Become A Consistent Golfer – Part 2

Here is part 2 on becoming more consistent on the golf course from my guest writer.

“A Blueprint For The Consistent Golf Swing And How To Get One – Part 2″

IT WAS A GOOD SWING!
I’ve been helping an old friend improve her golf swing so she can enjoy playing weekend golf with her new husband. After convincing her that a consistent golf swing doesn’t just happen without an investment of some time and energy, I prepared a solid and doable course of practice sessions that would fit even her busy schedule. It’s so user-friendly that just about anyone who wants to play better golf can handle the load.

A few weeks later she ran excitedly into the Pro Shop looking for me. She had followed the lesson plan as prescribed and then joined her husband for their first round of golf together. Beaming from ear to ear, she reported, “I remembered everything. I took my time, planted my feet, relaxed, focused, took a deep breath, and swung the driver just like I’d been doing for the past two weeks. When I felt the club connect with the ball and heard a sharp ‘crack,’ I felt such a thrill that I could hardly contain myself and keep my head down. When I finally looked up, I could see the ball sailing straight down the fairway!”

She and her husband gaped at the ball as it bounced once, bounced again, and finally rolled to a stop almost 150 yards away. Suddenly there was a ‘Whoop!’ from her husband and then he was lifting her off her feet and swinging her around shouting, “You hit it! You really hit it!” She was pleased at his reaction but she was not so happy when they approached her ball, which was only a few yards from his, and he said, “Bet you can’t do that again.” But she showed him that her great drive wasn’t a fluke with a second wood shot, almost as long and just as straight, leaving her with a perfect lie about 100 yards from the green of the long par-5 hole.

When she approached the third shot, she was really nervous because she had been practicing with her woods and now she was faced with an iron shot. “But,” she said, “I got focused and I just started my swing. I didn’t hit it quite hard enough to make the green but it went straight! I couldn’t believe it and neither could my husband. He was so impressed, he asked to see my plan.”

The plan I gave her consisted of three parts:
1/ Consistency – What it is and why it works.
2/ Practice Makes Consistent – Why consistency is perfect.
3/ Consistent Tips That Work Consistently

A CONSISTENT PLAN FOR CONSISTENCY
1/ Consistency – What it is and why it works.
Consistency is the art of repeating the same helpful actions to achieve the same desirable results. That sounds a lot like the definition of insanity: repeating the same actions and expecting different results. Many people classify golfers as somewhat insane for chasing a small white ball over hills and in and out of lakes, traps, and deep forests through heat, rain, and even snow. While this behavior is fairly consistent for many occasional golfers, it can only be considered insanity if they continue to make the same mistakes and expect their shots to land in fairways and on greens.

The “Consistency/Insanity Defense.” As crazy as it sounds, the qualities needed to achieve consistency are the very same ones – commitment and determination. The difference lies in what you choose to repeat to achieve the expected result. If your actions will not contribute to an excellent swing, then you fall in the insanity camp because you continue to produce the same poor swing with the same poor results.
On the other hand, if you are repeating actions that result in long, straight drives, as well as deadly accurate chips and putts, then you are on your way to consistency.
2/ Practice Makes Consistent

Whatever I tried to achieve in my life, I heard the same advice from my parents: Practice makes perfect. As I have grown up and found a measure of success in many endeavors, I have proven them almost right. I say “almost right” because I discovered that, no matter how long and consistently I practice, I am incapable of perfection.
Consistency is not perfection but it is as close as we can get to it. It means performing the same actions the same way every time and I soon discovered that I am capable of consistency. As I worked on my own golf swing, I found that the proper actions produced the desired results. Repeating those actions over and over produced those results consistently.

