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TWO QUESTIONS…

Rotated Posture

Coming Over the Top

IF YOUR ANSWER TO BOTH QUESTIONS IS YES…
THEN WATCH THIS VIDEO ON ROTATED POSTURE!

‘COMING OVER THE TOP’ is probably THE most common swing fault in golf, and the odds are that at some time in your golf career, you’ve come ‘Over It’ and have tried a lot of things to ‘Cure It.’ Whether it’s Swinging more Inside Out – Taking it back Flatter – Turning the Right Hip Deeper – Don’t Slide your hips, ad infinitum, a lot of things ‘may’ have worked – but the odds are they were temporary.

One place where you might not have looked is in your Posture. Yes that’s right… Your Posture.

Because we live primarily in a Right Handed World, and where approximately 90% of the population is right handed, over time we naturally develop stronger and tighter right sides – especially in our hips and shoulders. Consequently, if you look at the majority of our population – especially the golf population – you’ll notice that the Right Shoulder in the majority of people is Lower and Forward than their Left Shoulder; and consequently when they line up, their shoulders are actually angled and aiming off to the Left. (Also, because the right hand is Lower on the club than the Left, the right shoulder is pulled even more forward.) What does this have to do with Over the Top?

Because the right side is tighter in this posture type, the right shoulder has a harder time turning behind the ball on the backswing due to the muscle restrictions; it then tends to ‘force’ the hands and club to the outside. Coupled with the Left Side being weaker and less stable, it will tend to spin out, giving way to the dominance of the stronger and tighter right side (again, due to the right side ‘throwing’ the Right Shoulder, Arm, and Club to the ‘Outside’) thus cutting across the ball.

The best way to help this condition is to Straighten Out your posture and get better balance and symmetry in your body.

One of my programs in THE POSTURE SYSTEM Video Series is the ROTATED POSTURE PROGRAM, and doing this program along with your Golf Swing Drills will certainly help get that club dropping to the inside and hitting that pretty little Draw!

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The Two Main Things That Arnold Palmer Told Me He Worked On In His Swing

Roger and Arnold

Because it’s the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Classic this week, I thought I’d share a couple of the things that he worked on in his swing.

#1 HE TRIED TO GET AS ‘DEEP’ THROUGH THE BALL AS HE COULD

Although during the years that I worked with him we were primarily focused on his flexibility and anatomical function, we still would look at his golf swing from time to time, where we’d monitor how his flexibility was helping him turn back and through better.

The first time I explained the Physiological Fundamentals of the Golf Swing to him on my monitor, I was showing how the most crucial fundamental was Clearing the Hips and Shoulders through the shot, and where all great players got into the ‘Two Cheek Position.’ Right when I said this, he jumped out of the chair and exclaimed, “Rog, that’s what I can’t do anymore!” He then told me that “The Main Thing” he tried to do in his golf swing was ‘Get as Deep’ through the ball as he could. i.e. he tried to Turn his Hips and Shoulders as much as he could through the ball. Within a few minutes, I had him go through my Flexibility Tests at which point I explained how it was ‘his lack of flexibility’ that was inhibiting him from turning through the ball.

#2 HE TRIED TO ‘TOUCH’ THE TARGET WITH HIS RIGHT ARM AND HAND

A few months later, and after he’d been working on his flexibility A LOT, we went out to the range at Bay Hill to hit some balls. There, he told me another thing. He said, “Rog, by getting my hips more flexible, I’ve noticed that it’s easier for me to extend my Right Arm longer through to the target.” I then said, “Have you always tried to do that?” He replied, “Yes, I always tried to ‘Touch the Target’ with my right arm and hand.” (Although the right arm and hand are actually extending around to the left, it feels that it’s going down the target line.) Again, it’s the centrifugal force created by the turning of the left hip and shoulder that’s ‘bringing’ the arms and club around.

The reality is that when you try to ‘Touch the Target’ with your Right Arm and Hand, you’ll automatically Clear your Hips and Shoulders through the ball easier.

