February 2014

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I'm not talking about the pressure you may feel over a four foot putt to break 80. I'm talking about physical pressure that you can use to fix swing mistakes. I use this daily in my teaching. I call it counter pressure. For example, if you sway off the ball, I will apply pressure that makes you sway more. In order to combat this, you will feel the muscles you need to use to stop swaying. If I do the opposite and keep you from swaying, I'm doing all the work. I need YOU to do it. After all, I'm not there with you on the golf course to do it for you.

If you are across the line at the top, I will push your club more across the line and you will get to feel the muscles you need to get the shaft flatter at the top. 

If you tend to fall towards your toes on the backswing, I will stand behind you and push you even harder towards your toes. Believe me, you will use counter pressure to keep from falling. 

I'm sure you get the point. I'm all for practicing with my friends. So next time you see your teacher or go practice with a friend, try counter pressure to get the proper feel to fix your swing error. 



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zander Tip zone

mental game   strategy tip   short game

We all know that too much conscious effort and trying too hard makes it difficult to make a fluid golf swing. Ask yourself if you really need to think of all these mechanical thoughts to execute a shot. Next time you are on the range, try this drill. Draw an imaginary line between you and the ball. Think of a particular shot you want to hit. You are welcome to think of all the mechanics, feels and visuals behind that line. Once you cross the line and address the ball, quiet your mind and focus on being as relaxed as possible. Let the shot happen. After hitting it, ask yourself if you stayed relaxed or if your conscious mind tried to take over. After a while, you will see that if you truly know how to hit the shot, you can relax and let it happen rather than forcing it. That's what tour players call trusting their swings. 



This strategy tip is not an on course one, it is more about how to approach your next lesson with your teacher. As we all know, golf is not about who hits the most perfect shots, it is more about who avoids disasters. Next time you take a lesson, tell your instructor what disaster shot kills your rounds. Understand why it is happening and develop a plan to improve it. Making a weakness into something decent will be a lot better for your game than making a strength even better. We all tend to practice what we feel good about. Fix your disaster and you will see the result on your scorecard. 


The best short game players imagine the trajectory of their shot as well as what the ball is going to do along the ground. The position of your shaft at address has a lot to do with the trajectory. If you lean the shaft towards the target and get the shaft standing up more vertically (the heel of the club is slightly off the ground and the club is resting on the toe), it will cause a lower running shot. Conversely, if you lean the shaft back and lower the shaft (the toe of the club is slightly off the ground and the club is resting on the heel), the ball will go higher and land softer. Remember, the short game is all about distance control and trajectory has a lot to do with that!





I've had the opportunity to spend some time with Greg Rose, the co-founder of the Titleist Performance Institute. He works with more long drive champions than anyone else in the world. Below are Greg's keys for power:

1) Let the lead foot move off the ground in the backswing. Nicklaus had this element in his backswing.

2) Let lower body move on downswing

3)Squat down in the beginning of downswing and jump up through impact

4)Load the back leg in backswing

5)High hands at the top of backswing

6)Bent left arm at the top of backswing

Remember, these are all for power. I never mentioned accuracy! You may want to try some of these to increase your distance but keep in mind that you may lose accuracy. Also, make sure you are warmed up before you start crushing your driver.



Call it!


For better players, I like to play the game, "Call It". This is where I call the shot at the top of the player's backswing. They then have to hit the shot I just called. I like this game because it frees your mind up from all the mechanical thoughts that you are trying to employ to pull off the shot. Since you don't have time to think when you play "Call It", the athlete in you takes over and produces the shot. This shows you that you can do this without paralyzing yourself with too many swing thoughts. This is the ultimate in trusting your swing. Besides that, it is fun. 

Eyeline = path
health tips


Lower back pain would definitely be one of the most common injuries I treat on a regular basis for golfers. The majority of golf injuries, approximately 80%, are overuse repetitive motion injuries.

The PGA did a study with a group of PGA Tour golfers and determined that the primary cause is due to a lack of flexibility (range of motion) in the lead hip. As soon as the ball is hit, the body goes into a rapid slowdown mode. If the main shock absorbers (hips, lower back muscles and glutes) are fatigued and not firing properly, the lower back takes on to much stress.

You can be proactive and even arrest these types of injuries with a strong, well-conditioned core, which will help dissipate this speed sequence so your back doesn't’t take on too much stress in the in the rapid deceleration, or braking, phase of the swing.

If you do experience lower back pain, a short-term solution for pain control is ice. Another option is to lay on the floor on your back, prop your feet up on a chair so your legs are at a 90-degree angle and place an ice pack under your back for about 15 minutes. The inflammation will decrease and the hip joints will open up providing even more relief. If the pain persist for more than 5 days visit a medical provider to have the issue fully diagnosed.

If the back pain is due to golf swing biomechanics a long-term sustainable solution is a solid fitness program, which includes strengthening of the core muscles, including rotational strength training. Core muscles start with the glutes because they are not only the major accelerators; they also act as the decelerator’s in the golf swing.