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7 Nights at the Twitter Academy

December 20, 2011

Friends,

In the last week, I had the great honor of being asked to be a part of 7 Nights at the Twitter Academy.  A friend of mine, Jason Helman, CPGA, came up with an idea to rival the Golf Channel’s 7 Nights of Instruction. He asked 7 golf professionals from across the country to create videos on different parts of the game and broadcast them every night at 8pm EST on Twitter.

The mastermind crew (a name given to the group) consisted of Jason Helman (@jasonhelmangolf) Sara Dickson (@sara_PGA) Rob McGill (@golfprorob) Kirk Oguri (@kirkoguri) Dennis Sales (@dennissalesgolf) and of course, myself (@andrewmarrgolf).  If you do use Twitter, be sure to follow them for the lastest news in golf instruction.  These pros are dedicated to thier profession for one sole reason TO GROW THE GAME OF GOLF;  yes, everyone has personal objectives, but at the end of the day their inate passion is fueled and guided by their duty to provide golf to many, many people. 

Personally, I feel I have learned more from these pros (and many like them) than any combination of golf instructional books. The hands-on lesson expereince that is shared every day continues to fuel my fire and increase my motiavtion to help grow a game that has given me so much in my life – thank you tweeps.

In case you missed 7 Nights at The Academy, I have included all 7 nights of videos below.

Enjoy!

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How Important is the Lower Body?

December 12, 2011

Friends,

Most golfers get overly occupied with making changes to their upper body in the golf swing and forget about the importance of the lower body – I call it the “classic gym syndrome” where the lower body is commonly overlooked.

The video post below will hep you create a more solid and repeatable lower body action in the golf swing.

Enjoy!

Please feel free to share this post with friends and family.

Hank Haney Training Aid – Review

November 29, 2011
Friends,

I recently got the opportunity to test the Hank Haney Path Finder
(HHPF) training aid, which is primarily designed to help
golfers with swing plane challenges.

The aid came with an instructional DVD discussing it’s main swing
plane features and is presented by inventor Hank Haney.  The aid is
designed to help golfers whose swing plane action adversely affects
the flight of their golf shots.  I have listed the pros and cons of
the training aid below, and hope this helps those of you considering a purchase.
For the record, I would not call myself a training aid teacher–in
fact I could count on one hand the training aids I think are effective
and use on a daily basis.


Pros:

The HHPF is designed not only to help steep swing planes but
also golfers that are particularly shallow in the downswing.
* The feedback is instant as an off-plane swing will hit the
device’s prongs to indicate the swing plane angle throughout the downswing
* The aid can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of plane
positions and challenges. For example, I would start with an 8-inch gap
between the prongs at the beginning of the session, and challenge
clients to reduce the gap by the end of the 30-minute lesson.
* The $99 price tag.  There are many aids on the market that cost
more but provide less feedback.
* From my experience, clients change plane patterns more quickly
with the HHPF than with other devices I have tested in the past.

Cons:

* The HHPF does not convert to lefty–left-handed version is
available for purchase separately.
* The design of the aid can be confusing and intimidating for the
first few swings. When I was testing it for the first time, I didn’t
feel comfortable making full swings for the first five or so minutes.
* The aid is rather large and not easily stored in our teaching bays.
* It’s a training aid, and should not be relied on, but used as a
tool to help change motor patterns.

Overall, I would recommend the HHPF for all golfers who are looking to
change their swing plane patterns. However, I would recommend working with a
PGA Professional who owns the aid to utilize it in the correct manner.

I invite feedback from teachers, golfers and clients who have
used the HHPF. And if you’re in San Diego and looking to play
better golf, please feel free to contact me at amarr [at] golftec.com  or
call my teaching center at 858 228 5228.

Golf Swing VS Baseball Swing

November 18, 2011

Friends,

The transition in the golf swing is arguably one of the most important areas of the swing and one of the most challenging for golfers to master.  In order to make this part of the swing easier to understand, I have created this video.

Enjoy.

Please post comments below and for more instructional info follow me on twitter @andrewmarrgolf

Having Trouble With Your Back-Swing?

November 10, 2011

Friends,

The most common fault I see clients perform in the backswing is over rotation of the forearms and hands, this in turn encourages the face of the club to open very early in the swing leading to contact and ball flight issues. The drill and accompanied picture below will help you solve this issue.

Please feel free to post comments below.

Enjoy.

Friends,

The Difference Between Shooting 63 and 80.

