February 2015

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Communication is essential in the learning process. The instructor can have all the knowledge in the world but, if he can't communicate it simply to his student, the results are just not there. Furthermore, it is essential for the student to communicate back to the coach. Some students are afraid to say that they don't understand the instruction or that they feel that they can't perfom the move. It is essential for the student to give the coach feedback as to what is going on in his brain. I often ask my students what they were thinking about during their golf swing. You would be surprised at the answer. It definitely helps guide me as an instructor to truly understand what you are thinking throughout the lesson. Awesome things happen when the teacher and student understand each other. It opens the door for major improvement and results. 

I was recently at the 2015 PGA Coaching and Teaching Summit. It was an amazing event as some of the best teachers in the game were inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame. Butch Harmon, Mike Adams, Jim McLean, Chuck Cook, and my mentor, Jim Hardy were inducted that night. They all spoke on a panel and were joined by David Leadbetter (already in the HOF) and Greg Norman. Although they all have different teaching philosophies, communication was definitely key to all of their successes. Greg Norman was asked a fascinating question by the moderator. He asked Greg if he saw a young promising talent and wanted to find him a teacher, would he send him to someone who was a great player or a great technician. His answer was neither. He said he would want a great communicator and person. Greg's point as an elite player is that the Coach should know when the player needs to be left alone as well as when to inject information. He needs to understand what makes the player tick. 

I'm a casual Golden State Warrior fan and what is going on with that team is amazing right now. Coach Steve Kerr likes to let the players play and not call too many time outs. He even sees his All Star Point Guard calling plays that he would have called. In short, the communication is so good that the player and coach are on the same page. The results speak for themselves.

So please communicate to your coach. It is ok to say that you don't understand or that you are on information overload. We need that feedback as coaches and it will only make the relationship better. The result will be better golf and probably a good friend as well. 




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zander Tip zone

mental game   strategy tip   short game

Have you ever had one of those rounds where you are mentally exhausted as you leave the 18th green? The whole round was a grind and you are physically spent as well. After all, there is no such thing as a mental state without a physical counterpart. My advice is to give yourself a break between shots.  Call it a mental time out if you will. You can't do anything about the next shot until you get there anyway so why stress about it. And, it's worth mentioning here that fretting about your previous shot only taxes your mind more so stop doing it. Take the time between shots to chat with your friends or competitors or simply look at the beautiful surroundings. It will make you mentally fresher for the next shot and lead you to more clarity. Some players like to use a physical key to get them out of the break and mentally back in to concentration mode. I notice Ernie Els likes to attach the velcro on his glove, Freddy likes to hitch his pants. Find your cue to let your mind know when it's time in. Then hit the shot and quickly call time out!



We all want to feel good when we hit balls so we put the ball on a perfect lie before we hit the shot. In fact, some of my students take quite a bit of time making sure the lie is perfect before they hit a shot in front of me.  After all, they are trying to look good in front of the teacher. But how often do you encounter perfect lies on a golf course? Almost never!

I'm more impressed with the person who strikes it off different types of lies. I watched Watson warm up for the U.S. Open by hitting shots out of divots. This gave him a better litmus test as to where he was with his ball striking.

I'm known for giving my students "bad" lies when they take lessons. One of my students has actually coined it a "Josh Zander" lie. If you practice out of Josh Zander lies, anything else is easy!


The best short game players are not as precise with their contact as you may think. They have what I call a disaster free short game because they don't skull or chunk the ball. The key to this is to maintain loft and bounce on your club so it can slide along the ground and never dig. If it slides, it is along the ground longer and you don't have to be so precise with where your club bottoms out. There are two common errors that I see in poor short game players:

1) Too much forward lean in the shaft at impact

2) Clubface is too closed at impact

Both of the aforementioned errors cause digging. After a few chunks, the tendency is to scoop and then the skull come into play. 

Try this feel next time you hit chips and pitches. Keep the shaft vertical  at address so get rid of your forward lean. Now, when you release the club, imagine you were throwing a frisbee side arm. Your trail hand palm remains to the sky and never rolls over. This will allow you to have loft and bounce at impact. Now, you can be disaster free too!





Fluid Motion


Mechanic Implementation

Mechanic Implementation

Mechanic Implimentation

The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2014, 400,000 people in the United States gave up the game of golf and the fewest number of rounds were played since 1995. Although there can be many factors, I think we would all agree that a contributing factor is the difficulty of at least coming close to mastering a swing that will allow you to hit good golf shots.

