Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Find a release that squares the clubface at impact

 via GolfWRX - Golf news, equipment, reviews, classifieds and discussion

The last time we discussed release, we defined it as the point of extension of the lead arm and the golf club. The other part of release we need to concern ourselves with is that of squaring the clubface, which is the impact condition that leads to straighter shots. This, too, is defined as part of the “release,” albeit somewhat ambiguously.

The extension of the lead arm and the golf club, which I discussed in my last story, is a result of what is known as ulnar and radial deviation. The squaring of the face, which I am going to discuss in this article, is a result of the pronation and supination of the hands and arms. Both are essential parts of the release. The first part achieves a consistent swing bottom, while the second part squares the club face.

At address, the face of the golf club is at a right angle to the target line and the plane on which the club is about to swing. To facilitate the up-and-around motion, there is a certain amount of rotation of the arms so that at the top of the swing the club face is no longer at right angles to the plane — it is actually lying on the plane.

This position is referred to as “square,” but it is in fact 90 degrees open to the target line. If it were “square” as it was at address it would not be lying on the plane; it would coming off it at a right angle. All you’d need to see this is to pull the club down with no rotation and it would be precisely 9o degrees open to the ball at impact. So because the club was rotated by the arms and turning of the torso on the way up, it must be “re-rotated” on the way down. I think of this as “releasing the face,” an essential movement in solid contact.

In Part 1 of the release, I suggested that golfers uncock their wrists at different points in the downswing depending on the path and plane on which they are swinging. This also holds true for rotation and roll of the arms and hands into the ball. The factors determining when and how the face is released are also allied to the path and plane on which the golf club is swinging into the ball.

If you are a steep swinger, you need a conscious rolling of the forearms into the ball. That’s because the more vertical the club transitions, the more the face tends to open.

The flatter the swing arc into the ball, the less you need to roll your forearms into the ball. Your hands can be more “quiet” into impact. You still will need to square the clubface, but you can be more passive in doing so.

Here’s a great checklist if you’re struggling with hooks or slices

  • Low snap hooks are the result of too much hand action from a flat arc.
  • High, weak slices are the result of not enough hands from a steep arc.

It’s that simple.

If you tend to uncock the wrists early, this part of your swing may be in your golfing DNA. Don’t sweat the small stuff — simply play around it by making the necessary adjustments in your plane and path to facilitate it. The same goes for your freedom to release the club. If you’re coming in low on the swing plane, you can turn your body through and use less hands. If you’re high and steep coming down, let it roll, baby, roll. Any Doors fans still around today?

The best release drill I know is still one of the very first ones I learned: The Split Grip Drill. Simply split your grip so your left hand (for righties) is on the golf club normally. The position your right hand all the way down on the shaft below the handle. Now take some baseball swings; you’ll feel the roll-over, or the rotation. Do it several times. It helps.

For those of you who are regular followers of my writing and teaching, you see one consistent theme — work with what you already have in your swing. This is not a cop-out on my part as a teacher; I’m merely suggesting that certain motions are very difficult to change, but the good news is that you don’t have to.

What’s the problem with a flying elbow, a weak grip, a flat plane, bent left arm, across the line, laid off, etc.

Answer: Nothing. Qualification: Nothing in and of itself.

There are any number of golfers in the Hall of Fame who have swung the club with one or more of the positions I just described. How did they get away with it? They balanced their swing to arrive at impact correctly. That’s been the case since the first Scot slapped the first brassie from a mud peg and it remains the case today.

I can help anyone play better and become their own teacher if they are willing to make changes that are more compatible with their core move.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt Golf Laser Rangefinder Review

via Hooked On Golf Blog

Bushnell Tour Z6 Laser Rangefinder with Pinseeker + Jolt

I’ve had a Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt laser rangefinder in the bag for a while now.  The Tour Z6 Jolt is a small golf laser rangefinder which has some very nice features, the most useful and obvious is providing yardages to the golfer.  Armed with exact yardages to the pin, to the lip of bunkers which need to be carried, to trees, to hazards, the golfer can confidently pick the right club and right swing for the shot.