Practice is the consistent repetition of an action; so, practice not only “makes consistent,” it is consistency itself. Therefore, to be a consistent golfer takes practice, practice, practice.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Address the tee properly (Repeat 20 times twice a day)
– Stand straight without hunching your shoulders
– Plant your feet slightly further apart than your shoulders
– Flex your knees and adjust your weight on your feet until balanced
– Relax your shoulders, shake out your arms and let them fall at your side
Grip the club properly (Repeat 20 times twice a day)
– Lay the club head next to the tee and relax with it loosely in one hand
– Place the other hand on the grip
– Adjust your grip until comfortable
Swing the club
– Address the tee and grip the club as practiced
– Swing smoothly and firmly with your arms and shoulders
– Follow through completely with your head down and eye on the tee
– Videotape and analyze – make adjustments as needed
Swing the club properly (Repeat 20 times four times a day)
– Pay attention to the feel of the proper swing
– Make sure each swing feels the same
– Videotape your last set of swings to be sure your swing is consistent with the beginning
Hit the ball
– Place a ball on the tee and address the ball properly
– Forget that there is a ball in front of you and just swing as practiced
– After the ball has left the tee, complete your swing and then look up
– If the ball didn’t go where you intended, adjust your swing
– Once your swing is effectively hitting the ball, repeat 20 times as many times a day as you can
3/ Consistent Tips that Work Consistently
These tips are from golfers who have worked long and hard to perfect their golf swing. While most of them are still aiming for the perfection that will never come, that doesn’t keep them from trying.
Get it right. Repeat your swing until it feels right and natural.
Practice, practice, practice – in your back yard, your basement, even your garage.
Ask for and pay attention to good feedback.
Develop a positive attitude. Reward yourself for good shots and look for ways to improve the bad ones.

One final word to the wise: Most golfers whine and complain about their scores, their poor strokes, and their high handicaps. Instead of beating yourself up when you hit poorly, reward your good play consistently. Whenever you hit a green or the middle of the fairway, congratulate yourself and then swing again the same way. If it feels the same, remember it and then do the same thing again and again until it feels natural. It may sound like the road to insanity, but it is the only way to consistency at its best.
—-
Keith Matthews is keen to share more of his golfing tips and experience so sign-up for his free weekly emails at TopGolfTipsHQ.com

Posted under Golf Performance

This post was written by Mark Tolle on October 18, 2012

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Consistency Is The Key To Better Golf

Today I’m going to post a guest article regarding the importance in developing consistency in your golf swing. Please let me know what you think.

“A Blueprint For The Consistent Golf Swing And How To Get One – Part 1″

WANT TO GET IN THE SWING OF GOLF?
WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?

When you step up to the tee and “address the ball,” do you say, “Ready or not, here I come?” When you lift the club from your shoulder and start pulling it back to begin your swing, do you shout with glee, “Watch out ball, I’m going to knock you into the next county?”

If this describes your golf game, you are not alone. Many of the best started out with such a “slash and burn” approach; but the best wisdom is that golfing is all about finding your own style – your rhythm, your best stroke, and your natural swing. This takes time and hard work even for a natural-born professional golfer like Tiger Woods.
As an expert, I get questions from a lot of weekend golfers who think they should be able to play like Tiger. I got one call from an old friend who told me that her new husband loves golf and wants her to join him in his weekend golf games. She said, “I took a semester of golf in college and I NEVER hit a good shot the entire time. I topped, pulled, sliced, shanked, and dubbed my way to every cup on every hole. I’m sure I had the highest score of anybody in the class – maybe even a course record. I’m a killer at miniature golf but the golf swing eludes me. I need serious help!”

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?
When I asked my friend about her dream, she said that she just wanted to hit the ball without her husband laughing at her. I told her that every golfer I know feels the same way but that there are bigger dreams to chase on a golf course. There is the elusive “hole-in-one,” as well as brilliant putts, perfectly placed fairway shots, and the “winged creatures of golf” – birdies, eagles, and double eagles. Of course, then there’s the “holy grail” of golf – a low handicap or, better still, no handicap.

WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?
So, I asked my friend the standard question I pose to all those who seek out my help: what do you want to achieve on the golf course? Straighter drives, more accurate chips and putts, lower scores/handicaps, or just an enjoyable outing with your husband on the links – what’s your goal?

