April 2015

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"What is magic for one golfer is tragic for another". This is one of my favorite quotes from Hall of Fame instructor Mike Adams. It is so true. We are all individuals and we all swing differently. This is why you have to be wary of instructors who teach to one model. If the model fits you, you are ok, but if it doesn't, you are in trouble.

I look at players as unique and I make sure that the information I give them helps them hit the ball more solidly and achieves their desired ball flight. I often chuckle to myself as my next lesson comes in and I give that player completely opposite advice in order to get them hitting it well. Imagine if these players gave each other advice. That would be tragic! Golfers are well intentioned and they are always giving tips to each other. Unfortunately, it is blind luck if they happen upon something that actually fixes their friend's mistake. 

As instructors, we are armed with measuring devices to understand how  our students can bio-mechanically swing the golf club. Each golfer has strengths and limitations that we take into account before we give them advice on how to swing. If we go counter to their bio-mechanical ability, it not only results in inconsistency but also can lead to injury as the player is trying to do something that their body simply cannot perform. 

If you are struggling or hurting yourself as you try to make a change, it may be that you are not physically able to perform the prescribed motion. There are lots of ways to swing a golf club successfully. Have your instructor find the best way for you, and not try to fit you into a model. After all, we are not all meant to swing like Adam Scott, but if we find the right bio-mechanical formula, we can hit it like him!

You can now gift a membership!  Go to http://www.zandergolf.com/Shop/Store.aspx and make someone a member of the ZanderGolfClub. Access dozens of instructional videos and a monthly instructional newsletter with tips on all aspects of the game. 



zander Tip zone

mental game   strategy tip   short game

We often hear that golf is 90% mental. Let's not forget that golf is an athletic physical action and building your skill sets is important. It reminds me of a story told by sports psychologist Dr. Rick Jenson. He was working with a former PGA Tour player that lost his card. The player felt his problem was mental so he went to see Dr. Jensen.

Dr. Jensen had him hit ten 175 yard shots to a green. The player only hit 6 shots on the green. Dr. Jensen told him that this was not even close to tour standards. His technique was not good enough and mental training would not be enough to get him back on tour. Part of being mentally tough is understanding when you have physical or technical deficiencies and improving them to get them up to the standard you are seeking. I am a big fan of keeping statistics. This enables players to understand which skill sets need to be improved. 


When analyzing your short game misses, you will realize that you don't miss so much left and right. You miss more short and long. It's great distance control that separates the best short game players from the rest. One of the keys to distance control is predicting the bounce your ball will take. This is why you see great short game players walk up onto the green to get a feel for the landing spot and what the ball will do when it bounces and ultimately rolls. Don't just grab your sandwedge for short game. Look at the shot and imagine the perfect trajectory and roll for the ball to end up in the hole. I'm also a fan of minimizing backspin on short game shots. Backspin is just one more variable that you have to account for for distance control.  



So we are approaching 2016 when the USGA unfortunately has banned the anchoring of the putter. For those of you who have a belly putter, don't throw it away. For those of you who don't, you may want to buy one off the used club rack. The reason I say this is that belly putting gives you a great feel for how the putter should move. The key to the belly putter is that the grip end moves very little while the putterhead end moves more. This means there is energy in the putter-head and we want that! Notice what happens to your wrists when you make a big stroke with the belly putter. Your wrists are actually involved and that is not a bad thing. How much should they get involved? Buy a cheap used belly putter and your answer is right there. 








This is great advice from Hall of Fame instructor Mike Adams: "To hit a knock down or punch shot you need to remember 2-2-2. The first 2 represents how far down the shaft you choke down (2"0 by choking down on the club you stiffen the shaft automatically lowering the trajectory of the shot). The second 2 is how far you play the ball back in your stance (2" which de-lofts the club also lowering the trajectory of the shot). The final 2" is how much you open your stance. By opening your stance (dropping your front foot back) you restrict your turn on the back swing, shortening your swing length,it also square your shoulders up (off setting what moving the ball back in your stance does)and it effectively shortens your front leg putting your weight forward. To hit the shot simply pivot back around and through on your front hip hitting the shot with a 3/4 swing."




Managing Nervousness

As you have read in this column many times, the Fluid Motion Factor must always be your priority in order to access your best swing. However one large obstacle especially for my professional clients, is the anxiety or fear that may accompany a big tournament or an important round or shot.

I feel it is safe to say that there is not a professional or high level amateur athlete who does not get nervous before or during their respective competition. I know I did, and more so than ever just prior to taking the field for the 1985 World Series when I was playing for the Kansas City Royals.

So I want you to know that feeling some discomfort of playing in a tournament or playing with people you’ve just met is normal. The doubt, nervousness, anxiety or the big word fear is very common.

When you start to feel the discomfort that none of us like, do your best to notice where in your body you feel it. Make room for it. Allow it to be there. What you will find when you make room for it, is that it will gently begin to dissipate. Once it does, take a nice deep cleansing breath initiated in your stomach. This, along with the Fluid Motion Factor will allow you to access your best swing on a more consistent basis. Enjoy the freedom!

Buddy Biancalana
buddybianc@aol.com www.fluidmotiongolf.com 

Hit it loooooooooooNG!
health tips

5 Reasons Why Hip Stability is Important


In all the people that I evaluate, including high ranking professional athletes, the number one focus is on hip function and hip stability – in other words how they use their pelvis.

TRUE FACT: If people understood better how to use their pelvis and hips, we could eradicate lower-back pain, knee pain, foot problems, and many other aches that make us miserable. Below is information designed to help you build a strong foundation.

1. We tend to think that if our ankles, knees or feet hurt there must be something wrong wrong with those areas. The pelvis is in charge of controlling core pillar strength, you might have the greatest legs and thighs, but if something goes wrong with the core, all the muscles superior and inferior to the core cannot function at 100% efficiency and loose their stability.

2. Many injuries are caused by hip tightness and a lack of hip stability. As a result, the body does not recruit the necessary muscles from the pelvic region, and it puts more stress on other areas, which overcompensate and get injured.

3. On either side of the pelvis is a hip “joint capsule” where the femur attaches to the pelvis. There are approximately 45 muscles in and around this hip capsule that creates the “hip cuff”. You should be able to rotate your knees in and all the way out, as well as lifting your leg up or back and in every combination.

4. Most people get into trouble squatting by using their quadriceps rather than the muscles of the hip to initiate movement. As a result the knees slide forward, the glutes (your butt) don’t get accessed, and there is undue pressure on the knees and back. The goal is to become more glute dominant.

5. Remember, you’re a competitive athlete in the Game of Life. Throughout the day, engage those glutes, keep that stomach tight and elevate the chest. Soon you’ll be gliding through life like the successful person you are!

Written by,

Sidney Silver: TPI Golf Medical & Golf Fitness expert. www.SilverSportsTherapy.com (415) 932-6775