January 31, 2011
Russ Clark is the newest member of the instruction department at GolfTEC’s Headquarters. Here’s a sneak peek at What’s in His Bag. The full article will be in the February edition of Momentum.
Director of Teaching Quality
Driver: Cleveland DST Tour 8.5-degrees, with Diamana 44 gram stiff shaft.
This driver is very light. At less than 300 grams total weight I feel like I can swing easier and still create high clubhead speed at impact. With slightly more than 110 MPH of clubhead speed I still have about 2500 RPMs of backswing and an initial launch angle of about 14 degrees. In plain English, I picked up about 10 yards off the tee with this club.
Fairway wood: TaylorMade R9 3-wood with 13-degrees and Motore stiff shaft.
I like a “strong” 3-wood that allows me to use this club off the tee on tight driving holes and still hit it high enough from the fairway to hold most par-5 greens when I go for them in two.
Hybrid: Cleveland DST hybrids in 16-, 19- and 23-degrees. All these clubs have the stock graphite shaft in a stiff flex.
I will usually use two of the three hybrids depending on the course I am playing and I try to match the hybrids to the longest par 3 on the course. Personally, I prefer using a hybrid vs. a fairway wood into a green.
For more information about GolfTEC’s Personal Club Fitting process and how to buy custom golf clubs at the best discount available, click here.
January 26, 2011
PGA Master Professionals in Instruction Andy Hilts and Steve Atherton joined an elite group of presenters at the PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit in Orlando, FL yesterday. Listed on Golf Digest’s list of the Best Young Teachers in America from 2009-2011, Atherton and Hilts presented a sample of GolfTEC’s ground-breaking swing research and advanced instruction concepts.
Atherton reported several other Golf Top 100 Teachers asking questions after the presentation or complimenting them on the content of the presentation. As one listener said, “those guys came with something.”
Hilts presented GolfTEC’s philosophy of a long-term, developmental approach to golf lessons and Atheron talked about hip turn speed at impact. Both subjects were well-received. White Papers on GolfTEC’s ground breaking swing research, including information that was included in the presentations, will be coming out in the near future.
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January 21, 2011
The Long Bunker Shot
Certified Personal Coach, GolfTEC Coral Gables
The long bunker shot may be one of the hardest shots in golf. Simply knowing what club to choose can one of multiple problems in this situation. I’m going to go over club selection, setup changes and some in swing thoughts to help you out of the bunker in a single shot.
When I am faced with the challenge of hitting a 30-80 yard bunker shot, I’ll typically choose an 8 iron, 9 iron, or pitching wedge. Why? I plan on hitting an exploding shot with control and speed. Many people automatically go with sand or lob wedge with the intent on picking it clean, but this is a low percentage shot with a much greater margin for error. You are much more susceptible to hitting the ball fat or even thin. The best plan of attack when choosing a club is to go with the longer club which will allow for a more forgiving outcome.
When setting up for a long bunker shot, a few things change in your address position. First of all, choke down on the club to help control distance as well as the amount of sand taken during the shot. It is also important to maintain a quiet lower body throughout the shot to ensure more control and stability. The most important aspect of setting up is to truly access your surroundings and use that to make a final decision as to how to best approach the shot.
Generally speaking, when hitting a longer bunker shot you want to take a longer swing and aim for 2 inches behind the ball. Plan to let bunker shots roll more to your target.
Remember, just like every other shot in golf, long bunker shorts take practice to control and hit with consistency. Like Gary Player said “The more I practice, the luckier I get.”
January 12, 2011
This article was featured in the January edition of the Momentum Newsletter.
TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
It is currently 28 degrees outside and we are expecting up to four inches of snow with 30 mile per hour winds here in Columbus, Ohio. For everyone in the northern states the golf off-season is officially upon us. As both a GolfTEC Coach and golf fitness instructor, this is the time of year where I get my clients to make changes that will benefit their games for the following season and seasons to come. From the fitness standpoint I see that there are five key areas that the average working adult (who is chained to a desk 45 hours a week) can work on to improve their golf game during the winter months.
