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A Tip from Bruce Lee: Don’t Think F-E-E-L

Feel don't think

What does f-e-e-l have to do with Golf?

I’ve always loved this clip from Bruce Lee’s ENTER THE DRAGON’ where he’s teaching his student ‘Not To Think…But F-E-E-L’.  He then uses the example of pointing a finger at the moon; ie, if you “concentrate on the finger, you’ll miss all that heavenly glory”.

This principle is ‘So True’ when applying to hitting golf shots.  Using this analogy, think of the finger as being your golf swing and don’t focus so much on your golf swing – but rather the ‘heavenly glory’ of the ball streaking towards the pin. Having played with and worked with hundreds of Great Players all my life, I’ve learned that the main difference between amateurs and pros is how they  visualize and F-e-e-L their shots before they hit the ball.  Pros play golf as if it were a chess game, ie plotting  precisely where they want the ball to end up and then rehearsing their shots and swings to match the intended shot. On the other hand, the majority of high handicappers are usually playing ‘Swing’ rather than playing ’Shots’.  (I also know a lot of high handicappers who don’t even aim!).

I think that the HARDEST THING TO DO IN GOLF IS TO TRUST YOUR SWING! And even when a high handicapper focuses their energy on ‘just the shot’ and the shot doesn’t come off as they had visualized it, they then try to figure out what went wrong in their swing. Instead of trying to ‘figure it out’ TRUST it and keep on putting your focused energy into the ball going to the target – No Matter What!

Phil Shot Track

Over the years I have worked with many of the top golfers in the world and one thing that stood out with all of them was their ability to see things in a different way than the everyday golfer. I was also lucky enough to work with the great Bobby Foster who has put together a mental profile test that can help you best understand your strengths and weaknesses. I recommend everyone take this test to see where they stand. Click below to take yours today. 

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Comparing the Golf Swing and Pitching a Baseball

Compare Golf and Baseball

 

Start Down with the Lower Body for a solid Golf Swing

At some time or another, nearly all golf instructors compare the Golf Swing Motion to other sports, especially hitting a baseball, throwing a ball, etc.  However, it’s seldom when instructors teach the same mechanics that are similar in both motions.

In today’s V1 video analysis, I’m comparing the weight transfer of Jack Nicklaus and one of today’s great pitchers, Zach Greinke.  Specifically, I’m showing the similarities of the weight transfer from the Right Sides into the Front foot and focusing on the Left Leg Action.

Weight Transfer in the Swing

We’ve all come to believe that the Weight Transfer goes to the Right – then back to the Left.  That’s obviously true, BUT, what really happens is that the weight goes into the Right foot THEN presses down into the ground from the Right Hip and Knee; This motion called Flexion of the Right Knee then helps PUSH the left leg and hip over to the left – which is called External Rotation of the Left Knee and Leg.    As the left leg plants and Rotates AROUND TO THE LEFT, the forces then come back around to the Right Foot where the energy of the Right side EXPLODES from the ground and unleashes the power.

(I know this is probably sounding technical, but from the top of your swing, simply concentrate on Pushing slightly into the Right foot, and allow the Left Knee to separate back over to the front foot, and remember, this is happening  in less than .2 of a second!.)

Give it a Try

Next time you’re out on the range, from the top of your backswing, try pushing down slightly into your back foot, and concentrate on letting your left knee Shift and Rotate around to the Left.

Starting down with the lower Body is KEY to executing a solid Shot, Throw, or Hit.

For more lessons and tips like this go to our Golf Instruction gallery or join the online learning center.

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Free Up Your Swing With The No Reference Drill

No Reference Drill

The No Reference Drill

I got this drill from an outstanding teacher named David Lee, who had a program called Gravity Golf – and it’s a GREAT drill to FREE UP your swing and get rid of tension!

 

No Doubt, Tension is probably THE #1 factor in ruining a golf shot (and life for that matter), and playing with Relaxed Arms is what we want to do.  When a golfer gets too ‘tight’, the arms are usually what reacts first.  Taking the club back with too much tension, will actually slow down the body and retard the rhythm and weight transfer in your golf swing motion.

 

When you first try the NO REFERENCE DRILL, you may feel somewhat intimidated at first, but keep doing it, and I’m sure you’ll begin to gain confidence and  feel that ‘Peaceful easy Feeling’.

 

To see more videos like this check out our golf instruction video section of our website. For unlimited access to members only instruction videos on golf, fitness, flexibility and posture join the Online Learning Center

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What is External Rotation?

