How To Improve Archives

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought it would be really helpful to write down my top ten suggestions for improving your golf.

If you are not doing anything to improve your golf at the moment, these suggestions are a must!

If you are wondering why your golf is not improving ask yourself how many of these are you doing!

TOP TEN SUGGESTIONS

1.  Ask yourself what do you want to achieve with your golf?

2.  Consult a PGA golf professional.

3.  Form a plan of action with your chosen PGA professional and set some goals.

4. Have your swing filmed by your PGA professional at the beginning to provide a reference point, so you know where you are right now. No guesswork involved, as feel can be very misleading.

5  Stick to the plan that your professional and you have implemented, and be patient.

6  Spend  some time practicing in front of a mirror, to develop your feel and rehearse your swing in slow motion.

7 Work on your putting and short game.

8 Make sure you understand how important  the mind game is to your improvement, and start working on it.

9 Start working on your mobility and fitness

10 Enjoy the journey you are about to begin.

If you implement these top ten suggestions you will really start developing your game to a higher level.

 

 

David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional

Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor

Lynn Blake Certified Instructor

contact david@bowngolf.com

07973746872

To view my website. www.bowngolf.com

Youtube channel Bowngolf

 

 

 

Test your Golf swing knowledge!

Here are a few questions for you to test your golf swing knowledge.

How many can you get right?

 QUESTIONS

1.If you want to hit the ball straight should you keep the clubface square to your target as long as possible?

2.. Should your impact alignment be the same as your address alignment.

3. Should your golf swing be a pushing or a pulling motion?

4. Should you lift the ball of the grass or hit  the ball on a downward arc when playing an iron shot?

 

Answers

General guideline and playing a standard shot.

1. WRONG. Your golf swing is on an inclined plane, eg think of a sloping roof, you stand to the side of the ball and your club moves on an arc . So after you strike the ball the club will travel on a path to the left of your target line. Here is a great example.

 BEN HOGAN      Showing how he has not tried to keep the clubface going down the target line, the club is staying on plane, MOVING INWARDS AND UPWARDS ON AN ARC AFTER IMPACT.

 Ben Hogan

2. ANSWER  NO

Most golfers try to get their impact alignments the same as their set up alignment.

How it should look 

SET UP                        IMPACT   Lower body has moved to target, hands, arms and clubshaft moved forward, shaft is leaning forwards. 

 set upimpact

3. ANSWER. A pulling motion, not a pushing motion.

Pulling forces transport the angles created during the backswing, the golf club will align itself and follows the direction of a pulling force.

Pushing forces the club to release the angles created prematurely, this is why most amateurs get back to their set up at impact and lose power and accuracy, they throw they club at the ball.

4. I ask all my beginners this question and around nine out of ten say lift the ball. WRONG Strike the ball on a downward arc for your irons.

So they start their golfing life thinking they must lift the ball into the air, they scoop , they throw the club to try and get the club to lift the ball!

Learn that you need to compress the ball, let the loft of the club get the ball in the air, have a forward leaning shaft at impact, the lowest point of your swing is AFTER the ball with your irons, not before.

So how many did you get right? 

 

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 need to be more consistent ?

I want to be more consistent, this is the number one comment I hear from my new students and when they do hit a straight shot it does not not go far enough !

To be more consistent you need to know what you are really doing in your golf swing right now, not what you feel you are doing.

Where is the the ball going and why is it flying there ?

Is it the clubface or path the club travels on, or a combination that is making your ball fly anywhere but at your intended target.

Why is your clubface not correct at impact ?

Could be grip, could be alignment, but I believe more often than not, understandng how the hands and wrists work during the golf swing is the main fault.
Most amateurs do not know how their hands work during the swing, or what they are doing with their hands as they swing.

Your hands need to be educated, to sense and feel where they are in the swing and of course they give you the information and feedback of where that clubface is throughout the swing. A vital component.

