The images below were taken proceeding the 2nd round of the 2008 Miccosukee Championship. Taken as the result of a chance meeting with Miguel's caddy Juan Lopez who so kindly provided me with shelter during a freak Miami shower. On discovering Juan's position in the game I quickly fired the same question I had been firing at every caddy that week, 'How many players have you come across that can and do work the ball from left to right and right to left and will?'
The now common 'very few to any player' answer quickly cemented a shared passion for the art of shot making and creative golf. He was in full support and shared a keen interest in my mission to re-apply the true fundamentals of this game. Ball flight control from understanding and appreciation of the key basics that ultimately control it. We liked very much what each had to say and continued until the arrival and introduction of Miguel.
Himself very much a natural feel player, growing up in Argentina surrounded by raw flair and a unique sense of instinct for playing with his ball flight he had developed what I like to term, a creative reflex. While such a skill is hugely beneficial to a player, it can go a long way towards disguising and shadowing some real issues that go for a great period of time unnoticed until eventual cracks begin to crumble under the rigour of the tournament spotlight. His ability to manipulate the club within the swing and square the face through impact has clearly saved him on many occasion. His exceptional feel and awareness for the club face within the swing has clearly diverted his attention away from what actually causes the need for such a skill in the first place. As a result his basic fundamentals have fallen out of sink, so causing still further problems as a result.
Within the action of swinging a golf club the hands have the greatest power over everything. While they continue to control it all, they can only go so far in an effort to save anything.
Notice the poorly blended hands.
Right hand is turned to much to the right on the club.
Looking down the line notice the open shoulders.
Hands aren't blended on the club.
Lack of well defined shapes in the address.
Notice how top heavy he looks.
Fails to really get himself grounded into the address.
Looks weak/ open shoulders.
So from the initial analysis you can easily see where Miguel's bad shot is coming from. If the hands shape the shot and the body directs it he has little hope of sending it down his target line with any kind of consistency. From this shoulder alignment he is sending his shots left and with such a strong right hand position he's fighting the club face from turning over and sending the ball straight left in flight.
My advise to Miguel was to simply adjust his shoulder alignment to feel more closed in order to square them up. Making an essential grip change at such a late stage would of proved disastrous. The resulting shoulder adjustment was enough to direct his ball flight with much more accuracy and allow Miguel the confidence to really start committing to his body line swing.
He went onto shoot 70 and survive the cut line.
Friday, 26 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
The smart golfer will be the golfer who gives up his efforts to control his swing and become solely concerned with controlling his golf ball, allowing his natural swing to unfold under the constant shaping of the basic fundamentals:
Live and breathe by these elements in learning to shape ones swing with the LAWS of IMPACT.
Take the time to think logically about the art of striking a golf ball towards a target.
Why not simply see your TARGET.
Picture the shot you INSTINCTIVELY FEEL is best suited to the TARGET.
Align the CLUBFACE perfectly square to the TARGET.
Lean the shaft SQUARE to the CLUBFACE.
Place the HANDS on the grip to FORM ones NEUTRAL HOLD on the golf club.
Properly ALIGN the SHOULDERS to match SQUARE to the HANDS and CLUBFACE.
ALIGN the HIPS SQUARE to the SHOULDERS.
FEET SQUARE to the HIPS and TARGET LINE.
Now simply open or close the alignment of the feet relative to the target line remembering to move the ball slightly forward for the open stance and slightly further back for the closed alignment. With the clubface still square you are ready to simply give up any control of the in swing movements and feel the force of the free swinging club.
These two shots are simply the only 2 shots you will ever need.
Attempting to strike a golf ball straight is like trying to draw a perfect circle with a pencil while leaning on a rock.
It's not happening.
The only way to successfully say hi to your game is with trust for the basics set above and understand how each one influences the results you will find at impact. And remember, the only way to read the results is through understanding the BALL FLIGHT LAWS out there in front of you.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
So you decide to drive your car from point A to point B. How do you complete the journey with such ease and minimal frustration?
Simple, you focus on the journey/ the road ahead of you and never once find yourself wrapped up in the potential complications of gear changes, hand, wrist and arm movements, foot and leg positions and so on. You simply have trust in your car and the instincts you have developed through time on the road.
What we as golfers so easily fail to realise and commonly take for granted are the basic fundamentals that all of us as road users have so much trust in. Four wheels, brakes, seats, steering wheel and an engine/ clubface, hands, shoulder alignment etc, etc. These basics are the most vital to your success as both a golf course and road user and accomplished driver of an automobile. With these basic requirements consistently in place on every journey, all one has to do in order to be successful is simply focus on the target and have a clearly pictured route to it. Remain focussed on the journey and leave the controlling elements to the basics of setup and human instinct.