External Rotation

 

Sam Snead External Rotation
Sam Snead

 

 

One thing is FOR SURE in the Golf Swing, and that Thing is that THE LOWER BODY MUST START THE DOWNSWING… FIRST!!  Period..End of Story!  And despite the fact that all great players acknowledge this, there is a wide range of  F-E-E-L’s that they all experience when asked to describe what part of their lower body actually starts down First?

External Rotation Explained

Ben Hogan External Rotation
Ben Hogan

The majority of players feel their Left Hip Starting to Unwind and Rotate down through the ball – Others feel that they actually kickoff of their right foot or knee – Some actually feel that they’re Swinging from the top ( but they’re really not) But the INTENT of swinging from the top will often Propel the lower Body into reacting properly.  On that note, the INTENT of Swinging  from the top in my view, is a ‘sometimes’ a dangerous one because if a golfer is putting his energy and focus into his hands and arms, it will have a tendency to slow the lower body down, and the golfer will often end up stuck on their right side.

One of the things that SHOULD happen, is the Left Knee should begin shifting over on top of the Left Foot and simultaneously be Rotating Rearward.  So, it’s not just a Shift and it’s not just a Turn but a blend of both.

In today’s video, I’m demonstrating correct Left Knee Action and if you practice this, you’ll surely begin to Feel how the transition occurs from the Lower Body up to the Upper Body, and also feel that the Left Knee and Hip actually PULL the club down for you.

For more information and videos on topics such as external rotation and other aspects of a flexible golf swing pick up a copy of Roger Fredericks Reveals the Secrets to Golf Swing Flexibility or sign up for a membership to Golf Instruction and Fitness Learning Center.

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See Video Transcript

Hi, I’m roger Fredericks and I’m coming to you from the beautiful omni la costa resort and spa on a legends course right here on north county San Diego, another beautiful day come out and visit us next time you're out this way

Now you have probably heard the term lately called external rotation, what does that mean? Before i get into the explanation of what it is. I’m going back just a little bit. There are a lot of different feelings that great players have about what actually starts the downswings, one thing for sure the lower body starts. I have worked with a lot of great players, i have played with a lot of great players and trust me when i say i have picked their brains. I have asked just about everyone. What do they feel like when they start down? Some great players most of them actually feels that the left hip is leading the way and turning and getting out of the way. Other great players feel that the left hip actually just pulls back over there. If you do that too much though it will actually create a slide and believe it or not i rather see a slide moving the weight into the front foot than i would hanging back here (back foot) and causing a hand flip. Anyway, back to what i was talking about, other great players feels like they are actually just kicking the right knee in, and the right foot, getting their weight on the right side. Other great players feel like they are instigating the downswing by swinging from the top which actually creates all of the other things that i was just mentioning. But when i was younger and playing my best i used to feel like my left hip was being pulled and really getting out of the way, in fact my right foot used to slide quite a bit. A lot of great players did that, Billy Casper, Greg Norman, just to name a few. Now as i gotten older i don't quite feel my left hip as much, i still do. but not as much as i used too. What i feel more now is i feel that my left knee starts to rotate over, now this is different than just moving the left knee this way on top of the left foot which is pretty much where i want to go. But now i feel like its turning over, I’ll get a bit closer to show you what i mean, is rotating this way creates a separation when i do that the arms and the clubs actually drop down and stay caught right to the inside. So one of my pet peeves is repeating my pet peeves because i fought it all my life, is actually getting up here is straightening my left leg too soon and once you do that you come up then the club just get thrown away and loses a lot of power. So I’ll try to hit a shot here, just kind of a half shot in slow motion showing how you can practice external rotation with your left knee. So i do a little bit of kick, come back in here and then from there i actually will be squat down as it rotates. Now you see that it feels really good. When i do that everything is just automatic that i don't have to think about all this other stuff coming down. So again, practice external rotation you can just stand up there, rotate the left knee but make sure you're sinking down into the ball and not just rotating and coming up.

Hope that helps, thanks for tuning in and be sure to come out and see us next time out in San Diego county at omni la costa resort and spa

 

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Just Breathe

ACTION_copyright_Ben7.jpg

In this video clip, I explain to Dave Phillips and Dr. Greg Rose – Founders of The Titleist Performance Institute, precisely how breathing is crucial for superb flexibility.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, my staff and I have asked virtually thousands of our students who come to our golf instruction schools if they stretch?  For many years, it “used” to surprise me how many people said they did!

