October 2015

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Your Brain



Our brains are amazing if we teach them correctly.  I often ask my new students if they prefer to hit a draw, fade, or straight ball. They often answer that they are not good enough to curve the ball so they want to hit it straight. I then explain that to hit the ball straight several variable have to be in place: 

1) Clubface square at impact

2) Path at target at impact

3) Hit the ball on the sweet spot

My response to my students is that most players including tour players are not good enough to hit it straight. After all, we are not machines especially when we are in different lies and wind conditions out on the golf course. But I totally get that you want to hit it relatively straight. So how do you teach your brain to do that?

After some basic fundamentals which you can get from your teaching professional, try the following drill. Take your 7 iron and pick a target on the range. Now hit 3 shots. One purposely left, one purposely right, and the third at the target. Don't judge yourself. Just keep doing the drill to the best of your ability. You are teaching your brain how to hit it straight. You may find you are better at curving it one way over the other. Now you have a "go to" shot. This self discover discovery will transfer to the golf course. Of course it takes hard work to achieve this but as my friend Henry Brunton says, the only place you see success before work is in the dictionary! 

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

Chuck Hogan, an out of the box thinker and well ahead of his time in golf instruction, once told me:

"Josh, the problem with California is that there is no winter". What Chuck meant was that there is no forced time off in California.  The weather is too good and this drought is not giving us a break. 

My advice to you is to have an off season even if the weather is telling you otherwise. Go do something else and give yourself a mental break. You will come back refreshed. Your body and mind will thank you. You will know when you are ready to come back. Who knows, for those of us in California, El Nino might be making that decision pretty easy. We need the water and we need a break!






How do you practice your putting? If you are like most people, you take out three balls (since that is how many are in a sleeve) and you start putting to the same hole. The problem with that is that you get lazy. You use the first ball or two to learn the feel and break. You feel pretty good when you get it close with the third one. Are your partners giving you you two mulligans on the course? 

Next time you go practice your lag putting, take one ball only. Now you have to go through your read and process for gaging speed each time. Now you are practicing like you play and this will transfer to the course.  


I love stats because they give us a reality check as to how we are performing. It helps us understand where we need to focus our time. One stat I love to share is that tour professionals make 50% of their putts from 7 f feet 10 inches. Most amateurs think it is a lot more as we are used to seeing the players that are performing best on weekends.
If you want to be a good short putter and approach tour level, practice putts inside of 8 feet to a coin or ball marker. If you can roll it onto a target that small, the hole will look like a garbage can to you and it will fill you with confidence.  







I have always been a pretty good putter but I was in a slump a few years ago so I asked a teaching pro friend to take a look. He brought out a string attached to two pegs as you can see in the picture to the left. I thought he wanted me to putt under the string so I started to check my stroke. Instead, he put balls at 10, 20 and 30 feet away from the string and asked me to try to hit my putts so they ended up under the string. In short, he was working on my touch or what I like to call distance control. My putting immediately improved as I became an athlete again much like the mindset you would have if you were playing catch with someone. As they get farther away, your brain subconsciously adjusts the motion to throw the ball farther. To make a long story short, my putting immediately improved. I realized that I was still a good putter after all! 

Chris Gaines

Chris Gaines is the owner of PerformanceGaines in Palo Alto, CA. Chris is one of the top fitness professionals in the country and will be contributing information that will help you perform to your potential. 

Tension Plank - If we want to boast a smooth, controlled swing, we’ve got to make sure our foundation is sound. Here we’ll work to develop abdominal strength which will translate to more power transfer and control in the swing.

To perform the tension plank:

  • start off resting on knees and forearms
  • palms will face the sky, and shoulders will be slightly forward of elbows
  • set the hips by exhaling while crunching and engaging the obliques
  • maintain the hip position while pushing down through elbows to engage lats maintain all these positions while pushing through toes to straighten knees breathe with abs throughout the hold
  • hold for 15-30 seconds

Perform 3 sets of 15-30 seconds at the beginning and conclusion of training sessions 4 times a week. Over 4 weeks, gradually increase the amount of time the plank is held without compromising form. To measure success, compare your initial long drive distance with your distance after 4 weeks of consistent training.


pick your line and speed
health tips

5 Ways to Treat Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain located in the bottom of the foot. It is the inflammation of a thick broad band of foot tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. More than 3 million cases of this extremely painful problem are reported each year in the US, it is that common. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to self-treat.

When you are in therapy with a professional soft tissue provider short-term recovery may be resolved within days to weeks if treated properly using conservative treatments. If the pain does not go away within a few weeks using self-treatment method or under the care the care of a soft tissue provider, it is highly suggested that you seek the attention of foot specialist, and allow them to make a diagnosis if medical imaging is necessary to check for bone spurs or other causes of pain.


Suggested home self-treatments: Reducing inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament one of the most important part of treatment, though this does not address the underlying damage to the ligament is quickly helps to alleviate pain. Advil (or any generic form of ibuprofen) is a great over the counter medication to start immediately reducing inflammation. Always take medication as prescribed and approved by your physician that do not activate any allergic reactions you may have. Or work with your physicians for other anti-inflammatory options.

Calf raises: Stand on the edge of a step or platform. Stand tall with your abdominal muscles pulled in. Secure the balls of your feet firmly on the step with your heels hanging over the edge. Raise your heels a few inches above the step as you stand on your tiptoes, and hold for a second. Lower your heels back to even with the platform. Repeat 10 times. This move helps pump blood out of the foot (where it has pooled while you were standing) and back to the body.

Ice: "As much as people don’t want to hear it, immersing the foot — as long as the person dozen’t have vascular problems — in a bucket with water and ice for 20 minutes works to combat the swelling and inflammation that prolonged standing creates in the foot,” says Lucille B. Andersen, M.D., a foot and ankle surgeon with Webster Orthopedics in San Ramon, California. “Each step we take or minute we stand, we are creating micro-damage that the body has to heal. Using ice is an easy, effective way to help the body heal faster.”

FREEZE a golf ball. Yes, freeze the golf ball then hold for 15 seconds in each spot as you massage your feet. Roll your foot from heel to toe over a frozen golf ball. It feels amazing! The gentle massage and cold will reduce the pain on your feet and arches will stretch tight foot muscles and help your feet recover more quickly. Wearing insoles in your golf shoes that are specifically designed to shore up the arched areas of the feet is one of the best ways to protect you against plantar fasciitis. Insoles will help to put off over-extension by stabilizing the feet, ensuring weight is distributed evenly and helping to correct your stance during the golf swing. If you ignore these conditions, you can develop chronic heel pain. This can change the way you walk and cause injury to your legs, knees, hips and back. Being mindful to helping to stabilize your walk and lessen the workload on your plantar fascia will help you avoid this painful syndrome.

Improper footwear and poor walking mechanics can irritate the bottom of the foot. Heel pain can severely limit the golfer's ability to walk the course and play comfortably. Pain is a sign that something is wrong. If you start to develop any type of foot pain, I strongly suggest that you get it checked out as soon as possible. Today there are many successful options of care for treatments to prevent plantar fasciitis. Additionally, by wearing the proper footwear and following a healthy conditioning daily foot care routine will allow you to play many more years of golf pain free.

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

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

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


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