The more I look back on the years I spent with Mr. Palmer, the more cherished these memories have become. But THE #1 THING that I’ll always remember about him, was how Great he treated people. Trust me, he was always besieged by people – yet he always took the time to make them feel important. And, he certainly did that for me!

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A Drill to Blend Weight Shift and Torso Rotation – TURN OVER THE CHAIR DRILL

Turn Over The Chair

Chair drill

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Creating a better golf swing has many different facets and there are thousands of aspects that can be looked at; but in short, I believe that THE TWO major factors are Weight Transfer and Rotation. Along these lines, there are legions of different ways to make a back swing, but the majority of good players have a balanced blend of Turning and Shifting. I’ve come to call the backswing a ‘Turning Shift’. And, even here we have some exceptions as seen in the swings of Freddie Couples and Kenny Perry – who tend to ‘pick the club up’ first, then turn their shoulders later.

A drill I’ve learned to get my students turned behind the ball and get their weight shifted, is what I call the ‘Turn Over the Chair’ Drill. As I explain in today’s video, stand a few inches away from the backrest of a chair, then make a first with your Left Hand and stick your thumb into your sternum. From here, simply Turn your Left Elbow over the chair. If you look in a mirror, you’ll see that your spine angle is angled off to the right and your left shoulder will be behind the ball (Note: Make sure that your left shoulder is tilted down underneath your chin and not raised high….We don’t want your shoulders to be flat). You’ll find that after doing this drill a few times, that you’ll begin to feel a very nice Blend of the shoulders and weight shifting in harmony.

You can also practice this drill standing a few inches away from a wall.

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LEARN TO CLEAR YOUR LEFT SIDE WITH THIS SIMPLE DRILL

Clear Your Left Side at Impact

Good Impact Position

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Very seldom do I see a high handicapper who’s in a good Impact Position, and very seldom do I ever see a good player who’s in a bad Impact Position…..Hmmm?

The majority of golf instruction seems to be focused on getting into a good backswing position – so that the golfer will automatically be able to get into the good Impact position. That makes sense, but without question, the overwhelming majority of amateurs tend to get stuck on the rear foot and then be forced to flip the club in order to catch up with the lack of weight going forward. I’ve learned that where you focus, your energy will flow there. Often times, spending too much time thinking about your back swing, will sometimes freeze you up and not allow you to swing freely to – and through the ball.

A simple drill to free up your swing is to take a golf club and swing it with your trail arm only (so if you’re right handed, swing with just the right arm, and vice versa if you’re left handed). By doing this simple drill, you’ll be able to move freely and automatically shift your weight onto your front foot and rotate accordingly. If you were watching golf back in the early 90’s when Nick Price was dominating the tour, when he was coming down the home stretch, he’d do this drill before his actual shot, and nearly always hit it good.

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CURE BEING TOO QUICK WITH THE – STOP AT THE TOP DRILL

Stop at the Top
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Without question, there is nothing more important in the golf swing than BALANCE – RHYTHM – and (especially) TIMING! As I mention in today’s video, you can have the greatest Swing Mechanics in the world, but if your Timing is off, it won’t do you much good. And, the reverse is true: i.e., you can have poor Swing Mechanics, but if your timing is good, you’ll be able to get away with them.

The two most common places for Bad Timing to occur is in the immediate Takeaway, and ‘especially’ starting down from the top too soon, and/or too quickly. Starting down too soon, is usually a symptom of anxiety, having poor swing mechanics on the backswing where the body has too ‘catch up’, and even more importantly TIGHT MUSC LES AND A LACK OF FLEXIBILITY. Imagine a rubber band that you’re trying to shoot across the room. If the rubber band is nice and ‘flexible’ and has plenty of elasticity, you can pull it back as far as it’ll go, and it’ll react accordingly by shooting across the room. However, if that rubber band is Brittle and Tight, it won’t ‘Want’ to expand fully and fight you to achieve a full windup. Same thing in the golf swing.

Whenever my golf game gets a little off and I feel like I’m rushing it, I’ll take a few ‘STOP AT THE TOP’ Practice swings and let my body Feel it. Then, when I get up to hit it, I’ll be more relaxed and patient and not in a hurry to start down too fast.