Continue reading Just Breathe

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Get in Balance at the Top of your Swing with the SET – TURN – and PLACE DRILL

Balance in your golf swing

Want to Improve Balance in Your Golf Swing?

Here’s another simple and effective drill that will help you improve balanced in your golf swing. This is simply called The SET – TURN – AND PLACE DRILL. (This Drill is a compliment to a recent Drill I sent out called the PLACE AND LIFT DRILL, which is also designed to help you attain Balance at the Top of your swing).

When a golfer’s weight is perfectly balanced in the ground, and their shoulders have coiled comfortably on the right plane, Everything Will Feel ‘LIGHT’; and that feeling of being ‘Light’ at the top is a sure sign that your Downswing will automatically move into the ball in a properly timed sequence.

I’m sure there have been many times when you’ve hit a Great shot and it felt like ‘NOTHING!’ and THAT’S WHAT WE WANT!

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PUTTING FUNDAMENTALS TO GET TOPSPIN

Putting Stance for Topspin

There’ve been a lot of great putters throughout history and who’ve had a lot of different Putting Methods. We’ve seen Great Putters who were wristy like Arnold Palmer, Isao Aoki, and Billy Casper; Great Putters who had No Wrists, like Bob Charles, Putters that used Crosshand, the Claw, ad infintium.

There have also been great putters like Tom Watson and Brandt Snedeker who ‘popped’ the ball.

However, I think that despite the many varied characteristics of putting styles, one thing we all want to do is achieve TOPSPIN on the ball. When the ball is ‘Turning Over’, there’s a much better chance of it holding the line and going where we want it to. Getting the ball to Roll with more authority is much better than getting the ball Airborne – where it will tend to wobble and be less consistent.

THE Best way to get topspin is by hitting slightly up on the ball, and in today’s video, I’ll show you some of the fundamentals to follow to get yourself set up for a nice smooth stroke and get the Topspin you want on the ball.

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GET IN BALANCE AT THE TOP WITH THE ‘PLACE AND LIFT’ DRILL

Place and Lift

Improve Balance for a Better Golf Swing

If you’re like most golfers, I’m sure that there have been many times when during your backswing, you just KNEW you had a good shot coming because you were SO In Balance and everything felt ‘Just Right’! THEN, I’m sure that there have been other times, where you knew right from the ‘Get Go’ that you were in trouble (like the ‘Hip Slider’ on the right) and just HOPED that you could somehow recover and get away with it. In those instances, you were probably Out of Balance.

What is good balance? In my definition, Being in Balance, is when your
Weight is perfectly centered on the Back Foot from front to back – the club is feeling light,
Because your Lower and Upper Body were in sync, and your Breathing and Mind were Still.

In today’s video, I’m demonstrating a Simple Drill called the ‘PLACE AND LIFT’
DRILL that can be practiced just about anywhere. You’ll find that when you
Practice the PLACE AND LIFT DRILL, you’ll find your weight is Balanced on your Right
Foot – Your Shoulders have coiled Behind and Inside the Ball, and the club feels like it’s just ‘Floating’.

From there, the weight shifts naturally – the club will automatically drop down into the inside – which will automatically allow your hips and shoulders to turn through the ball.

For more videos and drills like this sign up for our Free Newsletter or to received access to hundreds of videos, tips, discounts on apparel, and more become a member today.

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A SIMPLE DRILL TO STAY IN YOUR SPINE ANGLE

Standing Up Through Impact

(And Not ‘Stand Up’ through the shot)

Having Trouble Staying in your Spine Angle?

Coming UP and OUT of your swing (or Standing Up -Early Extension as they say these days), is one of THE most common swing faults that we see – especially among senior citizens. A few of the problems that arise from ‘Standing Up’ are: Unloading of the Hips and Lower Body – Losing Shoulder Coil – Poor Weight Transfer – Casting – etc., etc. In today’s video I’m demonstrating a higher handicapper Standing Up, and Sergio Garcia staying in his Spine Angle.

All great players COIL their muscles with the upper torso against the lower torso, which creates some ‘Big Time’ Energy and Power! It also allows us have better balance and communication with the ground. However, when one Stands Up, they lose all of the Contraction that we’re trying to achieve.

In many cases, the cause of Coming UP and OUT is often times found in tight or weak Glutes and Hip Flexors, not to mention dysfunctions in our Lower Body Muscles, Ie. Tight or weak Quads and Hamstrings. If this is true for you, my #1 Suggestion is to get back on my Flexibility Programs and regain the Range of Motion that our golf swings so desperately need.

