December 2012


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The ZanderGolfClub idea came to me as I received feedback from golfers all over the world who have improved by watching my instructional videos and reading my Golf Digest articles. My passion is helping golfers play better golf. I know I love my job as I can't walk by a golfer without the temptation to go over and help them smash that next ball.

The ZanderGolfClub is a place to go to get help on all aspects of the game. It is all about instruction and improvement.  As a member of the ZanderGolfClub, you will have access to instructional videos on all aspects of the game. You will receive an instructional monthly newsletter that focuses on full swing, short game, putting, fitness, strategy, and the mental game. There will also be a feature story on what's going on in the world of golf. I will also have a blog that will come out every two weeks. As a member, you will also get discounts on online lessons. No matter where you are in the world, you can send me videos of your swing and I will analyze them and recommend the appropriate fix. The ZanderGolfClub is a one stop shop for your golf instruction needs and entertaining as well. Just go to to sign up and get on the road to playing your best golf. 



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zander Tip zone

mental game   strategy tip   short game

Everyone knows how mental the game of golf can be. There are many mental gurus out on the PGA Tour making a nice living helping players get their heads right. It reminds me of a story I heard about Freddy Couples and Dr. Bob Rotella, perhaps the most famous of all the current mental coaches.

Freddy, who had never had a sports psychology lesson in his life asked Dr. Bob if he needed his help. Dr. Bob asked Freddy what he thinks about when he has an 8 iron in his hand. Freddy's response was simple. he just thinks about the best 8 iron he has ever hit. Dr. Bob quickly responded that Freddy did not need his help. His mind functioned perfectly to play great golf. 

Chuck Hogan, my mental guru when I played professionally had a simple mantra. "Celebrate the good shot and simply observe the bad ones without emotion." The system for storing shots in your brain is emotion. If you only emotionalize the good ones, your brain will be filled by great shots. This will make you compulsively confident which is what Freddy is when he is over a shot. Unfortunately, if you get upset about the bad ones, you will be storing them as well and this will lead to a weak mental state when you are over the ball. So keep it simple, celebrate the good and simply observe the others without emotion. The concept is simple but not easy. You can do it!


When you play college golf, your score is part of the overall team score. Your decisions on the golf course affect the entire team. My college golf Caoch, Tim Schaaf, gave me the following advice: "Never try to hit a heroic shot to get out of trouble. If you do, the most you can save is one shot if you pull it off. If not, it will often cost you two shots or more." Over a 54 hole college golf tournament, the odds are not with you if try to be a hero. Get your ball back in play the safest way possible and live to fight another day. Now what may seem heroic to you, may not be heroic to Phil Mickelson as it may be routinne for him. You have to play within your skill set. 


I like Annika Sorenstam's philosophy about getting out of trouble. She only tries a shot if she feels like she can pull it off 70% of the time. Coach Schaaf would have liked to have Annika on his team. 


I want to talk to you about backspin. Everybody wants it and it looks cool.My freshman year at Stanford, Tom Watson gave our golf team a short game lesson. He was my hero growing up so I was so excited to hear what he had to say. Besides my other boyhood idol, Seve Ballesteros, Tom had the best short game in the world at the time.

This was 1986. The first thing he said to our team was that he could not control baskspin, but he could control trajectory and roll. By eliminating the variability of baskspin, he could get the proper distance control on his shots. Tom had his big red Ram tour bag on the ground and he took out his 7,8,9 PW, and SW. He proceeded to show us how he used the green he had to work with to hit the appropriate shot. The long chip and run was a 7 iron and he progressively moved to a more lofted club as he had less green to work with. He would never use his Sandwedge for a long chip and run as the 56 degrees of loft and the harder swing would produce excessive backspin which was a variable he could not control. Since distance control is the name of the game with the short game keep the variables down to a minimum. 


putting tip


Keep your head down!!! You have probably heard this many times before but not many players do it. I'm amazed when I actually see a player that does not move his head or his eyes to watch the ball after he hits the putt. Watching it is not going to make it go in! Hitting it solidly will give it a better chance. While there are many fundamentals that go in to great putting, keeping your head still is right at the top for me as it will allow you to hit the ball solidly which will produce a better roll and help you with your distance control. One of my favorite tricks for keeping your head still is imagine if I put a coin under your golf ball without you knowing. After you hit the putt you have to tell me if the coin is heads or tails. Watch Video: Click here.


full swing


I want to take this opportunity in the full swing tip section on this newsletter to share with you my philosophy on the full swing. In short, there are all kinds of golf swings in the hall of fame. In other words, there are many ways to swing the club effectively. What all great swings have in common is that they produce a solid, repetitive impact with a predictable ball flight. Whether your swing looks a little unorthodox like Jim Furyk or more traditional and aesthetically pleasing like Adam Scott, there is a way to make it work. My goal is to make your swing functional so that you can achieve solid contact and a predictable ball flight. This does not mean you need to learn a completely new swing to become a good golfer. You just need to know the necessary adjustments to make your swing work. I now have the ability to do online lessons so feel free to send me your swing and I can analyze it for you. 

Monthly Video tip


How often do you roll into the parking lot of your golf club just in time to throw on your golf shoes (probably still untied) and get to the #1 teebox where you buddies have been waiting for you to show up? This situation can lead to you giving your cash away after the round, both to your buddies and to your chiropractor! In order to avoid these situations, you have got to get your body ready to play golf by performing a short, golf-specific warm-up. After all, your body is the most important piece of golf equipment that you have! An appropriate golf-specific warm-up will include getting the blood flowing to the muscles, getting the joints to move through a full range of motion, protecting the back and other joints from injury, and getting the muscles to contract quickly and powerfully. Take a look at my YouTube video on how to MOBILIZE, STABILIZE, and ACTIVATE your body prior to a round of golf:

Notice that all of these exercises involve rotation. Since golf is a side-on sport (meaning the body is facing perpendicular to the intended direction of the ball), good rotation is critical for power, accuracy, and consistency. Go easy at first, particularly if you have had issues with injuries to the hip, back, or shoulder. If you do these exercises EVERY TIME before you practice and play, you will feel much more prepared for the round and your performance will improve. In the next issue I'll describe how to train your body at the gym or at home to improve golf performance. Simple but powerful exercises to improve both your clubhead speed and your scores! Till then, I'll see you on the fairways and greens!

Dr. Christian Thompson


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