Monday, April 7, 2014

Masters Time at Augusta - Getting Ready for Tournaments

Time for the Masters in April.

This is the PGA event I believe most of the golf world waits every year to see.  More so than both the US OPEN AND THE OPEN (British Open).

It's the mark of spring time with the Magnolia's at full bloom.  The excitement of will the favorites Phil, Tiger, or a new name come to light during the most prestigious event of the year.  After this event is over, all the professionals are not only trying to earn their money and keeping their cards, but they are hoping to be able to qualify for next years Masters!

You hear the media always talking what the top Pros are doing to get ready for the Masters.  They say this one plays an event two weeks before the Masters and the next two weeks is just preparing at his local course, or getting time at Augusta if he can.  This Pro plays the tournament before the Masters.  Either way they prepare for the Masters in different ways.  They all prepare for Tournaments and also in different ways. But, the most important part is they prepare.

Like anyone whether Pro or Amateur you have to prepare for a tournament.  The Pros prepare every week before an event and even more so for the Major's.

Amateurs, however, mostly don't prepare enough for their next tournament or any tournament for that matter.  The different reasons are usually, not enough time, would rather play then practice, but I feel the best reason is they don't know how.

Preparing for a tournament is really no different then preparing for a good round of golf.

I use the following to prepare for not only tournaments but for a good round of golf and just a good practice:
  • Warm up
    • stretch
    • Hit half shots with 52 degree wedge
  • Hit full shots
    • 10 balls with my 60 degree
    • 10 balls with my 52 degree
    • 10 balls with my 9 Iron
    • 10 balls with my 6 Iron
    • 10 balls with my 3 Iron
    • 10 balls with my Hybrid 3
    • 10 balls with my 3 metal wood
    • 10 balls with my driver
After my warm up and going through the full shot routine I am loose and have my swing feel.  At that time I start to work on my short game.

  • 50 yard flag
    • Work on shots with slight draw
      • 60 degree
      • 56 degree
      • 52 degree
      • pitching wedge
    • Work on shots with slight fade
      • 60 degree
      • 56 degree
      • 52 degree
      • pitching wedge
  • 75 yard flag
    • Work on shots with slight draw
      • 60 degree
      • 56 degree
      • 52 degree
      • pitching wedge
    • Work on shots with slight fade
      • 60 degree
      • 56 degree
      • 52 degree
      • pitching wedge
  • 100 yard flag
    • Work on shots with slight draw
      • 56 degree
      • 52 degree
      • pitching wedge
      • 9 iron
    • Work on shots with slight fade
      • 56 degree
      • 52 degree
      • pitching wedge
      • 9 iron
Putting:
  • 8 balls 6 feet from hole
    • holed 75% putts
  • 5, 10, 15 feet drill
    • 20 minutes making 3 balls at each location in a row
  • 3 foot drill 8 balls
    • 50 balls in a row
  • lag drill
    • 30 foot putts
    • goal finishing putts either in hole or near hole within 1 foot
    • 75% of putts left inside 1 foot. 
When warming up for tournament the last step I go through on the range is how I will attack the first hole I am starting on.

I am ready for the Tournament or round.

As stated earlier most Amateurs use the excuse can't get there early enough to get some warm-up in, practice is over rated, and best of all I do better with no practice.

Until next time, learn to practice and watch yourself get better.......

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Four Areas Getting Ready for Spring Golf - What to work on in the Month of March Madness - 4 Breathing

We are now on our final Area Breathing.

Below is just a reminder of the four areas we are getting ready for spring golf;

  1. Flexibility
  2. Endurance
  3. Tempo
  4. Breathing
The last area we covered was Tempo.  This time we will talk about Breathing.

Breathing

One thinks breathing isn't that important, but in reality it really is.  But with that being stated, don't pay to much attention to the breathing for it will work with you once you find the technique that works for you.

The question is should you breathe in or out before your golf swing.

I usually don't pay much attention to my breathing during the golf swing.  But, before I swing I take a deep breath.

There is a trick to taking a deep breath, I will explain at the end of the page.

Generally, golfers breath out at address, breathe in ;during the backswing and out again during the downswing.

Some tour pros say they try to breath out very slowing during the downswing and follow through.

My opinion is you don't need to consciously control your breathing during your swing.  But if you feel like you get to tense during the swing, you might want to experiment with your breathing.