Maintain Your Spine Angle

These photos show a Great Drill to practice to Stay in your Spine Angle. Merely stand against a wall in an Address Position with both Glutes against the wall. Then, make some backswings making sure your right Fanny stays on the wall (you’ll notice that your left glute slightly gets pulled off it), and on the Through Swing, your Left Fanny presses against the wall (with your right glute off).

This drill is GREAT, and when you master it, you won’t believe how much more Consistent and Powerful your golf swing will become!

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHOULDER ‘TURN’ AND ‘SIDE BEND’

Turn And Side Bend

 

What is Shoulder Turn and Side Bend in the Golf Swing?

The term ‘Shoulder Turn’ has been around for a long, long time, but in my view, it doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, it can be misleading to a lot of people. In reality to have proper golf swing form, the spine and clavicles do turn, but there’s also quite a bit of ‘Side Bending’ going on.

Proper Golf Swing Form

In other words, you don’t want to Just Turn, but you also want the Left Shoulder to Tilt Downward towards the ball. Doing so, will accomplish several positive things: One being that you’ll ‘load’ more force/contraction into your Right hip – not to mention the ground; plus you’ll be Coiling your upper trunk much more powerfully; this in turn keeps you in much better control of your arms.

Remember, in the human body, the BIG MUSCLES CONTROL LITTLE MUSCLES, and if the Upper Trunk and the Lower Trunk aren’t jiving with each other, the arms will tend to flail out of control.

THE BODY IS ONE WORKING UNIT, AND WE WANT ALL THE MOVING COMPONENTS TO BE IN CONCERT WITH EACH OTHER.

In Today’s video, I’ll explain the difference between ‘Turning and Side Bending’ which will hopefully get your golf game Headed in the Right Direction.

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STRENGTHEN YOUR GLUTES AND ADDRESS POSITION With the CHAIR POSE

Chair Pose

Strong Glutes and Functional Hip Flexors are Crucial to playing good golf! When people don’t have ample Strength and Function in these areas, they are going to have a hard time maintaining a solid base in their lower bodies; And without a solid base, the upper body won’t have anything to coil against and will often take over making it an arms and shoulders only swing.

Sit down at address

For years, I’ve seen golf instructors tell their students to ‘Stick their butt out’ – ‘Get their backs straight’, etc., but the truth is; when the student tries to do this, they’ll be straining and actually putting tension in their golf swings – let alone, when they begin to swing and the forces are then placed down upon the torso, the golfer will inevitably ‘Come Out’ of their spine angle and lose all control.

A simple exercise to remedy this situation which will actually Strengthen the Glutes and Back, is called THE CHAIR POSE. This pose can be done anytime, anywhere, and preferably a few times during the day, especially if you’re sitting down a lot.

In today’s video, I’m demonstrating a couple of ways to do the Chair Pose, and you can actually do them Actively (Hold for 1-2 seconds and standing up), or Static, where you can hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.

Either way, the Chair Pose will definitely help you On and Off the Course!

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SOMETIMES LESS BACKSWING IS BETTER THAN MORE

The Dick Mayer Drill

Overswing

 

What is the best amount of Golf Backswing?

In my experience, a very high percentage of amateurs have ‘Too Many’ Moving Parts going on in their golf backswings, and Over Swinging is certainly one of those excessive moving parts.

Usually golfers over swing for Two Reasons:

1) Because they’re trying to hit the ball too far, and

2) Their lack of flexibility forces them to make compensations throughout their swings.

The truth is however, that a person doesn’t necessarily have to have a long swing to hit the ball far. One such example is Tony Finau who is a Monster Hitter, and who takes it back unusually short – especially for a tall man. Although he takes it back short with his arms, the truth is that he makes a powerful shoulder coil against the resistance of his lower body. This creates a strong X-Factor as my friend Jim McClean calls it I.e. the differential between a person’s shoulders and hips, and results in more power.

One of my friends was the late Dick Mayer who was one of the great players in the 1950’s and also the 1957 U.S. Open Champion and Player of the year. Dick told me that he used to practice quite a bit with the legendary Ben Hogan down in Texas, and often times Hogan would practice with the drill that I’m showing in today’s video. When asked why he did this drill, Hogan replied that “he wanted to eliminate any excessive motion in his backswing which then would also allow him to move more freely through the ball.

I’ve been using this drill and teaching it for years, and one thing my students are all amazed at is how far they can hit it without any excessive movements or strain. In honor of Dick, I named this drill – ‘The Dick Mayer Drill’.

Give this drill a try, and let me know what you think.

