The Always/ All Ways aspect of my training system is geared toward the weekend golfer who doesn’t have much time to practice. Ideally we’ll be able to insert experiences into our daily routines we can transfer to the golf course. One way to trigger all of those proper golf thoughts we need to use during a round is self-talk.
If we watch golf on television or play a lot ourselves we at times see and hear a player talking to themselves. “Why did I aim so far left’” or even “I’m an idiot” (followed by the putter shaft denting his head). Some may refer to this as self talk, not positive, but self talk none the less. I’d like to pursue a more positive way to use it. Self talk during the cognitive phase of learning can help develop ‘how to’ habits and even help accomplish goals. A golfer who needs improvement in aiming skill may have a goal of, “From behind the ball, aim the face of the putter exactly at the intermediate target using the dominant eye 100% of the time.” As the player evaluates the pre-shot environment the self talk may include cues for balance, tempo, and ‘dominant eye’ to trigger accomplishing the the goal to perfect the desired skill.
But let’s get real; how ofter does the average golfer practice or even think like this? We’ve all forgotten something our instructor asked us to do. So let’s use some always/ all ways technique to help get into the self-talk mindset; let’s develop a habit of self-talk for a simple daily routine. A goal of ‘wearing my seatbelt 100% of the time’ isn’t specific enough. Let’s change it to a mindset challenge patterned after our putting example: ‘connecting my seatbelt immediately after the key is in the ignition, and before starting the engine 100% of the time.’ Can you measure that process? Absolutely! The self-talk may be triggered by the car door opening. Say: “door’s open, key in right hand, see the belt, sitting, key-belt-ready to start.” It may sound silly, but as normal weekly golfers we need to develop a routines and triggers mind set to help get rid of as many surprises or distractions during our weekly game as possible.
So when we walk toward any putting green our self-talk mind set triggers us to remember, “to use the dominant eye to align the putter toward the intermediate target.” After you make the putt, review your process to measure your goals: dominant eye, intermediate target, balance, tempo, open the car door, key, seatbelt, and go! Play always/ all ways!
Boditrak Sports broadcast a presentation by Scott Hamilton, PGA with fantastic information using the Boditrak mat with numerous PGA Tour players. The COP traces were all linear and the guys worked on balance to keep the trace so pure. The large curved trace of some higher handicap golfers I work with came to mind. I wondered how I could train with them to drive a more linear trace, and came up with the idea of a stability pillow for the lead foot (a normal couch pillow would work too). As Scott says, the golf club follows the trace so the more linear we can make it the better we’ll strike the ball. What do you think?
The Putting Degree is my way to present putting education that’s based on the fact that a one degree error at ten feet is probably a missed putt. One of the practices I use is rolling the ball along a yardstick; any extra rotation after properly aiming causes the ball to wonder off the stick. The video is also to promote our new Quail Canyon Golf Learning Center, I hope you enjoy it.
Our new training studio is half finished at Quail Canyon Golf Course in Tucson. Finalized net location and Welling Putt mat section. Electronics test went well with ES 14 and Boditrack both performing better than I did. We can provide Boditrak Center of Pressure trace information during lessons and through follow up email. Check out my choppy balance attempt while balancing on two inflated disks and very choppy balance when compared to Tour Player Ryan Moore…(who is smooth).
Moving back to Arizona December 2014 saw me buying my dream equipment, NGR Sports BodiTrak. My goal is to take it to the stage of putting, and help improve balance for everyone I coach in the golfing community! Last week I saved the traces of twenty five golfers, I expected most to be fairly stable, but must say we may have some glutes to activate. Check out the set up, backswing, impact, and follow through of one of my players. 24 handicap and pulled the putt straight left. We have some work to do!
After studying with one of Europe’s great putting coaches over the past two years I’m finding more and more things we need to do for a stroke solid, on the sweet spot, putt. One of the simplest sounding factors is proper balance, but wow, is there a lot of work to doing it correctly. Just for starters, I wrote about ‘building a table’ last year based on what I’d learned from Tai Chi and my English wizard to help with a solid, balanced stance. While practicing recently I felt the putts to be slightly off the heel. After reviewing the video I was surprised to see my posture had tilted forward and down during the stroke, my weight was on my toes (ugh), and I hadn’t built a table. From left to right: set up, backswing, and impact; felt like there was no movement! But!
More to come on this topic! Did you watch the Ryder Cup? The fellow walking alongside Henrick Stenson wearing the white cap is the putting coach; I’m proud to have received instructor certification from him.
My distance control was starting to need some work. So to begin my putting workout yesterday I decided to bring out my trusty Puttronome. I have an old read about it, but wanted to update it with this Youtube video.
A great drill for staying within one degree of our aim is the gate drill. Remembering that a one degree error at 10 feet easily results in a miss; a short math problem gives us a fantastic training aid. To test your stroke align two tees two inches apart nine inches away from the ball. In other words a two inch wide gate measured at nine inches is the same as one degree at ten feet. As long as your ball rolls between the tees you’re inside one degree. Try it!
AimPoint Express. Read A few weeks ago I had the chance to meet up with some friends at the Toya Golf Club in Wroclaw, Poland to learn about AimPoint Express Read. All I can say is, WOW! Using the AimPoint charts was pretty easy, and this method is even easier. At Toya I met with AimPoint’s UK guru, Jamie Donaldson; the director of Matthew Tipper Golf Academy, Matthew Tipper; LET professional, Martyna Mierzwa and others. We covered Levels 1 and 2 over the course of about three hours, and I put it to use right away on the course (storm conditions made play ridiculous). However, I had the chance to practice last week and thought I’d share this video of the result. I call the video ‘Hit It’ for obvious reasons:)