There are several important mechanics to be learned in order to hit good golf shots. You must bring the club back on the desired plane, set your hands at the top and make sure the club gets squared up at impact. All of these are very important and likely being taught by most if not all instructors. However the mastering aspect occurs in the brain and not in the muscles. In order for a swing to be fluid and all the mechanics to integrate, there is a feedback loop in the brain that cannot be broken. The loop runs between the motor cortex that plans the motion, the basal ganglia that stores the motion, and the cerebellum, a part of the motor system which allows all the muscles to fire harmoniously. This feedback loop, called the Fluid Motion Factor, must be the priority in order for the motion to be fluid and efficient. A main factor in 400,000 people quitting golf, is that when working on mechanics, the mechanic are the priority over the Fluid Motion Factor. A golfer is then just hoping to access a good swing rather than having confidence to consistently access one. Sustainable confidence and the patience to continue playing golf comes from understanding the feedback loop what must happen in your brain to integrate the desired mechanics.

The Fluid Motion cues, such as the thinking about the number 9 over the ball and long 9 through the swing will greatly help you keep the feedback loop intact.

BuddyBiancalana buddybianc@aol.com www.FluidMotionGolf.com


the Zone


Think back to when you had your zone experience. The first one to come to my mind was back in 1991 as I was playing a tournament in Satiago, Chile on the South American Tour. I was 3 under after two days and somewhere in the top 20. I proceeded to start the third day with bogies on the first two holes. In a strange way, this allowed me to let go as I had nothing to lose. I proceeded to go 7 under for the last 16 holes. I'm sure we can all relate at some level. When we stop caring about score, swing thoughts, and outcomes, our brain is free to communicate what we already know how to do to our muscles. The key is to gain access to your ability more often. A quiet mind is essential. Ironically, the more you can move your mind towards abstraction, the greater access you have to your ability. 

Making short putts
health tips

You’re Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link

It is clearly a literal fact that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In this case I am referring to the Kinetic Movement Chain during the golf swing, which is a series of functional movement patterns preprogrammed into the body’s neurologic system.

Generating speed with the arms creates many of the swing faults I see on driving ranges when I observe people practicing. For maximum power creation with minimal negative stress on the body, the ground must be the first link in the chain of energy transfer.

When activated properly during the swing the body will activate movement patterns and strength when it’s needed. This kinetic chain is the linkage system that connects adjacent joints and muscles throughout the entire body. A weakness or injury in one area of the body impedes the transfer of energy. The body compensates for this blockage by overusing or misusing other body parts in an attempt to make up for this lost energy.

6 Major Functional Movement Categories: 1) Mobility, 2) Stability, 3) Motor Control, 4) Strength, 5) Power and 6) Cardiovascular Endurance. If the Kinetic Chain is working in its proper sequencing pattern it then activates when you swing a golf club.

The above categories will determine your body’s exact sequencing of strength; power and cardio vascular that you may or may not be able engage at 100% when swinging the golf club. Generally if there is a weak link in the Kinetic Chain you will find a way to compensate physically, however it is only a matter of time before your game begins to suffer and you start to experience chronic pain in certain important areas and also repeat bad swing habits.

There are a large percentage of golfers performing high-level exercises and activities even though they are inefficient in their in their daily fundamental movements; without even knowing it.

A great goal is to have a Functional Movement Screen® done and attack any of the weaknesses found on the screen – fix them and continue to enhance the strength of your body.

The Kinetic Chain (diagram below) is a series of functional movements, bony structures and motor skills from your feet to your eyes. As you swing the golf club this Kinetic Chain activates.


It would benefit every golfer to have a Function Movement Screen® (FMS®) done by a Certified FMS Fitness Instructor. This system screening is a process that identifies and isolates the weak links in the Kinematic Sequence.

Once the weak links are identified then corrective exercises can be assigned to correct them. When this is accomplished, the golfer will have better movement efficiency, which will lead to improved performance and generally a decrease in injuries.

In conclusion, another interpretation: If one link in a chain is weak, and all the other links are strong, the whole chain is weak.

Written by, Sidney Silver, a TPI Golf Medical & Golf Fitness expert. www.SilverSportsTherapy.com (415) 932-6775