Like I said at the beginning of this page, I don't focus on my breathing during the swing.  But, I try to take a deep breath before I pull the trigger.

When you take a deep breath, you should breathe out before you breathe in.

Long distance runners breathe out before then take oxygen in, you should do the same.

Below is Tom Watson's Technique which you can try:

He once talked about How skeet shooters breathe during shooting Clay Pigeons.

1. take a deep breath
2. let it out
3. take another deep breath
4. let half of it out
5. start your swing

How hope the last four blogs talking about the Four Areas Getting Ready for Spring Golf were informative and provided you great tip on preparing you for the upcoming season of golf.

Until next time, breath easy, smooth tempo, lasting endurance, and stay flexible......




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Four Areas Getting Ready for Spring Golf - What to work on in the Month of March Madness - 3 Tempo


Again, I will remind you the four areas we are getting ready for spring golf;

  1. Flexibility
  2. Endurance
  3. Tempo
  4. Breathing
The last area we covered was Endurance.  This time we will talk about Tempo.

Tempo (One of golfs most basic yet elusive concepts)

 According to the dictionary, tempo is the characteristic rate rhythm, or pattern of work or activity.  In Golf it is the pace of your swing, back and through.  Some have a quick tempo like Nick Price, while others have a slow smooth tempo like Fred Couples.  Tempo is a highly individualized component.  There is no right or wrong tempo. There is no set tempo for every golfer, but there is a tempo for every golfer, may it be quick or slow.

Swinging at an even tempo, shot to shot, club to club is imperative in your golf swing.  We want to keep it as consistent as possible.  It is critical to making solid contact.  Tempo is closely tied to balance as well, another key to steady ball striking.

Here are three drills you can use to improve your tempo:

  1. Feet Together Drill:
    • I believe this is one of the best drills ever invented. It is very simplistic and and effective at at instilling an even killed tempo and finely tuned balance.  
    • Select a mid iron and stand with your feet together  Bend from the east while looking at the horizon to prevent your shoulders from "rounding" and soften your knees, then grip your club.  The ball position should be directly in center of your feet (hint: start with the ball teed up about 1/2 inch to build confidence then work into shots directly off the turf).  Take some shots with a light grip pressure and swing easily.  Imagine that your swing arc is a clock and your arms in the backswing should reach about 9 o'clock and then 3 o'clock in the follow through.  Feel how your hips and shoulders rotate within your body, like you are swinging within a cylinder without sliding your hips back and forward.  the club should only move as a result of your shoulder rotation in synch with an upward hinging of the wrists  The feeling of the turn in the backswing should be as if you were turning your body to look at someone standing behind you.  i.e. the head leads the shoulders which lead the hips and lower body.  The forward swing should initiate from the opposite sequence.  Use your lower body to begin the turn which leads the upper body and then the arms and hands will follow.  If you feel that your balance in the finish is wobbly then you most likely have initiated your down swing with the arms.  Work to maintain good balance in the finish on every swing until ball hits the ground.
    •   Once you have perfected this drill try some oft shots with a normal width of stance but feeling the same type of rotation and sequence with the body.  Try this drill to start every practice session or warm-up on the range and you will soon find the power and consistency that every golfer strives toward.  
    • You can also practice this drill in doors without hitting a ball, as long as you have ceiling room.
  2. Swoosh Drill
    • This drill requires 3 basic steps
      • Turn a club upside down and grip it just below the clubhead,
      • Make a full swing,
      • Hold your finish for three seconds
    • At first, you may find it difficult staying balanced at the finish.  Balance and Tempo are two sides of the same coin.  
    • Practice numerous repetitions of the swoosh drill and you will find it translates will to actually hitting the ball.
  3. 80% Wedge Swing
    • While on the range, hit a series of balls at 80% of your power.  In other words, nice and easy.  Move up a club or two to an 8 or 7 iron and repeat the process.  Continue through the driver, hitting no more than 80% on any shot.
    • You will not only notice better balance, pace and contact, you may find that your shots fly farther even though you are swinging easier.
    • That is the beauty of great tempo. 
The above mentioned drills should help on improving your tempo.

Next we will talk about the last are of interest Breathing.

Until then, with great tempo you will have more balance and create a better game with more consistent shots and scoring.....