troydenton, Author at Troy Denton, PGA Professional - Golf Instruction
Well it’s winter time. This time of year we don’t get the oputunity to play as much golf as we would like.
But, the positives of this time of year is we can work on our golf game without putting pressure on our results. We need to identify the tendencies or flaws in our golf swing that we all have and that always seems to sneak back. What we can work on is offsetting our tendencies we have and likely do appear when we get to play a lot.
The best way of doing that is by doing exaggerating drills, when overdone we can offset our tendencies. This can be done by hitting balls indoors into a net (so you are not over conserned with ball fligh but more on technique), in the gym, or by just making dry swings. I only redo mine for a few months during the winter, then as the spring comes, I work back into playing mode.
If you do not know your tendencies that is a must for you to learn. Let’s take advantage of the winter a get better. Come see me and let’s get after it.
What a great month to see Ryan get his 3rd PGA tour title. Ryan and I have been working hard on improving all his wedge stats from 40 yards to 120 yards. The crazy thing about golf is that you can put in lots of work and not see the results happen very quick. Ryan and I sat down after the BMW Championship, his last fed ex cup event of the 2013 season, and came up with a plan of how we where going to execute taking his wedge game to the next level. We came up with a few things. First, we made a year long process commitment that short game was always going to come first through this 2013-2014 season. Second, Ryan is an amazing feel player. In the past we would always try to change his wedge game by technique or by trying to do the clock system for distance control. As time has gone on we have found that did not match his personality and the way he loves using feel to control his wedges. So this time we have been working on TrackMan. We have been training on TrackMan since June of this season. We have been utilizing TrackMan by setting a target on a tree out in the distance on the range. Then we start hitting 5 wedges from 40-50-60-70-80-90-100-110-120 yards. What is different about this Ryan is having to feel the yardage to a target 150 yards away (no cones, no flags, just feel, and create carry distances which then TrackMan gives feedback to the exact carry distance). After this, I run Ryan through 30 balls of random yardages I call out, then give 42-77-103 and so on. If you ever try this it’s pretty hard aligning to a target in a distance then feeling exact yardages with no targets. This has really been huge for Ryan and it payed off on the 72nd hole at the CIMB where he got up and down from 63 yards for par to get into the playoff, then he won from there. He told me when he got to the shot he smiled and said to himself well good thing I’ve been wearing these out with Troy using TrackMan for exact feed back. Ryan choked down on his 60 to his spot on his grip and the rest is history.
Unfortunately, Golf is not played on a flat lie. Most people would like it – but it is just not possible. Even on the “flattest” courses you will still have lies that are uneven. You have basically four types of lies besides a flat one: Uphill, Downhill, Sidehill (ball above feet), Sidehill (ball below feet). Then, there are varying degrees of the lie to make it more or less difficult. For practical purposes, lets look at the basic setup adjustments for the uphill and downhill as that will help you get started in the right direction.
The one constant that most players forget to adjust for in the setup of these shots is Spine Tilt. The most important thing is to try and get your body feeling like you are on a flat lie (even though its not). You want to get your shoulders as parallel to the ground as possible. So, how do you do this you may ask?
(We will assume a Right Handed Player)
On an uphill lie, in order to get this “Flat Lie” feeling you would need to tilt your spine back (behind the ball and more towards your right side). Also, you will have to make sure your lower body weight is slightly into your left side (think of the weight going into the hill) to maintain balance and control through the swing.
On a downhill lie, the spine needs to be opposite. You will feel it is tilted more into your left side which would make your shoulders more parallel to that particular lie. Weight still needs to be balanced so work on getting your lower body centered. If you feel a little extra weight into the front leg that is okay as you will be needing to transfer your weight properly through impact to the finish.
If you can setup and maintain a solid posture no matter what lie you have been presented with then you will notice cleaner contact and more flush golf shots off these lies. It would help to go out onto the golf course and try these shots several times before attempting them during a round. Your body needs to get comfortable with the different setup so it can execute when needed.
Remember, if you can visualize playing every shot as a “flat lie”, that will help you remember how to position your spine and ultimately improve your posture in every situation.