Thursday, November 30, 2017

Avoidance Drills Video by George Gankas

Here's a video from George Gankas discussing 'avoidance drills.'

As I have discussed in my Swing Journal posts, I am not a big fan of drills as a whole.  However, I feel the drills that are worth doing are ones that have the golfer take a full backswing.  I feel that the transition is such a critical part of any golf swing and there's nothing that can prepare you to execute your transition move like actually taking a full backswing.

What I like about this video is not only is there a full backswing being made, but George describing how the golfer has to avoid the object and how that often translates to learning more quickly.  I started to implement a few avoidance drills of my own and I'm starting to ingrain new movement patterns more quickly.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Old Sam Snead Footage

I saw this video a while ago and enjoyed watching it.  I wanted to put this on my Ikkos CopyMe Golf App, but I cannot get Ikkos to work on my Android phone.

And some nice up close footage of Snead's choice lower body action:


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How to Practice with Lucas Wald

My friend Lucas Wald has made a great series of videos on the golf swing and instructional concepts on his YouTube channel.  Here's one of my favorites...discussing the slow motion swing training.

I use slow motion training with my golf swing practice and I find it vital when it comes to ingraining new movement patterns.

I feel the greatest benefits of the slow motion training is that it allows me to develop my own feel for the movement I am working on.  I'm not a big fan of teachers that teach golfers a feel to start out with.  I think that it's better to utilize slow motion training and allow the golfer to be aware of what they are feeling in order to execute the motion.  If the golfer struggles to develop that feel, then recommending a feel so the golfer can grasp the concept is applicable.

Once I have established the feel, I use that feel simply as a guideline for my upcoming practice sessions.  I then use slow motion practice and the feel(s) I have established to execute the motion consistently.  However, as I continue to use slow motion practice, that conscious thinking of the 'feel' should go away.

I'm always working towards an 'Unconscious Competency' concept in my golf swing.  By consciously thinking about a swing feel, I'm essentially creating a swing thought and all I have done is use 'conscious competency' and I am 'playing golf swing instead of playing golf.'

Years ago I was reading an article where they were discussing how Fred Couples hits a draw or fade on purpose.  According to the article, Couples said that when he was going into his pre-shot routine, he would visualize himself hitting the shot and then he would go up and hit the shot.

I used to think that was completely nonsensical.  I wanted to know if he addressed the ball differently, did he swing more out to the right or to the left, etc. and I chalked it up to 'Freddie being Freddie.'

But after using slow motion practice I started to see what Couples was saying.  It's not about a swing thought or a visual as much as it is sensing the motion you have to make to get the ball to do what you want.

I think this video with Bubba Watson is great.  While it goes into the science of the shot, Bubba explains how he *sensed* what he had to do in order to hit a roundhouse hook with a wedge:

And that's what slow motion training can do if the golfer does it correctly and is diligent practicing it.  It can get the golfer to sense their swing rather than think about a swing feel or a visual.  And they can not only start to ingraining the new movement patterns more quickly, but they can start playing golf instead of playing golf swing and shoot better scores and derive more enjoyment from the game.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Swing Journal 11.24.17

Some readers requested a DTL view of my latest swing:

I'm still a little steep for my tastes on the downswing, but this is a quality improvement and the release is much more stable.

Normally this clubface would be rotated more closed at this point.

And this was not a toe strike to make the face open up thru impact.

I have started to have some light bulbs turn on with regards to my swing thanks to the lessons from Denny Lucas and Jeff Haas along with the videos from Joe Mayo, Dr. Sasho MacKenzie, Grant Waite and George Gankas.

There are still some things I want to work on.

I tend to bend over and hunch over too much at address.  In order to prevent that I've stood more upright at address.  But that has also caused me to reach for the ball too much.  This is a 5-iron being swung here.  I think the hands should be more under the chin...particularly the right index finger.  I'm reaching a little bit to the ball and that is making it difficult to pivot on the downswing.  Much like Moe Norman who reached for the ball and he dipped and slid on the downswing instead of rotating.  As many know, I'm a huge fan of Moe, but I'm not trying to swing the same mechanics as he had.

We've talked about this numerous times about how the right femur and hip has to more or less 'stay back' and externally rotate while he left femur and left hip will separate and rotate in the other direction.

But prior to that as in the Mayo videos show, you want to lower the pelvis adequately enough before you start rotating. We can lower the pelvis thru left hip flexion in transition.

I will be working on a better sequence to my transition of:

1.  Lowering the pelvis.

2.  Rotating the left hip while the right hip/femur goes into external rotation

I tend to rotate the pelvis before I lower it.  And that causes me to start pushing with the right leg/foot and sliding the pelvis. Therefore, I start to stall out my rotation and the shaft will start to pull down more and thus steepen.

There are some other swing keys I've figured out that I think have been very beneficial to me thus far.  I will see how they progress before I start to discuss them here.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jon Rahm's Body-Swing Connection with MyTPI

Here's an interesting analysis of Jon Rahm's swing using 3D motion capture from the Titleist Performance Institute:


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What to Look For: RSM Classic

The Tour returns to Sea Island for the 7th annual RSM Classic.

This is a lower purse size event that generates a decent field because it's the last event of the year before the Tour goes on a break and returns to action in Hawaii.  Many golfers don't care for the travel to Hawaii and then end up waiting until the Tour returns to Palm Springs for the CareerBuilder Challenge.