On a side note, there were some great players who actually did Stop at the Top that had excellent careers. Cary Middlecoff, Bob Murphy, and even today’s Hideki Matsuyama comes close.

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A SIMPLE PUTTING DRILL TO: MAKE THE PUTTER A ‘PART’ OF YOUR BODY – AND NOT ‘APART’ FROM YOUR BODY

Putting Drill
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I think a lot of golfers put too much emphasis on trying to manipulate the golf club instead of relying on the Rhythm of the Shoulders to have the golf club actually be an EXTENSION of their bodies. Obviously, there’ll be times when you need to hit a certain type of shot, where you’ll need to do some form of manipulation in order to alter the clubface.

I think this concept is especially true for putting – where I see so many high handicappers try to ‘Open and Fan it’, ‘Square to Square’ – manipulate their wrists, etc.

One of the great sayings that I first heard from Hall of Fame teacher Jim Flick, whom I got to know for many years at Omni La Costa Resort was, “The Golf Swing is a ‘REACTION’ to the intended shot your mind created.” If you focus your mind on the shot, and TRUST your body to Obey the Mind, you should be able to have the club be in HARMONY with the shot; and thusly, pull off a great shot. Again, this is even more true in Putting, where the margin of error is much less than when making a full swing.

In today’s video, I’ll show you a simple ‘No Brainer’ Putting Drill that will help you put the feel back into your shoulders – and not your hands.

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‘SLIGHTLY’ PRESS INTO YOUR RIGHT FOOT TO START YOUR DOWNSWING

Starting the Downswing

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Everybody always asks “What starts the Downswing?” And WITHOUT QUESTION, everybody answers “The Lower Body”…Period! Some great players feel the Left Hip Shifting and Turning, others feel like their pushing off of their right foot, ad infinitum.

One thing for sure that our force pressure plates prove that there’s a slight ‘Spike’ of pressure going down into the ground underneath the right foot. These ground forces are evident in nearly all great players – regardless of what they F-E-E-L is happening. I personally have always felt my Left Hip ‘Pulling’ my arms down, and I’ve never really related to ‘Pushing Off’ of my right foot. However, over the last few years, I’ve come across a different image and perspective, where I actually feel like I’m applying Pressure onto my right foot FIRST before the upper body begins to unwind.

This image of PRESSING DOWN onto the right foot works better for me than the PUSHING OFF image. Imagine, that there was a pitching rubber on the mound that was underneath your right foot, and your first move was to ‘Slightly’ sink down on the rubber ever so slightly. Doing this motion will automatically propel the rest of your body into the shot and achieve a proper Kinematic Sequence – THAT MUST HAPPEN!

Notice the white object just even with the baseball batter’s head in the split screen above. As the batter begins to stride into the ball, he pushes down somewhat into the right foot, and you can see that after doing so, his head drops slightly below the white object. There is nothing wrong with this as long as the Center of Gravity stays in control.

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A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE STRETCH FOR THE RHOMBOIDS

Rhomboid Stretches

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Rhomboid Stretch – For better extension and coil.

One thing I learned years ago was the body is ONE BIG WORKING UNIT, where everything is linked together. For example, our Hips control our Shoulders – and our Shoulders control our Arms, etc. Often times when my students come to me to for a specific musculoskeletal problem, I often don’t usually work on the site of the problem, but rather the source of it. A typical example of it is when people want to have greater extension of their arms for a longer and deeper backswing. In the majority of cases, I’ll end up first stretching out their hips – then their shoulders.

Rhomboid Muscles

Regarding our Back and Shoulders, we have some major muscle groups that help control our shoulder blades called the Rhomboids. These muscles work in unison with the Trapezius, Levators, and others.

In today’s video, I, along with golf great Tommy Jacobs, and Susan, are showing a very simple and effective stretch to warm up the Rhomboids for greater extension and power in their golf swings.

Don’t forget though, that to gain superb flexibility, one must stretch ALL of the major muscle groups and muscle chains to work ALL of the muscles in our bodies. That’s specifically why I created The SECRETS to Golf Swing Flexibility Video Program.