Every professional golfer from Sam Snead to Phil Mickelson had a goal when they got started. It may not have been to win the US Open but I guarantee they all had one goal in common: to play better golf. No matter how much they knew about the game, they all found out quickly that there is one basic skill that you must master – the golf swing. Whether driving the fairway, chipping from a sand trap, blasting out of a lake, getting out of the woods, or putting brilliantly, you must swing the golf club. The speed, path, and final destination of your golf ball are all direct results of how you do that.

WHAT’S YOUR FIRST STEP?
My friend’s next eager question was: “So what do I do first?” but her smile faded when I answered: “Get serious.You have to develop a consistent golf swing.”
“I don’t have time to do that,” she said. “Can’t I just go out and hope for the best? Maybe I’ll be lucky and actually hit the ball.” I shook my head and told her about my uncle. He was a weekend golfer who was also a member of a weekly bowling league. He was well-known on the lanes for his completely lucky 7-10 split conversion – something he always dreamed of doing. Known affectionately as “Mr. Lucky,” he was also famous in the 19th Hole of his home golf course for this shot.

After a decent drive off the 18th tee, he had ended up just off the green in two, not too far from the cup; but the ball was sitting just under a mis-placed divot. He took one look at his bad lie and flailed at the half-buried ball with one desperate swipe with his sand wedge. It exploded out of its spot and took wings! He shoved his club back in the bag thinking that he’d need an iron to get the ball back to the green. Just as he looked up, though, he saw his ball hit the flag squarely and drop like a stone into the cup. Mr. Lucky ended up with the low score for the foursome even though, he said, “It was the worst shot I made all day.”

My friend grinned, “So, I can just take a swing and hope I get lucky like your uncle.” It took some fast talking to convince her that good golf is not a matter of luck and that she would never enjoy playing without practice. I finally quoted Arnold Palmer, who said, “It’s a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get” and she agreed to give it a try.

WHAT’S NEXT?
Several weeks later we met at the golf course for her next step, which was to analyze her golf swing. She was sure that it must be awful but when I watched her swing, I saw that she was strong and had an easy-going way with the club. So I videotaped her and she was surprised to see how easily she handled it. As we watched, I pointed out to her the basic components of a golf swing and how she could improve hers:
Address the Ball – Good posture
Firm Grip – No white knuckles
Smooth Swing with Arms and Shoulders
Golf is not a dance – no swaying or tip-toeing
Golf is not a performance – no flourishes
Backswing – not an “upswing” that reaches for the stars
Downswing – more of a “frontswing” that doesn’t chop wood
Follow-through – smooth and firm
You’re not in Fenway Park – don’t “punch it”
Don’t look up – the ball will go the same way if you’re watching or not
Consistency – whatever you do well, do again – and again – and again…

WHAT WILL MAKE YOUR SWING BETTER?
Without a doubt, the key to a better golf swing is consistency. I assured my friend that every golfer – amateur, pro, once-a-week, occasional – can swing better and more effectively and that what it takes to actually play better and improve your scores and your enjoyment is simple – Be Consistent.
She was still hesitant as I knew she was thinking about her busy schedule and wondering where she would find the time to practice, practice, practice. So I assured her that a simple regimen of lessons and practice was doable, even for her crazy schedule, and would help her to focus on her swing, to develop a consistently effective and natural stroke that would at least keep up with her husband’s game.
—-
Keith Matthews is keen to share more of his golfing tips and experience so sign-up for his free weekly emails at TopGolfTipsHQ.com

Posted under Golf Performance

This post was written by Mark Tolle on October 14, 2012

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A “Superset” For Increased Power In The Golf Swing

We are always looking for increased power in the golf swing. Supersets are often used to add extra challenge to our workout as well as help in weight loss. This week I’d like to show a superset that helps build leg and core strength.

