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Practice like you’ll play and play like you practice

PRACTICE LIKE YOU’LL PLAY & PLAY LIKE YOU PRACTICEdemonstration

 

If You Commit Yourself To Correct Practice You Discover

  • Your performance can be improved in some way
  • You must be willing to start with the small things, when you first start to Practice your gains will be small, but they will grow.
  • There’s a price to pay to reach the next level, Sydney Howard remarked, one half of knowing what you want is what you must give up before you get it, to many of us regard practice as an essential negative experience, but it doesn’t have to be if you think of it in terms of discovery and development.
  • Perfect or Good shots?
  • Many times golfers leave shots to the greens short of the pin and feel they have miss hit the shot or taken the wrong club, I believe that many times it is because we are guilty of allowing for the perfect shot instead of our good shot, how many perfect shots do we hit in the round of golf? A perfect shot with an iron will travel between 5 to 7 yards farther than your good shot, “So Allow For Your Good Shots Most Of The Time”

pro practise range

Practice Makes Perfect?

We often hear or read the above quote, I believe it is misleading, it encourages us into thinking that the more we practice the more successful we are going to be, unfortunately it sometimes had the opposite effect and leads to bad habits, loss of confidence and poor results.

The following quotes Are What We Should Be Striving For:

  • “Correct Practice Makes Perfect”
  • Practice Makes Permanent” “Quality Practice Not Quantity”

The Power of Correct Practice

Bunker shot at KLM Dutch Open

When it comes to practice the Two most difficult challenges you face are,
1. Having the desire to do it.
2. Having the discipline to keep at it.
You have to be diligent in these matters, !Persevere!
It has nothing to do with talent or ability.
It is not a matter of conditions, but of choice.
But once the choice is made and practice becomes habit

  1. Two things become obvious,
    The First is a clear difference between the person who practices and the one who doesn’t.
  2. The Second thing that emerges is a winning spirit, the harder you work, the harder is becomes to surrender to things like fatigue, complacency, discouragement, criticism and all the other stuff that tries to break your stride.

Bad Habits?

So nearly holed out

On arriving at a British Open to meet with a player I had been working with for many years I found his ball control was inconsistent, he had referred to his fault check list to try and work out which area needed attention but had not come up with the answer, having discussed his thoughts and seeing him hit some shots, I reminded him about his right hand position on the club, a key point we had worked on from time to time during the previous 8 years. All levels of golfers have times when they slip back into their bad habits, it is important to know what they are and know how to correct them.

Write them down, call it your “Fault Check List” even the top players need reminding and reassuring at times, it not because they don’t know it’s because they have forgotten.

“I WILL DO TODAY THAT OTHERS WILL NOT,
SO I CAN DO TOMORROW THAT OTHERS CAN NOT”

Howard BennettThe above articles provided by Howard Bennett, Master Golf Professional
To obtain the  book with lots of more useful tips  on improving your golf by Howard Bennett click here

 

“Time for Change?”

 

“Time for Change?”

It is hard to believe that over 9000 books have been written on how
to play golf. 9000 books dedicated to trying to unlock the secrets of this elusive game. And yet despite all this advice and knowledge golf remains the most frustratingly difficult game in the world.
irish open county down
Why is that?

Are you ready to challenge some of your long held beliefs?
During my fifteen years as a Tournament Professional, I like many others, fell into the trap of believing that someone else held the secret to my success. I failed to realise that success could not be found in finding the perfect swing that would not break down under pressure. That road lead to total frustration and feelings of wanting to do something better with my time. Does this sound familiar to you?
Lessons and information taken in, hours spent practicing, yet
still no improvement in performance. Well read on and change your golfing life forever!

The first step on the road to mastery is to trust yourself and understand what it is you are doing when you attempt to
hit the ball. Where is your attention and awareness focused?

Are you thinking too much about what is a simple task?

You need to move your game away from thinking, and move it towards feeling. You see FEEL is what we use to perform all the amazing motion skills we possess. You don’t think how to walk, you FEEL how to walk. You don’t think how hard to throw the piece of paper into the bin, you FEEL how hard to throw it. And if golf is to change then it must align itself accordingly, because more information is not the answer.

Any sport that sees naturally gifted people unintentionally slice for their entire golfing lives, or that has professionals with golf games that seem to regress in direct proportion with the more they learn about its mechanics, is definitely in need of change!