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ELIMINATE EXCESSIVE MOVEMENT IN YOUR GOLF SWING

The Pull Back Drill
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No doubt in my mind, the average amateur has too much excessive movement throughout their swings. This can manifest by ‘herky-jerky’ motions – swaying – lifting – and, especially having the arms get OUT OF SYNC with the lower body.

One of the most – if not THE most – popular drills I give my students, is what we call ‘The Pull Back Drill’; which really helps coordinate the movements into one solid working unit. This drill is actually done in three parts.

Part 1) Where you swing completely flat-footed and ‘try not’ to shift your weight at all. I tell people to imagine that I give their lower bodies a shot of novocaine to keep it perfectly still – and to imagine that they’re standing in dried concrete and can’t move. Then I have them swing their back and down and through the shot – BUT KEEP THE RIGHT FOOT PLANTED AT ALL TIMES! And here’s the critical part; After the completion of the follow-through IMMEDIATELY SWING THE ARMS BACK to the ADDRESS POSITION. After hitting 5 solid shots (and you’ll be amazed at how easy this will be), move on to PART 2.

Part 2) Now, after you’ve hit 5 solid shots, do PART 1 of the Drill On the Backswing – where you take the same backswing ) ie., just lifting your arms back), only now shift your weight down and through the shot finishing with 100% of your weight on your front foot – with your right foot up.

Part 3) After you’ve hit 5 more solid shots doing Part 2, now go ahead and hit more shots RETAINING THE FEELING OF BEING BRACED WITH YOUR LOWER BODY ON THE BACKSWING. (You can go ahead and allow your left shoulder to come under your chin on your backswing now).

This drill is a miracle worker and I assure you, if your swing gets off track, you can bring it back to Center with this Pull Back Drill.

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HOW TO DEVELOP ‘F-E-E-L’ IN YOUR PUTTING STROKE BEFORE YOUR ROUND BEGINS

Develop FEEL on the Putting Green
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Developing Feel is crucial for Putting (not to mention your overall golf swing for that matter!)

As a young man, I walked onto the putting green at Wilshire CC in Los Angeles to practice my putting.  I immediately walked up to a hole and dropped a few balls around 5 feet from the cup and tried to ‘make them’.  Jerry Barber, the 1961 PGA Champion and the Head Pro at Wilshire, was standing on the green watching me.  Jerry was, without question, one of the greatest putters in PGA Tour history.

Mr. Barber walked over to me, and said, “Whoa – wait a minute, son.  Warming up that way in putting is exactly OPPOSITE of how you should do it”.  He explained that Rhythm and Feel are THE most important aspects of putting – next to envisioning the line of the putt.  He went on to explain that I should be practicing longer puts to gain the feel of a full rhythmic stroke, rather than practice a putt with a shorter stroke.

Ever since that day, I’ve always gone on to the practice putting green before a round and started out with the longest putt on the green.  No doubt, it’s paid dividends over all these years.

Fast forward to 1997, and I was on the practice putting green with my friend, Bruce Summerhays (who had a great career on the Senior Tour), before a round at the Kaanapali Senior Classic in Maui.  Bruce was using a fairly long putter and I asked him what were his thoughts with it.  He said, “Roger, Jerry Barber once gave me the best tip on putting I’ve ever received:  He said when I walked onto the putting green to warm up, to start with a real long putt and take full long strokes to establish rhythm and feel.”  I only chuckled 😉

Give it a try the next time you go to the putting green and I’m sure you’ll develop a much more fluid and rhythmic putting stroke.

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DEVELOP FEEL AND PERCEPTION WITH THE ONE HANDED DRILL

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Putting Drill to Improve Your Feel and Perception

One of the most common mistakes people make in putting is putting ‘To the Ball’ and not ‘Through’ to the target. And, the most common reason people do that is Tension. Getting too tense will almost certainly retard your stroke and take away your rhythm. Although there are some great putters who ‘stabbed’ their putts, or as Tom Watson did ‘popped’ it, the majority of great putters all had fluid strokes extending energy towards the hole.

