March 2016

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Self Discovery



I may be putting myself out of a job with what I am about to write but I feel strongly about this concept. Does true learning come from guidance from a teacher or self-discovery from a student? Students will thank me for helping them perform on the course. I remind them that they hit the shots, not me. 

The answer to the aforementioned question is self-discovery. There is some guidance from the teacher but ultimately, the answer is in the dirt as Hogan used to say. Cameron McCormick,  Jordan Spieth's coach, sees the road to greatness for a player as one that is constantly under construction. He states that our role as teachers is to serve as a road constructor and GPS to make sure the player stays on track. In other words, it is to be a guide but the true learning comes from the player discovering the way to play on their own. Whether it be experimenting with different techniques, or understanding mental toughness in competition, it is a wonderful adventure of self discovery. Every player has a different path and there is no one correct formula. 

Golf is a lonely sport in which it is you, the ball and the golf course. You have no teammates to help you when it comes to pulling the trigger. When you discover something on your own, you own it. The old trial and error technique is still alive and well!

Much has been said about how Jordan Spieth looks at the hole when he hits short putts. Cameron McCormick first saw this on TV like the rest of us. It completely surprised him. He asked Jordan after the round about the new technique. Jordan said he had been working on it for a while and he felt he was ready to put in into competition. Coaches can help guide and make their students feel safe but it is the player who ultimately discovers his best golf. 


You can now gift a membership!  Go to 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

The goal of the shot is to hit the ball at the target, but worrying about the target while you are swinging sabotages your motion. You should absolutely set up your plan for how the ball is going to the target but this should happen in your pre-shot routine. This is where the pre-frontal cortex, the CEO of the brain, plays a crucial role. 

But now it's time to hit the shot. You now need to move your brain towards abstraction and quietness in order to make a fluid motion. Its time to fire the CEO and trust your swing. In short, you do not need to keep reminding yourself of the target or a swing thought while you are swinging in order to be successful. In fact, the opposite is true. So once you have set the plan, free it up and let it go!

I like the "think box, play box" idea espoused by Vision 54. The CEO gets to participate in the think box but once you cross the metaphorical line into the play box, its trust time. 


What is your strtaegy after you've had a bad front nine? Should you be conservative or aggressive on the back?  Most people try to make it up by being super aggressive on the back nine. This strategy seldom works. The reason is simple. If you are not on your game on the front nine, you should choose more conservative targets on the back nine. The time to be aggressive is when you are playing well, not when you are struggling. It's just common sense but as the quote goes "Why do they call it common sense when it is so uncommon!" The worse your shot pattern, the more conservative your approach should be. It takes discipline to take the conservative approach but your score will improve with this strategy. 
Most of us have had that feeling when we can see the perfect line of the putt and know it is going to go in before we hit it. It is a magical feeling but a fleeting one as well. I had the opportunity to spend time with Dr. Craig Farnsworth who has applied his optometry to golf, and specifically aiming. 
If you are having trouble seeing the line of the putt, try the following options in your set-up:
1)Tuck or raise your chin
2) Move the ball position (the ball should be 2 inches forward of your dominant eye)
3) Stand farther or closer
4) flare or square up your lead foot
Any single one of these adjustments or a combination can help you see the line better. Its definitley easier to roll a ball down a line you can see. 







We all marvel at the ability for tour players to make powerful swings and then end up in perfect balance. Here's a test that the TPI uses to determine the quality of your balance:

1) Stand up straight

2) With your eyes open, raise on leg up and leave your arms up at your side

3) Now close your eyes and see how long you can stay in balance

4) Try the same process with your other leg as well

Tour players average 20 seconds with their eyes closed. Practice this drill until you can consistently hit 20 seconds. You will see results in your ball striking.

Chris Gaines

Fast-Twitch Power for Golf

Each of us is equipped with two main types of muscle: slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Slow-twitch are endurance-based and resistant to fatigue, while fast-twitch are power-based and fatigue faster. Developing your fast-twitch muscle to fire more readily will contribute to a more powerful swing. To activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers, consider two variables that you can alter in any training program: the load lifted and the tempo (or pace) of each rep during your work sets.