The event started in 2010 by resident pros Davis Love III and Zach Johnson.  Sea Island is one of the popular residences for PGA Tour players these days along with Jupiter, FL, Orlando, Dallas and Scottsdale.

The course is pretty well received.  For the past 2 events they have used both the Seaside and Plantation course in rounds 1 and 2.  I have not heard any feedback on the Plantation course, but the reviews have been positive for the Seaside course.

Generally, this is a course that is very much about iron play and accurate driving.  However, with the windy conditions that may mean that Short Game performance could be more vital because the GIR % will go down.

Also, don't be surprised to see a super low score out there as that has generally been going on every year like Tommy 'Two Gloves' Gainey's final round of 60 to win the 2012 event.

Projected Winning Score: -16


Kevin Kisner +1,600
Webb Simpson +2,000
Matt Kuchar +2,000
Bill Haas +2,500
Zach Johnson +3,300


Bud Cauley +5000
Hudson Swafford +6,600
Bubba Watson +6,600
Robert Garrigus +12,500
Jim Herman +20,000


Monday, November 13, 2017

Swing Journal 11.13.17

Here's a video of my latest swing.

I haven't posted in a while.  First, I was planning on getting a lesson from Denny Lucas & Jeff Haas about once every 6 weeks.  I was planning to get another lesson after a week long vacation I took in the middle of July.  However, I caught pertussis and after I came back from the vacation, I took 4 weeks off.

Then I wanted to get my swing back and that took a few weeks, only for Hurricane Irma to come along. 

That shut down golf for another week and when I tried to get back into the swing of things...more rain would shut down the driving ranges and golf courses.

I think there are some improvements at impact (first photo is from October, second photo is from May)

The 'after' photo shows less secondary tilt and the hands are more 'forward'/towards the target than in the 'before' photo.

In the release, I'm now more of a rolling release instead of the flip-roll release. The goal is to get rid of the roll release as well.  But in the end, this has resulted in better launch angles and hitting the irons about 5-10 yards further.

This is all set up by a better move in transition that allows me to not tilt the upper body too much in the downswing.

The differences are slight, but in the first pic the pelvis is in left pelvic tilt.  The second pic the hips are more level.  So in the second pic, the pelvis pushes forward laterally instead of rotating.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

3Jack's WITB: 11/9/17

Here's my latest What's In The Bag.

I will be giving updates on my golf swing progress, soon.

DRIVERS: Callaway Epic 9.0* loft, 45-3/8" Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7x shaft, TaylorMade M1 9.5* loft, 45-3/8" Fujikura VC6.1 shaft (X-Stiff)

3-WOOD: Cobra King F6+ 13* loft, 43" Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7x shaft

2-HYBRID: Titleist 816H1, 17* loft, 41" Fujikura Motore HB8.8 Tour Spec shaft (stiff)

3-HYBRID: Titleist 816H2, 19* loft, 40-3/4" Fujikura Motore HB8.8 Tour Spec shaft (stiff)

4-IRON thru P-WEDGE: Srixon Z945, standard loft and lie, variable incremental lengths, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 Shafts

S-WEDGE: Titleist Vokey SM6 F-Grind, 52* loft, 12* bounce, 36-1/4" Nippon Modus 125 Wedge Shaft

L-WEDGE: Edel Golf Digger Grind, 60* loft, 22* bounce, 35-5/8" Nippon Modus 125 Wedge Shaft

PUTTER: Toulon Design Long Island, 3* loft, 70* lie angle, 35" long.

RANGEFINDER: Bushnell Pro X2

I plan on doing a pretty major overhaul of my equipment in the Spring of 2018.  I will look to get fitted and see what driver, 3-wood, irons, S-Wedge and putter work best for me. 

I had to take some time off from working on my swing for various reasons (I will get to when I post my next swing journal).  However, I have been able to get back to working on my swing and the progress has been good that I feel that if I can continue to work on my swing without being impeded, I can get it pretty close to where I want it by Spring 2018 and then get better fitted for clubs.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What To Look For: Shriners Childrens Hospital Open

The Tour returns to Las Vegas for the 34th Shriners Childrens Hospital Open.

This is one of the more popular venues on Tour as the course, location and cause for the Shriners Children Hospital are all well respected. It has led to great moments like these

TPC Summerlin was designed by Bobby Weed back in 1991. I think Weed is a very underrated designer of golf courses. I really like another Weed design in TPC Tampa Bay. TPC Tampa Bay gets knocked a lot on the internet, but that’s due to the steep pricing. But, by itself it’s a very good design. The same with TPC River Highlands. I also like the renovations he did to the old Donald Ross design in Tampa, Palma Ceia as well as Jacaranda in Plantation, FL and Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach.

Summerlin is a low scoring course that’s about hitting approach shots close more than anything. The greens have fairly highly make percentages, but the course is one of the toughest on Tour when it comes to short game shots around the green.

It’s also very critical to hit the driver well on the par-5’s here because it can be the difference between eagle/birdie and making bogey. I think there are enough nuances and ‘form follows function’ by Weed that make this another solid design project of his.

The last critical hole on the course is the par-5 16th.

Lastly, UNLV alum Charley Hoffman will be donating 100% of his earnings to the families of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

Projected Winning Score: -21


Tony Finau +1,600
Charley Hoffman +2,500
Chesson Hadley +2,500
Shane Lowry +2,800
Gary Woodland +2,800
Ryan Moore +2,800


Bryson DeChambeau +6,600
Ryan Armour +6,600
Ben Martin +8,000
Richy Werenski +12,500