A great way to practice putting ‘Through’ the ball towards the target is by practicing putting one handed – preferably with your dominant hand (ie., the right hand for the majority of golfers). Not only will you be forced to putt through to the hole, but you’ll automatically become more focused on the line and target.

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GET IN BALANCE IN YOUR PUTTING STANCE TO GET TOP SPIN

proper putting stance

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Well Balanced Putting Stance

Although there are a lot of ways to stand for Putting, one thing is for sure – we want to get Top Spin on the ball so that it rolls true and won’t be as susceptible to the variances in the grass. Hitting down on it will certainly make the ball ‘hop’ and get out of control.

Your balance and stance actually make a major factor in this, as standing too far away from the ball can promote a Breaking Down of the Wrists which will alter the face of the putter usually adding too much loft, and again – lose control. However, standing closer to the ball with your weight balanced, will automatically help connect your arms and shoulders and allow the stroke to be more of a pendulum type of action by the Big Muscles.

In today’s video, I’ll demonstrate how to get into a proper balanced stance to get that ball ‘Top Spinning’ right into the hole!

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A GREAT DRILL TO GET YOUR SHOULDERS ON PLANE

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If you’re like most people, who spend their life sitting behind a desk, in a car, or in front of the TV, you probably have tight pecs and shoulder – which in turn, create forward head posture. Having a tight and restricted upper torso (accompanied with forward head posture) makes it harder to open up your chest and rotate your shoulders through the shot.

Controlling your shoulders means controlling your swing. Remember, big muscles control little muscles. Try the flagstick drill and you’ll begin to feel the proper rotation of your shoulders, as well as all of your body parts moving in unison.

In the video I demonstrate a drill for keeping the shoulders “on plane” but it’s a lot harder if you can’t open up and expand your chest. The best way to get more flexibility in your shoulders might surprise you… It starts with stretching your lower body.

In Roger Fredericks Reveals Secrets to Golf Swing Flexibility™ DVD Set, I show you not just which parts of your body to stretch but the right way to stretch, which includes which order to stretch in. Like tiles on the roof of your house, each muscle in your body is independent but only works when they all work together in the right direction.

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The RIGHT ARM ONLY DRILL

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Learn How to Clear Your Left Side and Develop More Speed and Power with the RIGHT ARM ONLY DRILL

Take the ball away and just about everyone makes a fairly smooth, natural swing. However, when you put that little white ball down, it’s often a different story! (ie. ‘Same Face – different Swing 🙂

Every golfer has heard how important it is to have the Left Arm and Side in control during the swing. HOWEVER, the left side will often ‘get stuck’ and prevent the golfer from moving into the ball with speed and power! Moving into the ball properly is what it’s all about. No matter how you take it back, if your body starts down properly, your odds of hitting a good shot are pretty good. The Right Arm Only Drill will help you do just that by not only making it easy to shift onto your front foot, but also get your left side out of the way. This drill will help you swing through the ball – not to it.

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Your Grip Could be Holding You Back and Costing You Distance

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Although there are a lot of ways to grip the club, one thing is certain: You must have the club held SECURELY in your hands! After all, your hands are the only direct communication you have with the club. Whether you have an interlock, overlap, or 10 finger grip, the club must be held securely in the last 3 fingers of the left hand ‘pressing’ up against the pad of the hand, and primarily with the middle two fingers of the right. Again, if the club isn’t held securely, there’s a good chance your shots won’t be solid and consistent.

Whether you’re hitting irons or woods, I recommend that you grip the club the same way for all shots. Overall, I prefer a Stronger Grip for the average golfer where the ‘V’ of the left forefinger and thumb is pointing towards the right shoulder. This automatically allows the wrists to hinge the club naturally.

Watch this video and learn a sure way to hold the club properly.

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A Great Way to Visualize Your Shot and Stay Behind it!