The key feature of a laser rangefinder is to give the golfer a yardage to the pin.  The “Pinseeker” component of the Bushnell Tour Z6 is designed to easily lock onto flagsticks quickly and accurately, delivering that yardage fast and dependably.

The unit is capable of delivering yardages from five to 1,300 yards.  Nice to be able to get a yardage to the pin on a 1,300 yard hole for you big hitters.

When the unit is fairly sure it has locked in on a flagstick, it vibrates or produces a “jolt” which gives physical feedback to the user.  Thus the “jolt” name.

The numbers, crosshairs, and other on screen display items are shown in a very vibrant glowing red.  That glowing red is much easier to read than lasers with black numbers.

The focus adjustable viewfinder magnifies the viewing area by 6x, making the flag or other items the user is shooting very easy to see.  Since the focus is adjustable, the viewfinder can be tweaked for those who need prescription glasses or contacts.

The case and housing are very sharp looking.  The skeleton of the unit is covered in very tough and durable rubber, which is also waterproof.  Great for those rounds in Scotland, Florida, or the northwest USA.

On The Course

I like the small footprint of this particular laser.  It easily fits in pockets on the golf bag.  It is not heavy or cumbersome.  The included case hangs nicely on a towel loop or other place on the bag for easy access.

For the most part the yardages are acquired quickly and accurately.   The jolt feature is a nice addition, giving confidence that the unit is locked in on the flagstick and not the trees behind the green.

I really dig the red display characters and crosshairs.  They look so much better than the standard black/gray LCD type display characters.  The numbers are easy to read.

I wear prescription glasses on the course.  Because of how they are working, I need an adjustable diopter to do a custom focus for my eyes.  That way I don’t have to take off my glasses to see what’s in the laser’s display area.  The adjustment works great and saves me the inconvenience of having to remove my glasses to use the unit.


Above I mentioned that “for the most part” the yardages are quick and accurate.  I have found on occasion that the yardages can sometimes vary by as much as two yards.  One time I may shoot a pin at 150 and the next two confirmation shots could be 151 or 149.  I’m not necessarily good enough to worry about the difference between 149 to 151, but it may bring into question whether or not the yardage is accurate.


I typically prefer lasers over golf GPS units.  The only time a GPS is better is when hitting over trees or objects which block the laser’s line of sight, which is not often.

New drivers can cost $500 and up.  But they can’t help you with as much of your game as knowing exact yardages to the pin and all sorts of other targets on the course.  The roughly $400 investment for this unit is steep, but will be used far more times in a golf round than 14, the typical number of times a driver is hit.

The Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt is a solid golf laser rangefinder and it is my new gamer.  I love the feel of the unit in both tactile terms and the jolt feature.  The red display is awesome.  I can use it in the rain, which I play plenty of rounds in.

The only thing better than a Scottish caddie is… a Scottish caddie.  When I can’t use a Scottish caddie, I use the Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt golf laser rangefinder!


A Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt promotional video:

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Race To Dubai Obituary Notices: Who Lost Their Cards

via GolfCentralDaily

For all the glitz and glamour of professional golf on the European Tour there is also the harsh reality of playing for your livelihood every week and losing your privileges should you not perform.  Follow @golfcentraldoc Here are the Race To Dubai Final "Bubble" standings following the Perth International with only the top 111 players retaining their cards.  However there are players appearing below that mark with exemptions from tournament wins. The list starts with unlucky Lee Slattery in 111th place. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Step By Step: Greenside Bunker Shots

via Golf Digest


Photograph by J.D. Cuban, taken at Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.

November 2014

Most golfers understand the concept of executing a basic greenside bunker shot: You want to swing through the sand under the ball. But when it's a longer bunker shot—say, 20 to 40 yards—the fatal mistake I see is swinging harder to try to hit the ball farther. Do that, and you usually end up taking too much sand and dumping the shot well short. Instead, follow this checklist.