So how do we move away from thinking and towards feeling?
Well, all feel begins with an objective or task.
“Throw the ball to daddy” is all that needs said to evoke an appropriate technique and start the learning process in a child, and as the skill develops so does the feel.

The issue with golf “coaching” is that it tends to be technique rather than task led.
To help explain that a little more clearly lets look at how I was introduced to two sports. Squash and golf. See if you can spot the difference.
not an easy one
GOLF – This is pretty good representation of the type of instruction that I received when I came to golf for the first time. How does it compare to yours?
1. I was told how to grip the club.
2. I was told how to stand, aim and position the ball.
3. I was told how to swing. This included lots of things such as, keeping your eye on the ball and your head down.
Your left arm straight and your swing slow. Then as I progressed it become a bit more complicated and included stuff like turning my left shoulder under my chin properly on the backswing, and that my hips had to start the downswing etc. Unfortunately it didn’t stop there, and ultimately I moved on to swing planes, wrist cock, wrist lag, width and weight transference, and it went on, and on, and on. It was real fun. NOT!
4. Then every time I got coached I was told that I would get worse before I got better.

GREAT! Just what a young man wants to hear.

SQUASH – I was given the following help with squash from one of my friends.
1. I was handed a racket and a ball.
2. I was then told the rules and objective of the game. Which was basically that ball was only allowed to bounce once before you had to hit it, and my job was to try and direct it where my opponent couldn’t get it. The serve was explained, as were the lines and tin on the walls and floor.
3. I was then asked if I fancied a game!
Darren Clarke the Ryder Cup Captain warming up
Did you spot the difference?

You see golf was full of “how to” instructions, whereas squash was all about the game or objective. In fact in squash there is no technical information whatsoever, and amazingly in golf there was no mention of the objective. The contrast is startling, and that just shouldn’t be. People constantly told me that golf was different (but it isn’t), but I accepted this belief and all the baggage that comes with it.
Now it’s time to hand it back.
My introduction to golf encouraged me to think, whereas my introduction to squash encouraged me to feel and once
you learn the appropriate feel for golf you can never lose it.
Fact, the golf ball always does what it is told. We tell the golf ball what to do via the clubface and how it’s applied to the ball.
So what are you telling the clubface?
Is your attention where it should be, that is on the clubface?
If not it needs to be.
All golfers need to be aware of the reality of what happens at impact. The golf ball will tell you this.

Let me give you an example of this.
While I was giving a golf clinic one lady hit a shot heavy, taking a big divot and the ball barely moved. I asked her “What happened there?”
She replied that she had swung too fast and lifted her head up. A nice story but unfortunately it was just a story and not reality. What did happen was she miss applied the club and caught the ground before the ball.
After bringing this to her attention I then challenged her to hit the ball without hitting the ground. After a couple of practice swings feeling a different movement to her previous attempt, she hit a shot toward her target without taking a big divot. She had changed her technique due to the task I had given her, without any information of “How To” from me.

You will find that the task will always lead to your technique and NOT the other way around.
Logos on tour
Exploring different ways of applying the club will lead to you discovering what is right for you. Golf is fun once you rid yourself of all thoughts of rights and wrongs. Taking ownership of your own game will be a massive step on the road to having more FUN while playing.
Every great player in the world plays with feel as his major sense, now it’s time for you to do the same.

Good luck and happy INSTINCTIVE golfing.

By Paul Eales
European Tour Winner & Instinctive Golf Coach

“Use your Eyes for Correct Aim”

Logos on the tartan tour at Drumpellier

Use your Eyes”

When the well-respected Scottish Coach Bob Torrance, was asked what is required to be a top coach? His immediate answer was “A Good Eye”.
At a pre-season youth coaching week at La Cala Spain, we had group meetings to discuss various points relating to course management. The overall view from the players was that club selection and nap on the green presented difficulties. Making the correct club selection to avoid either being short or long of the green, and good nap judgement again avoiding the putts being 5 – 6 feet short or long, after hearing their remarks I suggested the following.

Due to La Cala golf courses, both the fairways and the greens being undulating, my advice to them was to “Use Your Eyes” put into your calculation the slopes, they tended to concentrate too much on which club to hit the green and the nap on the greens they had not seen the undulations, the ups and the downs.
Christy O’Conner snr, in a published article, when asked by a reporter on what single piece of advice would you give to golfers, which would improve their game, his answer was
“Use your Eyes”.