- Hip Mobility – hip mobility is paramount to creating power in the golf swing. The more sedentary lifestyle one lives the less mobile they will become. Hip circles is one of the best exercises to help create a greater range of motion in your hips. To do this exercise start by stabilizing your core in the quadruped (on all fours) position to prevent any movement from the spine. Slowly start to make circles with your right hip, trying to get the biggest range motion possible without losing your stable spine. Another way to think about this is to try and make the circles with your knee while still feeling that the motion is coming from the respective hip. Repeat on the other side.
- Thoracic Mobility (Mid to Upper Back) – For individuals who sit at a desk all day, I see limitations in this area quite often. Hunched shoulders and rounded upper back are common side effects. This will affect one’s ability to stay in posture throughout the backswing and in turn result in inconsistent ball striking. An exercise that will help get more thoracic extension is squat and arch with a Swiss ball, a large, inflated exercise ball. To perform this exercise start by sitting on a Swiss ball, place your arms up in the air over your head. Now roll your back over the ball until your head gets supported by the ball. Drop your butt down towards the ground into the squat position, then push from your legs and arch back over the ball. Try to keep your spine as close to the ball as possible. Repeat back and forth.
- Glute Stability – The glute medius is the muscle that helps you not to sway or slide in your golf swing, which causes inconsistent ball striking and loss of power. An exercise that I do at the gym in my fitness routine is called duck walks. For this exercise you will need a small exercise band that will fit around your ankles. Different people will need different band tension or stiffness. To perform this exercise, place the band around your ankles and get into a good, tall posture. Maintaining a stable posture, begin to side step to the left for 10 steps. Repeat to the right. When doing this exercise correctly your glute muscles should be engaging much more than your hips.
- Core Stability – As most have heard by now, you should “work on your core for a better golf swing”. What does that mean and why? In golf, it means that your core will help stabilize either the upper or lower body while the other is in motion. This helps in the transferring of power in the golf swing as well as maintaining dynamic posture (posture while in motion), which helps in overall ball striking. So simply doing tons of crunches won’t cut it for golf. A better option is an exercise called bird dogs. Start in the quadruped position (all fours) with arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor and one knee elevated on an Airex pad or pillow. While stabilizing your spine in a neutral pelvic posture (not excessively arching or rounding the back), try to extend your non-elevated hip and leg, extending the leg so it becomes parallel to the ground and extend your opposite arm. Make sure you don’t increase the curvature in your lower back at the same time. Repeat on the other side.
- Ankle Mobility/Stability – This is the most underrated body segment when it comes to golf fitness, in my opinion. The golf swing starts from the ground up and if there is any limitation in this region it will have an effect up the rest of the chain/movement. The number one exercise I give my clients for their ankles is called flatten arches, form arches. Start by sitting in a chair or on a Swiss ball with your feet shoulder width apart, feet flat on the ground, toes pointing forward, and your hands in fists placed side-by-side wedged between your knees. Now, without moving your hips, knees or hands, try to pronate (rock your feet in) and supinate (rock your feet out) your feet side to side. Repeat back and forth!
These five areas are all areas that I see on a daily basis that the average golfer needs to improve on. So why not improve your body along with your swing in the off-season? A limitation in your body means compensations in your golf swing. So make it easier for you to improve your swing and consider golf fitness for this, and future, off-seasons.
To see any of the exercises mentioned in this article or to find a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Certified Golf Fitness Instructor in your area visit www.mytpi.com for more details. Have a great and productive off-season!
January 5, 2011
With the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua kicking off the 2011 PGA season, it’s time to look ahead and share what’s in store for golf and GolfTEC in the 2011 season.
1. GolfTEC teams up with The First Tee- For each new fan who “Likes” GolfTEC on Facebook, we’ll make a donation to The First Tee, an organization dedicated to teaching life skills to young people through golf.
2. New demo equipment coming to a Center near you- Check your e-mail and read the local newsletter content for a list of 2011 GolfTEC demo days.
3. Performance Clinics and special events – Short game improvement, putting, special guests and more at GolfTEC Improvement Centers.
4. New GolfTEC University Graduates – Check in with our Facebook page to see photos of GolfTEC University. We might be sending a new Coach to your Center so stay up to date on Facebook.
5. GolfTEC Social Media for 2011 – The First Tee partnership is only the beginning. Check us out on The Hacker’s Paradise and join the amazing THP Forum for free.