Visualize Your Shot
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Moving ‘in front’ of the ball on a Driver is a sure way to reduce distance – and consistency! Because the ball is teed up, you need to make sure that you’re coming in from behind it; which will automatically allow you to hit up on it. Remember; The Formula for distance is Mass X Velocity squared; ie. How much you move your Body ‘MASS’ into the ball. In this video I share a tip about how to make this move easier – WITHOUT TRYING to change your swing! Watch the video below

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Watch This Video And Test Your Shoulder Turn

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TAKE THIS TEST AND SEE HOW FAR YOU CAN ACTUALLY TURN YOUR SHOULDERS.

(Can you get your shoulders ‘In Line with your extended leg? If not, don’t try to make THE BIG TURN!)
 
I’ve been saying for years, that ‘just because you get older, doesn’t mean you have to lose your flexibility’ – at least to the to the degree that our society has brain washed us into believing,  i.e. that once you get on ‘The Back Nine of Life’, it’s all over.
 
The SECRET is maintaining your flexibility, strength, and function, which can be done with a ‘Proper’ Flexibility Program. I’ve seen A LOT of people during my career who maintained their flexibility – and many who have actually INCREASED  IT as they got older!
 
To see  where your shoulder turn is – or isn’t, try the Pretzel Test again.  If you’ve regressed, I highly suggest that you get back on my Flexibility Programs – especially with the Holiday Season coming up.
 
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THE POWER SWING DRILL FOR IMPROVED ROTATION AND SPEED!

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One of the most common swing faults is hitting from the top, or casting, instead of delaying the release of the club into the shot. Releasing the club too early slows down the body, which in turn slows down club head speed, not to mention robs the golfer of power and consistency. THE # 1 CAUSE of an early release is the hands, arms, and shoulders starting down first, instead of beginning the downswing with the LOWER BODY!

Not leading the downswing with the lower body also retards the body of a proper weight shift and rotation. At impact, we want to be able to see those two cheeks and weight off of the right foot, which is a sure sign the body has moved into the ball with power!

Watch the video to see how I help Marty get his hips cleared and rotated out of the way.

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KEEPING EVERYTHING IN ONE PIECE THROUGHOUT YOUR SWING

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By now, you’re familiar with the term One Piece, especially in the Takeaway; and I can assure you that I’m totally on board.  I look at ‘One Piece’ not only as the Arms and Club going back together, but also the Shoulders, and Weight Shift.  I like EVERYTHING going back together!  
I believe that the golf swing is like the set of dominoes, where you get the first one going over properly, then all the rest follow in a chain reaction.
Although in today’s video I’m demonstrating with a smaller physio ball, I’ve come across an excellent training aid developed by my friend Martin Chuck, called the Smart Ball.  
By attaching the Smart Ball to your body, you can maintain a One Piece Motion THROUGHOUT your swing which will allow all of your body parts to move together.
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GET UP AND DOWN WITH THE PUTTING CHIP

The Putting Chip

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Years ago, I was blessed to have known and taken lessons from Paul Runyan aka, ‘Little Poison’ who was arguably the greatest master of Chipping and Pitching the Game of Golf has ever known!

One summer in my college days, I spent two weeks with Paul up at Sahalee CC in Washington State, and not only was it a great experience to take lessons and play with him, but to hear the fascinating stories that he so freely shared from his lifetime in golf.

One thing he did for me (and countless others), was absolutely transform my chipping from my conventional method, by teaching me the Putting Chip Method of chipping. Paul felt that the easiest shot in golf to hit was a putt, so why not make the chip shot as close to a putt as possible.

He changed my grip from a standard Reverse Overlap Putting Grip, to a style that placed the putter more in my palms, thereby taking the hands out of the stroke. He did this by making my left hand extremely Weak (turned way to the left and under), and my right hand very Strong (turned way to the Right and under). This type of grip made the stroke rely more on a pendulum action with my arms and shoulders. Not only was the spin on my shots much more in control, but with a little practice, I was able to invent some different variations with different clubs for different circumstances. I still use this method today and have been teaching it to my students for decades – many of whom have enjoyed great success.

I HIGHLY encourage you to practice the Putting Chip and enjoy the marvelous benefits of getting the ball ‘Up and Down’ a lot more often!