David Leadbetter runs 26 golf academies worldwide.

Illustrations By Todd Detwiler


Ted Bishop Kicked Out As PGA President Of America Over Ian Poulter "Lil Girl" Tweet


via GolfCentralDaily

Oh dear, I dont think even Ian Poulter saw this one coming (or even wanted it); his twitter repost to Ted Bishop's stop acting like a "Lil Girl" tweet has just resulted in the sacking of the President of The PGA America. 

The background to the story was that Bishop was pissed off by remarks Poulter made in his book about Nick Faldo's shambolic Ryder Cup Captaincy in 2008. Bishop, after doing a Golf Channel appearance alongside Faldo, called out Poults as being a "Lil Girl" compared to Sir Nick's playing record.

"Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C'MON MAN!" Bishop tweeted.

Rightly or wrongly the PGA of America board voted out of office with just one month left on his two year term.

"The board heard me out and then voted to impeach me," he said. "That is the due process and I respect that, as painful as it might be,"  Bishop said.

I feel dreadfully sorry for Ted Bishop; he certainly mean for this to happen. I can only imagine how Ian Poulter must feel, if he thought this was going to blow up in Bishop's face, I guarantee he would never have pursued it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Golfers Library – 10 Golfing Books You Should Have On Your Shelves


via Gorilla Golf Blog - Golf News, Videos, Reviews, Tips & Lifestyle

You may not think of golfers as a particularly literary bunch, but over the years there have been some magnificent tomes written about this marvellous game. Whether it is biographies of the great and good, books about golfing strategy or psychology or about individual golfing tournaments or performances, there’s a lot of top notch golfing books out there.

So whether you are still a fan of flipping the pages of the latest tome, or you are more techno-savvy and prefer to do your reading on your Kindle, iPad or similar, here, in no particular order, are ten of the best golf books you should have in your library.


  1. Inside the Bear Pit & After the Bear Pit by Mark James

Mark James “Inside the Bear Pit” caused a huge controversy when it was released post-Brookline ’99, when the Ryder Cup reached its Nadir. Partisan home support spilled over into blatant gamesmanship and cheating and James authoritative tome painted a less than seemly picture of events during that competition.

It was compelling reading for its drama, and its sequel After the Bear Pit brings readers nicely through the events that happened after the release of the first book. Both are essential reading for any Ryder Cup fan.

  1. Seve: The Official Autobiography by Seve Ballesteros

I can count on one hand the number of top class golf biographies I have read so far and Seve’s effort is without doubt the most memorable. A fascinating tale that has been recently brought to life in a major motion picture, but read the original autobiography first before seeing the film.

  1. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan

For many, this is without doubt the Magnum Opus of golf instruction books. Hogan’s simple five lesson approach to the game may seem somewhat simplistic, even outdated, but the principles he displays in astonishing detail have stood the test of time.

If you want to learn about golf having never picked up a club before, or if you want to improve your game almost immediately, this is the book to turn to.

  1. Four Iron in the Soul by Lawrence Donegan

Life on tour as a caddie may seem somewhat exciting to the outsider, but for every caddy plying his trade with Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods or Adam Scott, there are hundreds more struggling to make a living with a player well down the rankings.

Writer Lawrence Donegan attempted to live just like that as a caddy for 400+ ranked in the world Scottish golfer Ross Drummond. This brilliant story of life as a caddy offers a very different insight into the game through the eyes of the man carrying the bag.

  1. Bring me the Head of Sergio Garcia by Tom Cox

A superbly funny book about Tom Cox’s attempts to survive for one year as a professional touring golfer. As a teen Cox was a talented aspiring golfer, but in the end walked away from the game.

However as he got older, he dreamed of turning professional and despite being over 30 years of age, he decided to give his dream one last chance, with the aim of qualifying for his dream event. The British Open.

  1. Inside – One Man’s Experience of Prison – by John Hoskison

How can this be a book about golf? Well prior to 1994, John Hoskison was a fully paid up member of the European PGA Tour. While never in the upper echelons of the game at European level, Hoskison was a golfer of undeniable talent.

