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March 2010

Published on 22/03/2010

Spring Warm-up
 
Now that spring is almost upon us and the warm weather will be returning, it is that time of year to dust off the clubs and get back onto the practice area and rehearse those fundamentals. Fundamentals are perhaps the most important area of the golf swing for you Club golfers, and are even more important for the tour Pro’s. Remember the word GAP. Those are our fundamentals. It stands for Grip, Alignment, and Posture.
 
The most important factor when it comes to grip is that the left hand is holding the club in the fingers. Too often I see Club golfers that have their grip too much in the palm of the left hand. This will rob the player of distance and control. To get the proper left hand grip place the club off your left foot with the grip behind your body. When you let your hand hold the club from this position you will notice that you will be holding the grip in the fingers of your left hand. Now you can bring the club in front of you and place your right hand on the club. Make sure that the life line of your right hand sits comfortably over your left thumb. You should also notice that the V’s formed by your thumb and forefinger are pointing at your right shoulder. Now that you know how to grip the club correctly your posture will be extremely important for allowing your body to turn correctly and produce a lot of power. To set up with the proper posture follow these steps:
 
1. Stand straight up with your arms and club extended in front of you
2. Look down between your arms and bend your knees until you can’t see your shoelaces
3. Drop your arms to your chest. The club should be a foot or so off the ground
4. Keeping your back straight, bend from the hips until the club touches the ground.
You have now set your body up in the proper position to allow it to turn correctly in the swing.
 
Finally, it is important to set up your body aimed 'PARALLEL' to the target. Not very often do I see our tour players practice without a club laying on the ground to aid in their alignment. Very rarely in fact do I see amateurs use this drill to aid them in their practice. First, understand that we will lay a club aimed directly at our target. Next place a club parallel to that club but more along your feet line. Set up in this position and double check that your hips and shoulders are parallel with the club on the ground. You can now remove the first club and be confident that your alignment will be aimed square to the target.
 
Fundamentals are the most important areas of the golf swing and setup is crucial to being consistent. Do not forget about the word GAP and use it on the practice area. Starting with the proper fundamentals will allow your swing to happen more naturally and will allow you to be ahead of your playing partners on the weekend.

With the new golf season nearly upon us, I'm sure like me your excited about your prospects for improving your golf game and having some real enjoyment from your play this year? With your personal golf development in mind, I have organised what promises to be a wonderful 'workshop' experience on Monday 26th April 2010.

Our guest speaker on the evening is fellow PGA Professional Dr Karl Morris, who is widely regarded as being the world’s leading Mind Coach. You will be amazed as to how simply he can help transform your game for the better. In fact Karl is confident he can knock 5 shots off your round by using these new mental tools and techniques, WITHOUT CHANGING YOUR SWING! You maybe a little sceptical, but this actually works!
 
Below I've included an extract from one of his recent Newsletters:-
 
TOO MUCH TIME TO THINK !!!
We have talked about heroes in the past and some villains! But, this month I want to talk to you about a hero of mine and an extraordinary story that could have a BIG impact on your own golf.
 
Andrew Stevenson may not be a well known tournament Professional - he is a PGA professional at a Warrington Golf Club called Mersey Valley in Cheshire. He recently told me of a story that absolutely had my jaw hanging down in amazement. Just to give you a little background to this. Andrew's daughter, Beth, has a condition called Rett Syndrome which basically at this moment in time gives a child a short term life expectancy. There is much excitement about the development in research on a solution but at this stage little or no general awareness. Andrew has done an unbelievable amount of fund raising events to raise both finance and awareness and here is where the story begins.
 
One event he dreamt up was a 36 hour non-stop golf marathon which would turn out to be 8 consecutive non-stop rounds and 7 holes! Not for the faint hearted I am sure you would agree! The goal was to literally play as many holes as possible in 36 hours without taking a break but WITH a marked score involved so it wasn’t just hitting the ball without any consequence. Andrew then went on to reel off the scores, which is where the story REALLY gripped my attention.
 
He started with 74 then a 73 against a par of 72. Not bad, but nothing outstanding for a Pro. Rounds two three and four were 71, 71 and 70. Pretty good considering he must have been getting very tired. Then five, six, seven and eight.....70 ...68 ...67..... and to finish off 66!!! What on earth had gone on here?
 
Logically, you would have thought as he got more tired the scores would have suffered. As he got to the point where as he said he was literally just walking up to it and hitting it, you would have thought that surely he would start getting a bit careless and a bit wild? Well, the scores tell us a somewhat different story, an extraordinary tale which a great many of us could perhaps learn to look at and gain something for our own game.
 
Not for one minute am I saying that this applies to everyone but I do think a number of us have become too cautious as golfers, too analytical, too concerned with the outcome of the shot. Andrew recalled at the end of his marathon he kept just looking at the target, pulling the trigger and as he said he 'just couldn't miss'!
 
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THIS?
Maybe we should start to play golf with a little bit more of a carefree attitude and a bit more trust in our own innate abilities. Of course, we need to train our swings, to work on our technique but how about we get out onto the course and commit to REDUCE our THINKING?! As someone once said to me we are 'drowning in information but thirsting for knowledge'. We have a game where we are ALL party to so much information about golf that we are literally getting in our own way with information paralysis. Maybe the curse of slow play that haunts SO many medal rounds up and down the country is actually HARMING our scores. We are taking MORE time to play WORSE. Could a faster round of golf actually reduce our scores? It is worth thinking about on many levels. Andrew Stevenson's extraordinary tale asks all of us some very important questions about the way we approach our game.
 
For more information or to book your seat for this TICKET ONLY event, please pop into the Proshop or call me on 01792 299194.
 
Professionally Custom fit irons for our Christmas Draw winner

 

In what was a record entry for this year’s Proshop Christmas Draw which reflected the interest in this year’s top prize, Byron Edwards proved to be the lucky winner. Byron previously had possessed not a single club in his bag that had been Professionally Fitted to his game, so this was indeed a treat for Byron, a long time Fairwood Park member and keen Thursday League competitor. On his fitting process experience, Byron commented, ' Well, I’ve got no excuses now for poor play! If I hit a bad one now, I know it’s definitely been my fault, and nothing to do with the clubs!

 
I was surprised by some of the recommendations though, as some of the specifications were not what one would have thought I'd necessarily have needed. But having understood why I needed flatter lie angles due to my stance and slightly tip-stiffer in the regular shaft flex due to my short backswing and forceful start to my downswing, it made perfect sense. Not only that, the proof is in the pudding as they say and they just feel and perform brilliantly. Now I'm getting used to using the Hybrids instead of the mid and longer irons, they're making my long approach shots from the fairway so much easier, and ultimately makes the game more fun'!
 
Well, that's recommendation indeed!  If you are interested in finding out whether your current equipment is actively holding your game back, pop into the Proshop and have a chat with me.
 
Until the next time,
 
Gary.

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