April 2016

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Post Shot



So much has been written about the pre-shot routine and I agree that it is an important part of the process but I think the post shot is where champions are made. Most golfers think the process is over  after a shot. If they hit a good one, they just move on and if they hit a bad one, they tend to get down on themselves. This is so wrong on both counts. 

Consider this post shot routine. If you hit a good one, celebrate it with plenty of emotion. This will help you remember the shot next time you are in a similar situation. If you don't hit a good one, treat it as a learning opportunity. Figure out what happened and what adjustment will be necessary next time to make it a successful shot. This post shot routine is a win/win. You are either storing a great shot in your memory or you are learning. Both are extremely beneficial for your golf game. Human nature has us getting down on ourselves after a poor shot but those of us who have played a while know that this never helps you play better. 

It reminds me of a story about Freddy Couples. He went up to Bob Rotella, the most famous golf sports psychologist on tour,  and asked him if he should seek his help. He asked Freddy what he thought about before he hit his 8 iron. Freddy responded that he thought about the best 8 iron he ever hit. Needless to say, Dr. Rotella was not getting a new client. 


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zander Tip zone


mental game   strategy tip   short game

Lets go back many years to the days when ranges were very different. There were no mats and striped range balls. In fact, it was not long ago when players had shag bags with their own balls which they hit to their caddies. I'm dating myself but when I was a touring professional in the early 90's, I traveled all over Asia and South America with my shag bag. We used to send our caddies out to the range and hit shots to them. The best ball striker's caddies didn't have to move much while the poorer ball striker's caddies got a workout! I still owe an apology to my poor caddie on that windy day in the Philippines! I think he ran a marathon that day. 

My point is that when you hit to a caddie, your focus is very different. You become hyper-aware of the target and not so worried about your swing. Its more like real golf! The closest thing we have to that today is the range picker. We are all entertained by hitting it and rattling the cage. Do you realize that you no longer think about your swing when you hit at it? Enough said. 


Mark Broadie, author of "Every Shot Counts" says that the traditional thought of trying to leave yourself an uphill putt versus a side or downhill putt is only true to a certain degree, or as he states, to a certain distance. As it turns out, its better to be two 2 feet closer and putt from sidehill or downhill than to putt from uphill. In other words, you will hole more downhill and side-hill 6 footers than uphill 8 footers. So next time you are trying to leave yourself an uphill putt, consider trying to just get closer to the hole. 
I don't know this for a fact but legend has it that later in his career, Ben Hogan regretted trying to leave his approach shots below the hole. As accurate as he was, he would have been better off trying to be pin high. I'm sure his competitors didn't mind!
Controlling your distance when you putt is very challenging especially on a long putt with multiple slopes. A typical conversation between a weekend golfer and his caddie sounds like this: "Hey Joe (the caddie), what does this putt do? Is it uphill or downhill? Well sir, its uphill at the start, then it goes down hill and then it is a little up at the end". Does this sound like the golfer knows what to do? To me, it sounds like a recipe for confusion. As always in golf, simple is better. Just ask yourself if it is overall downhill or uphill. In other words, is your ball overall higher than the hole or not. This should lead to less confusion and more confidence over the putt.






Wedge spin

There are many factors that contribute to backspin. Clean grooves, loft, attack angle, clubhead speed, are a few but one that is not talked about much is friction. I was at a Trackman conference a few years ago and we had a contest to see who could generate the most spin on a 50 yard shot. One of the guys on my team had an ingenious idea. He wet the ball a bit and rolled it in some sand. He did the same thing with the face of a lob wedge so it was a bit sandy as well. Needless to say, we won the contest. The reason was that the friction provided by the sand put more spin on the shot. It got me thinking about whether I should clean my sandwedge after a bunker shot. There are no rules that state that you have to clean your club. I recommend not cleaning it in case you need to spin the ball more on a subsequent wedge shot. If you don't need more spin, clean it. It's your choice.


Chris Gaines

Pre and Post Golf Movement

Golf is a demanding sport that requires incredible mental focus and physical control. When preparing for a round of golf, you may have rituals or routines that help you get into the “zone.” Though you may already have a stretching routine to also help you play your best, I invite you to try the following movement patterns and see how they impact your ball control through a round.

Standing Cross Crawl - While standing, bring knee up to chest height and bring opposite elbow down and across to meet it. Repeat for 12 total reps.

Lunge Cross Crawl - Step forward into a lunge and lean forward to bring opposite elbow to touch the knee of your front leg. Step forward into other leg and repeat for 12 total reps.

Wrist Mobility (kneeling on the ground or over a bench) - With palm down and fingers pointing away from you, rock forward and backward, keeping elbows straight for 12 total reps.

With palm up and fingers pointing towards your legs, rock backward and forward, keeping elbows straight for 12 total reps.

With palm down and fingers pointing towards your legs, rock backward and forward, keeping elbows straight for 12 total reps.






Henrik Stenson's Pure Swing

I bet you were thinking clubhead speed right? No, I'm talking about the MPH of your putting. You want your putter accelerating through the hitting zone but that does not mean an explosive action. I see too many strokes that look short on the backswing and extra long in the follow through in the attempt to accelerate through the putt. If you observe a pendulum that swings back and through the same amount, there is definitely acceleration on the way down. There is no need for an extra jolt at the ball. Keep your swing even back and through and allow the putter to collect the ball on the way through. This smooth action will lead to improved distance control which is the key to great putting.

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