However in 1994, he accepted a drink following a game of golf, breaking a discipline he had kept up for 20 years. He jumped into his car to drive home afterwards and on that short journey, hit and killed a cyclist.

Sentenced to prison, this is his story of how he survived prison and began to try and make amends.

  1. The Inner Game of Golf by W. Timothy Gallwey

I am often very scathing of books about the mental aspect of golf, but of all the ones that are available today (and there are a huge amount of them) W. Timothy Gallwey’s book certainly strikes the most resonant chord with me.

There is a huge amount of simple, yet practical advice in the book that even the most limited of player can use to their advantage, yet what is most impressive is how Gallwey explains some genuinely complex psychological thought process, in a rational and easy to follow way.

  1. The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World’s Worst Golfer by Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby

The fantastic story of a former crane driver and comedy stunt diver Maurice Flitcroft who managed to get himself a place in the British Open. This despite never having played a real round of golf in his life.  He scored 121 and the British Open organisers banned him for life.

This is Maurice’s story of how he battled against the R&A to be allowed to enter the tournament he loved, without possessing a single ounce of golfing talent. A truly hilarious read.

  1. My Life In And Out of the Rough by John Daly

Brutally honest, painful to read at times, John Daly’s life story is a tale of extremes, from feeling on top of the world at one moment, to the bottom of the barrel the next. He details his extraordinary career with a candour and honesty that is refreshing.

Daly’s tale is a cautionary tale of how seemingly having everything, sometimes isn’t enough.

  1. ‘Dream On’: One Hackers Challenge to Break Par in a Year by John Richardson

Perhaps the most relevant book for the weekend hacker ever to have been written. John Richardson couldn’t break one hundred and worked in a full time job. However, John Richardson also had a dream: to break par at a local golf course within 12 months, while remaining in full time work and trying to remain a father and husband.

Sam Torrance said he should “dream on”, Darren Clarke suggested three years may be more appropriate to achieve his dream. Everyone he spoke to said it couldn’t be done.

This is his story.


Tiger is hitting full shots again

via Compleat Golfer

Tiger is hitting full shots again, according to USA Today.

The former world No 1, whose last competitive round came in the PGA Championship in August, got the nod from his doctors last week and has been camping out on the range ever since. He reportedly has been chipping and putting for at least a few weeks now.

“The doctors said he could hit golf balls again, and he’s listening to his doctors and to his body,” Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. “He will keep listening to his doctors and body.”

“…He’s feeling pretty good.”

After Woods withdrew from the PGA, he said he needed to work on strengthening his core.

“Obviously by playing, you can’t burn the candle at both ends,” he said. “I need to get stronger physically and be back to where I was.”

The 38-year-old, who won five times in 2013 and started the season as the world No 1 (he is now No 17), hopes to make his return to competitive golf in the Hero World Challenge from 5 – 8 December. At a recent press conference to promote the tournament, Woods said he had not yet touched a club. He was enthusiastic, however, about the gains from his gym work.

“We have our goals and benchmarks, but it’s also day‑to‑day,” Woods said. “Some days I’m making bigger gains than others. Some days I’m backing off a little bit. But, we’re pretty much past the strength phase now, and I’ve got my strength where I want to have it, now I just need to get my fast twitch going and get my speed back, and that’s going to take a little bit of time.

“That’s part of our second phase of training, and that’s coming up now.”


Ian Poulter Joins Titleist. Official Confirmation On Twitter

via GolfCentralDaily

Don't say I didn't tell you a few days ago  that Titleist were favourite to sign Ian Poulter after he announced earlier this week he was leaving Cobra Puma.

Poults tweeted earlier 

Seriously pleased to announce I will be a full staff @Titleist @FootJoy staff player for 2015 season. So excited. 

 And posted this pic of his new Titleist bag.

Join the GolfCentralDaily community on Twitter for loads more comment on and off the course.