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Perspective or Principle?

Posted on: June 24, 2015
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Have you ever read or heard something about how this guy or gal did this one thing and it had this amazing impact or effect on their game?


So you order what they’re selling or go to the range or practice area and try to implement this new amazing process that worked for them…without the same results…


Oh Well…just another one of those pieces to confirm, this is a really hard and complicated game right?  Or is it?


Today I had one of my students that I have worked with helping him develop his game from beginner (just 18 months ago) to now breakin 40 for nine holes and mid 80’s come and ask me a question, actually he had a few questions.


“Jeff, when you look down at the ball before you hit it, do you focus on the back of the ball or the front?”


Quite honestly I had to go through the motions to determine what it is I actually do…mainly because it’s so automatic and something I no longer consciously think about..


Well I discovered that when I look down I simply see the “white orb” and do not look at any particular spot on the ball…then as we discussed it I mentioned that if the lie of the ball were unusual, I may then want to hit a particular spot on the ball…


The real reason I bring this up is because random information can sometimes lead to confusion of thoughts on “hey How or What I am Supposed to Do?” to improve.


So we created a filter to help him understand and quickly decide if a person’s “Hey I Did This and Had This Amazing Result” is something he could try or discard.


It turns out sometimes people, yes even professionals, tend to offer advice or share their results and how they think they achieved them, but have no basis to prove they will work beyond them.  In other words this is a perspective and not a principle.


So what’s the difference?


A perspective may be a person wishes to mark their ball with a quarter, or put a line on their ball…all well and good, but truly no scientific evidence may be presence to support that this makes them make more putts or drive the ball farther.


On the other hand a principle or many times what I will say, “a law of physics” is supported and can be repeated by any individual…example;


if someone, anyone wants to hit a ball and make it fly or roll straight(on a flat green) the laws of physics can easily be applied and holds true in every case.


Simply make certain the path of the club is traveling down the target line at impact and the face of the club is square, simultaneously.  When this is done, no matter who may do it, the ball must respond based on the laws of physics, and not a personal perspective.


So the next time a friend, relative, golf professional or a magazine offers advice, put it through the Perspective or Principle Filter…and if it is a Principle, then you’re good to go..if not, well you just saved you a trip down the rabbit hole and Alice in Wonderland.


What tip have you been given or read about and not sure if it’s a principle or perspective?  Please share it and let’s either solidify it or set aside.


Until next time, play smart, play to your strengths and invite a friend to try this amazing game.

Jeff Harrison – www.golfetiquette.tv

The Golf Channel and Tiger Woods

Posted on: December 7, 2014
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OK, so I am watching the Golf Channel with Charlie Rymer and Gary Williams this am (Dec 7, 2104) while I am on the treadmill.  My goal is to get caught up on the latest, see who won, and what’s going on…

What is a Pitch or a Chip?

What is a Pitch or a Chip?

In the show, being discussed was Tiger Woods and of course his troubles around the greens while at The Hero Challenge.  In the discussion though the references made by the talent, in my opinion (teaching and playing the game for 35+ years) they are consistently defining an issue incorrectly.

Specifically they use the word pitch and chip to describe a shot around the green.  And in the discussion it was even demonstrated by a woman co-host on the show what Tiger used to do on his chips and now what he is doing….at this point is where a clarification should take place…

By a simple definition a chip is a ball that spend more time on the ground than it does in the air.  And a pitch is one that spends more time in the air than it does on the ground.

Further clarification:

A chipping stroke is best done using a putting stroke method, using the shoulders and creating a simple rocking motion, or pendulum motion.  And when this occurs the ball will tend to come out a lower trajectory, not fly very far, and depending in the club chosen to be chipping with, roll further than it flies.

So a putting and chipping stroke are basically the same motion, just different clubs with various lofts on the face.

Pitching.  This is nothing more than a miniature full swing.  In other words more of the body is used to create the power needed to move the club, with less physical effort, through grass and the rough.  This shot is typically done when one needs to get the ball to fly higher and stop as quickly as possible. Maybe over a bunker or a pin that might be closer to the edge of the green.

When pitching the clubs of choice are those with higher lofts (PW, SW Lob Wedges)

This motion can be done with or without wrist cocking, depending on the length and height looking to be achieved.

