not.

Finally, its a great time right now, to start learning or improving your golf, yes its cold, but if you start now, by the time spring arrives you will able to take advantage of the weather and pit your new skills against the course, and really enjoy your golf!

You can work on grip , posture, alignment , ball position, indoors, you can also use a mirror to help with the pivot.

All these things will help, good luck.

Hope to see you soon!

 

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

Youtube channel      David Bown PGA

Tiger leaves Haney, sorry I mean Haney leaves Tiger?

Well all the talk of the past few months in the teaching community has just come true, Hank Haney is no longer Tigers swing coach.

I had heard that Tiger was going to leave Haney, but although the news has a different twist, a reversal of what we thought would happen, the end result is the same.

With all the upheaval in the last several months regarding Tiger, and even though he has not played or practiced that much at all, we all realised that the way Tiger was swinging the club it was not going well.

His last round at the Masters was amazing, he was all over the course, but his recovery powers were truly incredible,  he turned a probable 77 into a 69, his desire kept him up there.

But you cannot keep fighting your swing every round, you might get away with it a few times, but at the level of the PGA tour you will come up short.

He has gone from winning the US OPEN by 15 shots in 2000 and holding all four majors in one year, to fighting his swing and digging deep to finish in the top four.

Let me say that Tiger won several majors with Hank Haney, as he did with Butch Harmon, but sometimes a particular pattern of swing suits you more, and Tiger is so talented he can make almost anything work and be successful!

I believe he has his next swing coach in the wings, his name is Sean Foley, he is Canadian, works with Sean O`Hair, Hunter Mahan, and just recently our own Justin Rose has joined up. Tiger could work with anyone and be really good, we all know that, he must know by now what swing works best for him, he needs to clear his mind and refocus on getting HIS best swing back, not trying to model a way of swinging onto him.

What I see is Tiger fighting the swing, losing more distance, playing a lot of fades, in order to keep his ball in play, that is not the Tiger we saw earlier in his career, he was free flowing, attacking, I believe he is the greatest golfer in the history of the game, even though he is behind Nicklaus in the majors, he has played the most amazing golf shots throughout his career, shots that other players can only dream of, plus he has an incredible will to win, amazing fitness levels, an intimidation factor that was there for all to see, and if you were in the last group with Tiger you were going to lose! That is not the case right now.

I look on with great interest, to see what is going to happen next, I really hope we see Tiger back to his supreme best, there is a lot of work to do, with his divorce, his fitness, his swing, there are a lot of things against him, most of which he brought on himself,   but if anyone can do it he can, and if he does it will be a lot of fun to watch. Tiger we want you back to your best, we want the REAL TIGER back.

Simon Khan, wins BMW PGA, what can you learn?

What a story Simon Khan wins BMW PGA tour event at Wentworth, goes from 473 in the world to 105, wins the biggest cheque of his career £640,000, all on a sponsors invite! Ryder cup team beckons, wow what a turnaround to a career.

Simon then without much sleep goes to Walton Heath to try and qualify for the U.S.Open, arrives very early in the morning, tees off and scores of 67 and 70- total 7 under par for 36 holes gets him into a six man play off for five spots, he pars the first hole and is out ! How cruel this game can be, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.
He is playing the best golf of his career so far, and as I watched him at Walton Heath he looked so composed, relaxed, and hit really pure straight shots.

This is the 5 iron into the par five.
What can you learn?

1. Simon has a very relaxed style of play, again is very fluid, fine balance, rhythm. Sets up to the ball with good balance and alignment, very relaxed posture, no stiffness in his set up.

2. Starts club back with chest and arms, very smooth flow into the backswing, no rushing at all, wrists hinge gradually and automatically, and it is all smooth and controlled.

3. As with all tour players Simon uses his lower body to start the club down, a great transition, and as you saw in Rory McIlroy a slight squat as he starts down, showing you that his lower body is working first, which then creates the correct sequence of motion for the rest of his body, feet, knees, hips, trunk, arms, wrists, club, its like going through the gears in your car, accelerating in each gear and then flowing smoothly into the next one to maximise power.

4.He keeps rotating through the ball, into a full free finish, great poise and balance. He keeps the club on plane really well throughout his swing.

There seems to be a theme to these swings of Rory and Simon, fluidity, relaxation, rhythm, balance, uses the body really well, great pivot action back and through, and great body sequencing throughout, developing hidden power, which is transferred through the arms into the golf club.
One player a boy prodigy with fantastic natural talent, another a mature tour pro who has experienced the ups and downs, who has been to the qualifying school ten times, and is now playing the best golf of his life.

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

 

 

Want to strike the golf ball like a pro ?

What do the tour players do and the average golfer does not when we are talking about impact alignments?

I ask all my higher handicap golfers and my beginners this question.

Where do you want the club & your hands to be when you strike the ball ?

Answer they give is ” I want to return the club to my address alignment at contact or impact ”

Well if that is what you believe then you are certainly achieving your goal !

But it is totally wrong! No wonder golfers are not improving, they do not understand the alignments required  at impact for a powerful shot .