The first must have is.

The hands must be educated to have a consistent swing.

 
Why is your path incorrect ?

The path is wrong because the body movements during the swing are wrong , the club is out of a good alignment and the arms and wrists try and recover the shot somehow.

This is what I see the most..

Mainly arms and wrists are not controlled, shoulders are too dominant in the downswing, the hips do not work enough at the start in the downswing, and the sequence the upper and lower halves of the body are used in are incorrect. .

Most handicap golfers do not understand  what the upper body and lower body have to do in the golf swing.

A few key areas  the body needs to achieve to be consistent  are maintenance of posture during the swing, learning to rotate the upper body and lower body in the correct sequence, both back and forwards and maintain balance throughout.

So the second of my must haves is.

You must have a good pivot working in the correct sequence to deliver consistency and that will create more power..

If your body works in the correct sequence and your hands know their job, your club will be on plane, you will have more power, and you will be more accurate and consistent .

Why not become more consistent now ?

 

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

    

What can you learn from the U.S Masters

There was a lesson to be  learnt  from watching the best players at the US Masters last week.

Once again the critical area is the short game , we all know it is important and so it proved again on the last day, if you can get down in two when you miss a green, you can score, saving strokes not wasting them. It is so important, it keeps you confident, because you are still maintaining your score, it will help you  relax more on your second shots as well. 

Tiger Woods ball striking gradually got worse each round, more wayward shots appeared, but his amazing ability to see the shot and shape the ball, and not give up, kept him in touch with the leaders. He shot 69 in the last round and was all over the course, anyone else would have probably scored in the mid seventies.

So if your looking to lower your scores and become a more consistent player, you must work on your bunker shots, your chipping and putting.

We all know this but how many golfers actually practice their short game, they would rather hit the driver!

So spend  at least 60% of your  practice time improving your short game, it really will be worth it and watch your scores come down.

One huge reason why golfers are not improving is because they are either trying to work out what is wrong for themselves, or asking friends, or golfing buddies, and its like the blind leading the blind. It will never work, it  just leads to more FRUSTRATION. 

When a student of mine hits a thin shot or tops it, at the beginning they say, “I lifted my head” or “I wasn`t watching the ball”

Now I have never seen that happen myself, but that is such a typical reaction of so many, their friends told them “you looked up”  other advice is “keep your head down” etc etc. They soon learn the TRUTH ! 

They commit the cardinal sin of working on wrong information, its well meaning but wrong ! 

So what am I saying here, well its simple YOU MUST GET A DIAGNOSIS FROM A GOLF PROFESSIONAL, someone who has spent years, studying the golf swing, and knows how to impart the neccesary information, I did say neccesary, not just lots of information, because that will cause the “Paralysis by Analysis” syndrome and the student will just freeze.

So how do you change your game, or learn the game? R. M. P. G.

You must RECOGNISE your errors or RECOGNISE what you have to learn.

MONITOR what you are changing thoroughly, don`t just rely on your FEEL, look at precisely what you are REALLY doing.

Do it slowly and get it right, developing  a new swing pattern takes time, it takes CORRECT  PRACTICE.

Do enough CORRECT repetitions and you will GROOVE IT in. 

If you carry out these straightforward steps you will IMPROVE your golf and you will get much more satisfaction out of this great game.

ARE YOU READY TO FINALLY IMPROVE YOUR GAME ?

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aliens guide to better golf!

 

An AMAZING opportunity arises, a visitor who has never heard of Golf volunteers to  help  me & all the golfers on  planet Earth!

How could I resist, this was our conversation! 

I have explained to the Alien the basic principles of golf, so it understands the rudiments of the game.

Now I can tell the alien what I need, and using its superior understanding of the universe, will be able to help all golfers get better!

Aliens asks .       What is the prime objective in playing, 18 holes of golf?