A superset is when you do 2 exercises back-to-back. Sometimes you have a little rest in-between the 2 exercises and other times you don’t. So what you may want to start with the rest method. In other words perform the first exercise for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds and then perform the second exercise for 30 seconds. Continue in the manner for 4 rounds.

An alternative to this is to perform the first exercise for 30 seconds and immediately perform the second exercise for 30 seconds & then rest for 30 seconds. So the rest is between each superset vs. each exercise. Again perform 4 rounds.
Try the first option first and if it is to easy then go to the second option.

So this superset is a push-up followed by a jump squat. You can see the pictures below & I hope to have videos of my supersets completed soon. For the jump squat you want to squat down as shown then jump up as the arms go down and back (ignore the band around the knees).
So remember to perform in good form and follow one of the above options.

Posted under Exercise Tips

This post was written by Mark Tolle on October 18, 2010

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Improve Leg Power For A More Powerful Golf Swing

I want to show a short video of the jump squat exercise. When looking to improve power in your golf swing you need to do some power type exercises. The legs are one area that is easy to train and the jump squat is a favorite of mine. I like doing jump squats as part of a circuit of several exercises. In other words pick 2 other exercises such as the push-up and do 20 reps, then do 30 seconds of the plank, followed by 10 jump squats. You can do something similar and vary the repetitions to match your level of expertise. Here’s the jump squat. Have fun!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Exercise Videos

This post was written by Mark Tolle on August 24, 2010

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Doing Correct Exercises For An Effective Golf Swing!

Over the years I have come across a lot of smart people in the field of rehabilitation, fitness and sports performance. Of the many things I have learned, I’m always making sure that each of my clients are doing exercises that are specific to their own unique problems and goals. With that being said I want to describe a systematic approach to exercise that will help those that do not have personal coaching.

An interesting concept I have been utilizing for the last year or so, is a joint by joint approach to rehab, fitness and performance of golfers. This concept was first discussed by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook, two leaders in the area of sports performance. The idea is that each major joint (or area of the body) has a tendency to function more as a mobile joint, or as a stable joint. Yes, they all require a certain degree of each, and joint injury plays a role, however, this concept tends to hold true.

This mobility/stability concept occurs in an alternating pattern, and if this pattern is changed then dysfunction and compensation will occur. The normal pattern is shown below.

FootStable
AnkleMobile
KneeStable
HipMobile
Pelvis/Sacrum/Lumbar SpineStable
Thoracic Spine (upper back)Mobile
Scapulo/Thoracic (shoulder blade) – Stable
Gleno-humeral (shoulder)Mobile
ElbowStable
WristMobile
Cervical SpineStable

Regarding dysfunction in the body, we can use the low back as an example. If you do not have good mobility in the hips and in the upper back (thoracic spine), then the low back will give up some of its stability to obtain more motion when needed in those areas. A tight upper back & hips are big causes of low back pain in golfers.

A training error I see all the time is golfers focusing on strengthening their core in a dynamic and sometimes violent manner. This will not only lead to low back injury, but in fact it’s the hips and upper back that often times need improved mobility. That would not only help prevent injury, but also improve the overall golf swing.

So take a good look at the above table and make sure you have mobility where it is needed and stability in the ares where it is needed. Then let this be a guide in your selection of golf specific exercises.
Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips

This post was written by Mark Tolle on January 11, 2010

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Golf Mobility Exercise To Improve The Shoulder Turn

Here is a a new mobility exercise video that will help increase the shoulder turn in your golf swing.  As I have mentioned several times before, you want to ensure that the majority of the rotation in the golf swing is coming from your upper back.  Often times golfers will over rotate through the low back which can lead to low back pain.

The shoulder turn is not only dependent upon the golf set up posture, but also the actual mobility of the upper back (thoracic spine) region.  This exercise takes advantage of the natural biomechanics of the thoracic spine and the relationship of the movements rotation and side bend.  These 2 movements occur in the spine together especially in the golf swing.

So give this a try and watch that shoulder turn improve.  Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Exercise Videos

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 16, 2009

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Does Your Golf Fitness Program Prevent Injuries?