To hit longer,crisper & more consistant iron shots you need your hands leading the clubhead into the ball , with the shaft leaning forward at impact, not hands inline, & certainly not behind the ball at impact !

There is a new training aid sweeping America its called the Tour Striker, and this club gives you the hands forward impact, because if you do not do this you cannot strike the ball at all ! Here is the link to the video.My students are eagerly awaiting delivery of their clubs! I will be writing a review on the Tour Striker soon !

 

 

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 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

Choosing your Golf Coach

I went to the PGA  TRADESHOW in early October, it was held in Harrogate Yorkshire, a great town to visit, I had not been to Harrogate for thirty years, so it was great to go back again, and meet up with my fellow professionals.

I spent some time at the GASP systems stand, thanks to Steve and Mervyn, which have some really good products for video coaching, I use GASP LAB and can vouch for their equipment and their customer service. A great new product is their teaching app for IPHONE which you can download from ITUNES.

It has a drawing program and a tools menu so you can draw lines on to your video, it is really helpful when I just want to highlight something to my pupil on the range quickly.

They also have golf drills which you can access, you can see my teaching drills on the app, which I know will help you improve your golf. 

As part of the PGA TRADESHOW were a number of seminars which we could attend, the speakers were top in their fields and  they were very educational. 

To maintain my Advanced  PGA status I have to maintain a certain number of points to keep that AA status, this means that you attend seminars to gain points each year, and you are willing to learn and keep improving your level of expertise, and that you are aware of new research and keeping up to date with all the latest technology. Its a great addition to the other areas I use to upgrade my skills and knowledge, this game is like peeling the layers of an onion, there is always another layer, and there are always more questions ! 

I chose three speakers to see, the first was Michael Hebron a PGA of AMERICA golf professional, who has written many books, and won many accolades for his work as a teaching professional, I had not seen Michael since the PGA of America teaching summits that he organised in the nineties in San Francisco and New Orleans, it was nice to speak to him again.

His seminar was called Neuro Learning, how the brain learns, not only in golf training but in learning anything.

It is a huge subject and was a subject that as a teacher is so important, if I can help you learn more quickly and simply, so your brain can take in the skills in a more natural way, rather than thinking about various components as you swing the club, that would greatly enhance my teaching and coaching skills and your learning.

My second seminar was by Jamie Edwards and it was basically about communication and developing our own skills, which was very useful, Jamie had a lot of enthusiasm for his subject and again it was very useable not only for my business, but for life as well.

My third seminar was with Fredrik Tuxen of TRACKMAN, he has developed a system for tracking the flight of the golf ball and its the number one ball flight monitor in the industry.

TRACKMAN now delivers ball flight analysis information which was previously before TRACKMAN, a kind of guesstimate of what happened when the clubface contacts the ball, and how it reacts during flight. 

Now there is proof.

Basically the ball reacts to the angle of the face with an iron to the ratio of 75% and to the path of the club 25%, with a driver its more 85% clubface and 15% path. Which before we were led to believe that the path of the club had a much larger effect on the starting direction of the ball.

This subject is pretty technical and there are many parameters that influence ball flight, but as a coach we need to know what influences there are on the ball flight of our students, as it can only make us better in helping our pupils improve, and that is why I attend these conferences.

When a student comes for to me for help, I feel I need to have the facts to help that person improve, not myths and assumptions, and we have an amazing amount of technology and information at our disposal to help golfers.

There is of course with all this training and knowledge a proviso, as coaches we must make sure we do not overload our golfers with all this data.

An analogy is like being a doctor, a doctor is trained over many years and has accumulated vast amounts of expertise in different fields, but when you go to see your doctor does he tell you everything he has learned about  the subject you are wanting help with?

NO.

I know you just want to get better, but you also want a doctor who has experience, and you can trust, and they might give you their best advice, but in my experience I would not just accept what they say without asking questions and doing some research as well.  

So he uses his experience and knowledge and gives you as much information as you desire, or as much as he feels is appropriate that will help you get better, and if he cannot, he refers you to the appropriate expert in that field that can help, a consultant.

So find yourself a PGA golf professional with that experience and  the education that enables him to deliver what you require from your lesson in a way that delivers the improvements you want, and teaches in a clear, structured and informed way.

You are then on your way to better golf and building a great relationship with a very important person to you, your golf coach!

 

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

 

 

Golf Drills featured on GASP app for Iphone!

Exciting news !

A few of my coaching drills from www.bowngolf.com are now featured on the new app from Gasp Systems, its the GASP Golf Swing Mobile app.

Its a great way to work on your game when you are out and about on the range, you can have your coach right there with you, so you never forget, what you need to do !

Technology is amazing now, so much new innovation and development all the time, and things change so fast!

Lesson to learn

One thing to remember though is that we humans take a bit longer to change and evolve, so when you are working on improving your game be patient, work to your intended plan , stay focused, keep working on the basic keys, not quick fixes and you will improve 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

 

 

 

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.
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