The muscle fiber types recruited in an exercise depends on how heavy the load is that must be overcome. Higher intensity sets (a.k.a. heavier weights) will help you tap into your fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Exactly how you train is just as important as which exercises you do while training. Your body will typically recruit primarily slow-twitch muscle fibers for each exercise you do. As those muscles fatigue, your body subconsciously will do one of two things to help those muscle fibers recover a bit: either the reps will become much faster (so you can finish the set sooner) or you’ll take short “pauses” between reps to “catch your breath.” These strategies allow your slow-twitch muscle to recover, delaying the need for your muscle to switch to recruiting fast-twitch muscle. Think about how you perform each rep and set. If you notice unplanned pauses or shortened, rushed reps, you may be missing out on developing some critical power!

To put these concepts into action, focus on power development twice a week in your training program. Go heavy, keep your reps at a steady, consistent tempo, no matter how fatigued you get, and manage your rest intervals closely.



My hero Seve Ballesteros
health tips

4 Exercises to Prevent Knee (Meniscus) Injuries

You’re only as strong as your weakest link and you are only as efficient as your weakest joint.


It is natural that the lead leg for right-handed golfers - is a prime target. The left knee joint is constantly twisting during the swing, in addition, to bearing a lot of the body’s weight and momentum. At the start of the downswing, the majority of your weight shifts to left leg. The leg plants, creating a firm post, or axis point, for your hips and body to rotate around. Your right side fires through and, at the completion of the swing, nearly all of your weight is on your left leg.

Because the leg is repeatedly planting and twisting, the lead knee is very prone to meniscal tears and arthritis.

Medial and Lateral Meniscus Tears

The medial meniscus and lateral meniscus - are crescent-shaped bands of thick, rubbery cartilage attached to the shinbone (tibia). They act as shock absorbers and stabilize the knee. Meniscus tears are often the result of twisting, pivoting, decelerating, or a sudden impact. It cam be identified by various manual tests a physician can perform to detect torn cartilage. The medial meniscus is on the inner side of the knee joint. The lateral meniscus is on the outside of the knee. Meniscus tears can vary widely in size and severity. A meniscus can be split in half, ripped around its circumference in the shape of a C or left hanging by a thread to the knee joint. A barely noticeable tear may resurface years later, triggered by something as simple as tripping over a sidewalk curb.

Prevention: Knee Instability

If you have knee pain during exercise, strengthening the muscles that support the knee may help reduce pain and make exercise as well as daily movements more comfortable. The following exercises offer both strength and flexibility benefits for the quads, hamstrings, inner and outer thighs. If you have knee pain, you should see your doctor or sports medical practitioner for a diagnosis and to get clearance before trying these, or any other, exercises. Shown below are some exercises to prevent knee pain by strengthening all the muscle and soft tissue that connect to the knee joint and can considerably prevent you from knee injury.

STRAIGHT LEG RAISES: If your knee's not at its best, start with an easy strengthening exercise for your quadriceps, the muscles in the front of the thigh. This move puts little to no strain on the knee: How To Do It: Lie on your back on the floor or another flat surface. Bend one knee and place your foot flat on the floor. Simply raise the fully extended leg from the floor to the opposite knee height for 10 slow repetitions – do 3 sets.

WALL QUAD STRETCH: The wall based quad stretch is a tremendous bang for your buck move that can be done just about anywhere. Got a wall? Good you can do this exercise. The beauty in this stretch is that it hits the front of the foot, ankles, shins, quads and knees. How To Do It: Back up against a wall (facing away from the wall) in the bottom of a lunge position. Flip your back foot up against the wall with your toes on the actual surface of the wall. Single leg stabilization. Your back knee is the axis point and really determines how much of a stretch you will get during this exercise. The closer the back knee is to the wall the more of a stretch there will be through the foot, ankle and quads. If you are looking to get a little adventurous and want to stretch the hip flexors out, focus on pushing the hips forward.

HAMSTRING FLOSSING: The muscles in the hamstring group are located in the back of the leg except all attach cross the front of the knee joint. Issues in any of these muscles can cause knee pain in the posterior (rear) portion of the knee and leg. How To Do It: Get a hold of a tennis or lacrosse ball and a sturdy box or ledge of about mid thigh height. Sit on the box and place the ball underneath the leg, firmly on the hamstrings. Extend and bend the knee while applying pressure to the muscle. Let the ball go up and down the back of the leg while you continue flexing and straightening the leg. One minute on each leg should have your hamstrings and knees feeling like gold.

WALL SLIDES: Strengthens Hips, knees, and ankles in line. How To Do It: Lean against a wall in a seated position and slide up and down the wall slowly as shown in instructions.


Written by Sidney Silver, Titleist Performance Institute Certified Expert Golf Medical, Golf Fitness and Golf Biomechanics

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

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


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