November 2, 2011

As the Head Coach of the Bishop’s School girls’ golf team, I had the privilege of accompanying two of my girls to the Southern California Regional Championships this morning (November 1st).  As a coach, I unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to watch my girls play as I was asked to be a scorer for a different grouping.  However, with every cloud comes a silver lining as I got to witness a junior girl from Torrey Pines High School shoot a 63 (7 under par) and set a new women’s course record on the par 70 course.
I was also lucky to watch a freshman girl shoot  80  which by most people’s standards is a very good score, however, the purpose of this post is to highlight the differences between shooting a 63 and an 80.
Pre-Round Preparation:  I noticed the TP63 (Torrey Pines Junior) spent only 15 minutes on the driving range warming up hitting balls to targets compared to 30 minutes chipping and putting where as most of the other girls stood around the range talking and hitting balls for about 30 – 45 minutes with little to no chipping or putting.
Pre-Shot Routine:  TP63 had exactly 3 practice swings before every shot and when disrupted and thrown off she would reset her rotuine until she was ready to make her best swing. The other girl would have a variety of practice swings and was even haulted whilst in a set by a person in a cart crossing the fairway, however, she never reset resulting in a shot that flew 20 yards left into a bunker.  The realization hit home as she muttered “I should have taken more time over that shot” as she put her club back in her bag.
Course Management:  TP63 hit the ball no more than 220 yards off the tee yet made the decision to lay up on 3 separate occasions to leave herself with her favorite 100 yard shot into the hole. The other girl hit her driver every time and ended up 2 over for those three holes compared to the 2 under by TP63.
Putting:  There is no denying that holing putts will lower your score, but to shoot 63 you need to hole just about everything.  TP63 finished the round with 24 putts – remember how she spent time on the putting green prior to the round…hmmmmmmmmm
Demeanor:  TP63 was nothing short of flat line throughout the entire 18 holes. She never got too high when holing putts for birdie or got upset when fairways and greens were missed compared to other players who experienced many highs and lows.
Nutrition:  TP63 muched on trail mix, bananas, a peanut butter sandwich and plenty of water in the 6 hour round.  When offered candy she refused unlike every other player in her group.

Now, many of you may feel that the attention to detail shown by TP63 doesn’t apply to you as you can’t break 90, 80 or get close to shooting 63.  My reply would be – you NEED to learn from golfers that pay attention to the details as they are 100% more likely to be able to reach their golfing goals quicker than people who do not.

All feedback is very much appreciated.

How I View The Golf Swing

October 27, 2011

The Way I View The Golf Swing (In Swing Fundamentals)

I first started teaching and coaching 12 years ago and in that time, I have to be honest, my teaching preferences have changed dramatically.  Over the years I have been fortunate to learn the swing from wonderfully talented teachers in Scotland, England and the States who have influenced the way I view the golf swing.  My goal in this post is to share with you the way I analyze golf swings the first time I see them by elaborating on the main areas of importance.
In light of past events on select social media sites,  I feel it’s important to be clear that I do not prescribe to one method of teaching. In fact, I feel having a plethora of styles is paramount in order to help a broader client base.
I look at the following 4 areas of the swing every time I first diagnose a swing:

Swing Plane
Pivot
Lag
Impact

I could quite possibly  dedicate a separate blog for each of these areas of the swing, however, that is not my goal in this particular post.  So the question is – why do I believe these areas are the most important when initially analyzing swings.  Note: I’m assuming that clients don’t have any fundamental set-up issues prior to looking at these areas and if they do, that is where the changes would begin.

Pivot (backswing) – Without an efficient pivot in the backswing, either excessive amounts of lateral motion are incorporated which can lead to plane, lag and impact issues which can then develop into a lack of clubhead speed.  My preference is to have more of a centered pivot for many clients to encourage a more repeatable low point at impact.

Swing Plane (backswing and downswing) – An insufficient lower body movement (pivot) can lead to an inefficient swing plane. This decreases the chances of effectively producing an adequate amount of lag in the swing  which then leads to wasted power, direction and spin problems at impact – otherwise known as missed fairways and greens.

Lag -Pivot and swing plane errors can lead to lack of distance (lack of speed) and directional challenges (shots off line) through the hitting area (impact). My favorite term describing an efficient amount of lag is “load the lag and lag the load”, however, without an inefficient pivot and swing plane, maximizing lag potential can be extremely difficult.

Impact -An ineffective pivot, swing plane and lag can more often than not cause impact problems.  Impact is undoubtedly the most important area of the game, but without the previous areas working correctly, impact can be seriously impaired. My main criteria for impact are: forward shaft lean, a repeatable low point, and clubface in the direction where you want the ball to start.

You can probably tell by now that I feel all of the above swing movements are connected to each other and are crucial for clients in order to achieve their golfing greatness. However, this does not mean that every golf swing follows this pattern; it’s a system I use to diagnose swings after set-up and from there I dive deeper into the details and create a road-map of improvement.

I’m hoping this post spurs some comments, especially among the coaching and teaching population out there.

I welcome all thoughts and suggestions .