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Impact Drills for the Impact Bag

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Try this Impact Drill with the Impact Bag

 

When it comes right down to it, a golfers Golf Swing PLUS ALL golf instruction is geared to achieve One thing: Get the club head squarely on the ball at Impact with the maximum amount of force going into the ball. This impact drill will help you do exactly that.

To do this, the golfer has to have his weight and body rotation moving INTO the ball. When taking a look at Tour Players, we’ll see two major positions with the overwhelming majority of them:

A) [For Right Hander’s] We’ll see the majority of the weight shifted onto their Left Foot, and,

B) On the Top of the Backswing, they’ll turn their Shoulders approximately twice as much as their hips; but at Impact, their Hips will be turned approximately Twice as much as their Shoulders.

Obviously, possessing ample flexibility in the Shoulders and Hips allow the body to coil and move easier.

A Great way to get into a solid IMPACT position is by using the Impact Bag. Not only will you learn the F-E-E-L of a solid impact position, but as I demonstrate in today’s video, you can also use it to help correct several swing faults, such as: Over the Top, Too Inside Out, Too Wide or Narrow Arc, plus learn to Draw and Fade the ball.

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STRENGTHEN YOUR GLUTES AND LEGS WITH SQUATS

Squats

Glutes in Golf

Sitting down too much weakens our bodies – ESPECIALLY OUR GLUTES AND LEGS! Because the Golf swing demands Upper Body Flexibility and Strengthening in the Lower Body, a person who has weak Glutes is generally going to have a hard time achieving lower body stability and be forced to rely on their arms and hands for their power and consistency. What we want in the golf swing is a combination of the Arms, Hands, Lower and Upper Bodies to be in sync with each other. Plus a strong Lower Body helps us maintain Balance and allow our Upper Body to coil powerfully against the Lower.

In today’s video from The Posture System™, I’ll show you two variations on how to strengthen your Glutes and Legs with some basic squats, and also show you a modified version you can do against a wall. These can be done any time, and if you’ve noticed, I normally always end my Flexibility Programs with the Air Bench (the Assisted Squat against the wall).

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BEN HOGAN’S FIVE LESSONS

(But did he really play that way?)

Stance and postureBen Hogan setup in golf
Picture from Hogan’s Book on the left, Hogan himself on the right.

What We Learned From Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan is considered by many to be THE greatest ball striker of all time, and he’s probably the only Great player that I never had a chance to see in person from the early 60’s on. I’ve also asked many of the Senior Tour Players I’ve worked with and who’ve played with Mr. Hogan, ‘If he really was ‘THAT’ good? So far, EVERY player I’ve asked has answered, ‘Yes, he was ‘THAT’ good!”

His Book ‘Ben Hogan’s FIVE LESSONS, is no less considered The Bible of Golf Instruction, and is one of – if not THE best selling golf instruction book of all time. This book was revolutionary and is truly one of the great golf instruction books ever written. However, I’ve noticed that there were a couple of the FIVE LESSONS that in reality, he didn’t do?

1) In describing the Address Position, he stated that the elbows should be very close together with the ‘pits’ facing upward; and he actually used an illustration of an elastic band to show this (above).

However, in reality, Hogan’s Right elbow in particular actually flared out somewhat (see the photo above).

2) Regarding the Sequence of the Golf Swing, he felt that the movements of the body parts were a chain reaction of: The Club head Moving First on the Backswing – then the Hands (this requires an early wrist set), then the Arms, Shoulders; THEN the reverse sequence happened on the downswing with the Hips leading – then the shoulders, then the Arms, Hands and club. That is Correct (called kinematic sequencing).

Ben Hogan's take away golf swing

However, this is not what he actually did and as you can see, he actually started his swing by almost ‘dragging’ the hands and club back together – then cocking the wrists near the top of his swing; so much so that the club actually looked like it’s almost touching his neck! The point is that it certainly seems that he didn’t set his wrist early in his swing as implied – and rather cocked them very late near the top and creating the incredible lag that he had.

ben hogan through swingben hogan's downswing

I can assure you that the point I’m trying to make is not whatsoever trying to diminish or demean Mr. Hogan’s book – and like I mentioned, the book is a classic, but rather to spread light on this discussion. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a LOT of great players (predominantly the senior Tour Players), and I’ve always been surprised at how many of them Thought (?) they were doing things in their swings, that in reality weren’t doing.

Or as Butch Harmon says, “The F-e-e-l isn’t always R-e-a-l”.

When taking instruction, I highly recommend that you seek a teacher who uses video and understands the innuendos of it.