Me                          To go round the 18 holes in as few shots as possible, to hit the ball as far as possible, be consistent  & hit it as straight as possible.To hole putts, to have a great short game, to control my mind, to be calm under pressure, to stay focused, be in the zone, ignore my opponents!

Alien                      Ok Ok, calm down, I only have a limited time here on Planet Earth!

                                 You are telling me golfers on Earth are still learning this stuff?  

Me                           Well we have only been playing for a few hundred years!

Alien                       Not long then?

                                  So to achieve this you would have to have as much control as possible        over yourself,  the golf ball, its direction, its power and its flight. I understand.

You would need to maximise and harness all your tools, make the machine the best you can.

Me                          What do you mean the machine?

Alien                      You, your mind and body, that is everything.

Me                          Yes, the machine must be as consistent and powerfull as possible.  

Me                          Can anything destroy the machines results?

Alien                       Yes of course, your mind/brain could interfere, get confused, wrong advice!

Me                           Ok so to achieve this outcome what do I need to do ?

Alien                       You on Earth have heard of Back Engineering, so lets start at the end.What do you need to get the results you want. How much power do you require to hit a small ball over 300 hundred yards, work it out. How can a mere human achieve this, what muscles can you use to power this, what are the laws you are using, the physics required, its all simple stuff!   

Alien                       Use the laws of Physics as you know them, and anatomy to build the best machine you can. Make it  as simple, strong and efficient as you humans can, so it can repeat, and be more efficient.

Me                           Golf really is a power game, and I need to hit the ball 300 yards, with as much control as possible.

Alien                       To do this you need to work the machine in the most powerful way you can, which is using what you call rotation, and the old  centrifugal force, making sure you move the machine in the best sequence to generate and retain power. This is done by moving the part of the machine nearest the ground first, using the ground to push against and then the next stage works transferring energy into the next segment, then the club will have more energy to impart into the golf ball as you unwind in sequence.

So you can multiply your power.

Its so obvious really! Its like the old rocket technology, fire the energy into the ground which will push the object away with greater force.

Me                           There are a lot of opinions & myths in my golfing world, thank you for your help. 

                                 How can I contact you again?

Alien                        I will contact you!  Oh & when you have mastered this old stuff I will return and really show you the future!

Do what Tigers doing -Plan to Get Better in 2011

Tiger is still planning to get  even better than before, better than when he was winning those Majors, that is what drives him onwards, to seek to become the best he can be , and to continue to improve his swing, his fitness, his mind.

He was asked how are his swing changes going, and his reply was  that he needs to be patient, keep doing the correct drills and  enough repetitions so he can master his new movement.

So that information is nothing new to me , but for you that might be a surprise, a surprise that even Tiger needs to work consistently on his swing changes, the need to be patient, or you will become become frustrated if those changes are not on auto after a few buckets of balls, the need to have a PLAN , so you know exactly what you want, and how to get there.

To become better at anything you need to work out what is wrong, why is my ball curving away from the target, why are my divots on the wrong line, why am I topping it, why do I hit some shots really well, then hit it all over the golf course, etc etc.

Get rid of FRUSTRATION  and DOUBT  and plan to make some changes to your game in 2011, follow TIGER,  if its not working CHANGE IT !  Hire yourself a PGA Professional .

So how to make yourself better in 2011. What you need to do for improvement.

1. Go to a Golf Professional.

2. Get your swing filmed on Hi- speed video .

3. Practice what you need to work on Regularly, start slowly, remember my R.M.P.G. Recognise it, Monitor it, Practice it, Groove it.

4. Start  working on your Mobility, develop a stretching routine , get that stiffness out and swing more freely. 

4. Work on your Putting  stroke indoors with a putting plane board.

If you do this and the KEY is Keep doing the Correct practice, you will get better and enjoy your golf even more in 2011 !!

David Bown  PGA AA Professional  Authorized Golfing Machine Instructor

 

contact 07973 746872          david@bowngolf.com

 

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. 
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