Logos on Tour at the Northern Open
Analysis of Correct Aiming

1. Body muscles produce the shot.
2. The body muscles receive their instructions and initiative from the brain.
3. The brain gets its inspiration through the eyes.

Therefore when aiming look attentively not only at the ball but also at the objective point, i.e. the hole or direction flag (“take dead aim” as Harvey Pennick always asked his pupils to do) so what the eye will register clearly on the mind the objective to be accomplished, then the mind will instruct the muscles what has to be done.
Many golfers give a casual glance at the direction of play, or area, they do not focus on a certain point within that direction or area.
It takes time for the eye to adjust its focus; the brain must concentrate on a certain thing if the eye is to focus on it.
The eye must be focused on the objective point if the exact location isto be impressively registered, the brain will then have the necessary information to instruct the muscular senses to control the direction and distance.

By Howard Bennett
Master PGA Professional

GOLF EXPLORATION

“Golf Exploration”

Logos on Tour in Switzerland

With countless golf books, magazines and articles on how to do the perfect golf swing, no shortage of golf clubs that help you achieve that and golf teachers offering computer analysis of your swing, does it actually help us or is it like putting a fire out with petrol?

We are the common denominator and we are unique, don’t you think it is about time that you took control of your golf game and become an explorer rather than a Sherpa?

shenzen international golf

Golf has been described as a journey with no end destination, if that is the case we must ask ourselves why we have chosen to travel, it could be for a number of reasons. I would love to travel with you, to share the journey, to show you the beauty that lies within you, your untapped potential, your natural abilities that have always been there but never fully appreciated. Come walk with me, put down that rucksack full of ‘does and don’ts’ and golf myths, its time to free yourself and breathe unpolluted  golf air.

LOGOS wentworth 18th

Over the coming months we will travel and explore together how you could play this wonderful game of golf. Let’s take our first steps together, ready?
There is no such thing as right and wrong when it comes to golf swings. There are no secrets, no ideal method to follow, but there are the rules of golf and rules of golf club designs which we must conform to, but after that we are free to do what we want.

But do we?
As I said we are unique, so surely we should play golf in our own  individual way and not fall for the trap, changing what is natural to what is mechanical.

Everybody reverts back to natural movements eventually so it makes sense to use them as building blocks, something that repeats must be good news in developing consistency especially when you consider all the other variables. The biggest one is you and me.

Logos on Tour at the Dutch Open

Before true learning can take place clear understanding must be present, so you need to know how the tool (golf club) works. I am assuming you know how a golf course is set out and the objects of the different types of golf played etc. But did you know golf clubs come with two lofts on the face (angle of the face to the ground – more loft ball fly’s higher, less loft ball fly’s lower). The first loft is the one the club is made with, measured as a static loft. The second one and by far the most important is the dynamic loft, simply put: how we apply the club face as we strike the ball. It is impossible to hit a golf ball straight. Every golf ball hit has spin on it, so it will either move to the left or to the right as it travels up and down.

logos on the tartan tour at Deer Park

So let’s explore facts not fiction. The ball is stationary when we hit it, resting on either the ground or a tee peg. We are not going to be tackled and the target is not moving. We can decide when and how to hit it. The ball does not contain any energy of its own (although some people think it has a mind of its own)! So it’s up to us to apply energy in a suitable way in order to move the ball forward.

Nowhere in the job description for the golfer, does it actually say we have to help the ball in the air. The ball is designed to go in the air, the loft is designed to get it there, and it is a perfect arrangement. We need to apply the bottom of the club face to the bottom of the ball. A mixture of all these things will be too much for the ball to resist and it will willingly co-operate resulting in great happiness and pleasure for the golfer.

So here is your first bit of exploring!
Go to a golf range or your practice ground. Use a 6 or a 7 iron. 50 balls are more than enough, warm up, then choose a target and form your ball to target line (BTTL). The task is to hit golf balls as far right and left as you can from the BTTL. You are not allowed to aim the face left or right to start with and you must start from the same position, deciding before you hit the ball, your intention left or right.
You should end up with no golf balls in line with the target.
This is how you develop awareness: be aware of the feel of the golf swing and the golf shots it creates.

Practice the swing you intend to use to create the shot you intend to hit and see how close they are linked. Have fun and explore, remember there is no such thing as right and wrong, it’s about you doing suitable moves.

By
Mike Williams PGA Professional @ Glossop & District Golf Club
and Founder of the ‘Wackingdivots’ Golf Coaching
(wackingdivots@googlemail.com)