With all the discussion regarding the health care bill being developed in congress, I have one thing to say…..it’s confusing. We certainly will not have a clear picture until after it is actually implemented. And who knows when that will be!

With that being said, I believe it is more important today than ever before to take responsibility and focus on our own health. I have always been an advocate of preventive medicine, especially after seeing thousands of patients move through the orthopedic physical therapy clinics I have worked in for over 15 years.

I have learned through experience that a lot of the orthopedic typed injuries that occurred on a daily basis could be prevented. In my profession we know this as a fact. So my question here today is, does your fitness program utilize preventive principles? Common sense in training can help with prevention up to a point, but what I am specifically referring to is exercise selection.

Exercise selection should be specific to each individual’s needs. We all function a little bit differently. In other words our body has specific problem areas that need to be addressed with corrective type exercises in order to reach optimum performance, as well as prevent overuse type injuries. For example in the golf swing you need to make sure you have good hip mobility and stability, along with good trunk control as the forces generated in the swing move through the body. Otherwise increased stress can occur in the low back, leading to back injury.

So I believe it is important to have a fitness professional that can asses your current physical capabilities and then prescribe appropriate exercises that will help address any problem areas. Staying healthy and injury free not only keeps you the golf course, but keeps you feeling good. So make sure you are doing the right exercises specific to your body.

Posted under Golf Injuries

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 10, 2009

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A Poweful Golf Swing With Super Stifness

Because of my background in sports medicine & rehabilitation I take a special interest in injury prevention and rehab in golfers. I deal with a lot clients that have a history of back pain or have back pain when playing golf. Part of my interest is due to the fact that I also suffer from back pain from time to time. However, I have minimal flare ups because of my exercise program.

The reason I mention this is because I am always interested in what back pain research is telling us regarding prevention and sports performance. One individual that has influenced the way I work with golfers with back pain is Dr. Stuart McGill. I have read his books and heard him speak at workshops. I subsequently implemented some of his ideas into my programs (including my own).

He has taken the concept of “bracing” (stabilizing through the core) a step further when he applies it to sports performance. We have trained athletes and patients in abdominal bracing for many years but I really like his explanation and application of what he calls “Super Stiffness”.

Now, how does this apply to golf? Well, the stability training we do in golf is essential in transferring forces through the body and out into the club head at impact. What I am going to do is let you read an article he wrote regarding the principle of super stiffness. The importance of the article is to reinforce the importance in systematically training for sports performance. So go here to read about super stiffness.

Posted under Exercise Tips

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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What Is Holding You Back?

I recently read a report and viewed a video by Rich Schefren regarding constraints in your life that my be holding back your success. The information was specific to an internet business, but as I was reading I realized that his principles can apply to anything. So if you check out the information look past the specific examples and focus in on the underlying strategy.

The main points he refers to is that your success in anything is determined by your constraints, that is, the deep core beliefs that limit your success. If you apply it to golf you must look deep down to see what is really holding you back.

When it comes to improving your golf game we often use the reason of not having enough time to practice or exercise. This may be true but what is actually eating up your time during the day?, and how can that be changed? So if you are truly trying to improve your game or wanting to get into better physical shape, think hard on what may be holding you back. I know I’m going to contemplate this question on a daily basis.

So check out his blog and get his report by clicking here. Believe me when I say his report is worth the read. Good Luck!

Posted under Motivational

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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The Secret To Your Golf Game

I subscribe to the Golf Fitness Magazine and a while back they published an article entitled The Secret To Your Best Golf. I am not going to say much about it because I will not be able to give it justice, so please check it out yourself by clicking on the link.

Essentially it is a discussion on how Ted Purdy met and then worked with Bob Proctor, and then learned how to apply the Law of Attraction to his golf game. It also includes an interview so read the entire story and absorb as much as you can.

And for the record I believe in the Law of Attraction and have seen it work in my life. I recommend you learn as much as you can about it!

Posted under Motivational

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 23, 2008

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