Tiger Chunks it At Hero Challenge

Tiger Chunks it At Hero Challenge

The error I saw while watching Tiger play on Thursday, Friday and a little less on Saturday rounds, was he was using a chipping motion (the shoulders) to hit a pitch shot.  Because the chipping motion has less power, the resistance of hitting the turf and causing an almost instant stop (which happened several times during his play) was possibly from not using his body.

Now during the show, they had a camera on the range and he was hitting the shot he was attempting to pull off in play, and he was having incredibly high success….why?  Because he was once again using the power of his rotation of his body, and not just his shoulders to hit this shot.

If you get a chance, and I am sure they will show the chunks he hit, notice how his body never rotates to face his target. This plays almost a double negative in hitting this shot successfully.  The reason why?  Because the body acts a bit like a doorway  and when it does not rotate towards the target, then it becomes more of a roadblock and stops the rest of the swing to happen.

In closing…I really enjoy the Golf Channel…I do however wish when the commentators are referring to a particular type of shot, call it what it has been forever by people who have taught the game ( and I do not mean just me, but since forever) the correct terms.

Because then when the average golfer is taking this to the golf course, they are attempting to hit one type of shot, but using the wrong ingredients in which to do so.

Tiger, Heeee's BAAACK

Tiger, Heeee’s BAAACK

One last note…I think Tiger and his return will be one that proves to be very successful. Not because I am a huge Tiger fan, but this is in his DNA.  A desire to be the very best..not just that he can, but the best on the planet…Have  great week!


Student Testimonial From Supervised Practices – Patrick from Ireland

Posted on: November 30, 2014
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Teaching continues to be so rewarding.  Especially when students we meet who have played for years and taken instruction before, and still love the game, but would love to play better…and we can help them achieve this goal.

We teach a program called supervised practice, which I developed many years ago for my members and students while the Direction of Instruction at Mission Hills Country Club.

It is a supervised session where a student can come, no matter what ability level, get one on one instruction and specific drills to help them practice more effectively.  Once we get a student on track with a drill, we move to the next student and do the same.

Because we have two instructors at once, we do this in the full swing area as well as short game.  So when a student needs or wants help in either area, as professional is there to make sure they are practicing the right things and they are getting better.

Most people, when practicing can be easily distracted and before they know it, have hit a bunch of balls and not really focused on one or two specific items…we stay with you to help keep the student on track.

Each session is 90 minutes. This means the instructors are available during this time and the student may come and go as they wish. So if they show up half way through they’re not late and if they’ve had enough an hour in to the 90 minutes that can leave.

I think this is why this program has been so successful for now almost two decades…practice while being supervised…

Join us on Wednesdays or Fridays from 830-10am…but sign up early as we do restrict class size to a max of 10 for best student to teacher ratio….this by the way is individualized instruction and NOT a group clinic.

call 970-333-7869 to sign up or amy@swingpointmedia.com

Each session is only $40

How Videos Made My Students Better, Faster

Posted on: June 13, 2014
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How many times have you given a lesson, even written down what was discussed, only to have the student come back and tell you  “I am doing what you told me and it isn’t working”…


This is not because we’re poor at what we teach…or bad communicators…but more a function of short term memory and ability to process and apply what was taught during the lesson…my opinion…


So what I began doing several years back was using video.


How I used Video Differently

I know almost everyone who is an instructor uses or has used video to capture and analyze our students swings…this is not how I used it though to improve my students results faster and from years and hundreds of students feedback, retain longer the correct message.


No I began creating video golf drills of “how to’s” if you will.  And when I would have that odd time when it did not apply I would create and send a customized one for that student.


What Changed

Now when they received the drill, no misunderstandings of what we talked about or what they could do to improve…

Then I dug deeper and found amazing stats that began answering why…


Harvard Business Review did a study and found that when we tell someone something, they might retain only 20%!


And when we write it down and they read it, maybe 50%…better but still poor long term retention, leading to poor practice because now they were practicing only half of what I wanted them to do to improve!


But if I gave them a video they could watch and mimic or model, play it over and over…the retention and success no climbed to 70% and higher!


So I now almost 100% of the time share a supporting video with every student I work with to help them get better faster…plus it has increased the perception of me as an instructor by their friends or others they play with…leading to more referrals and long term clients.


If you liked this one idea, and would enjoy learning more, check out a new way to learn how to use technology as a golf professional at www.golfindustrytrainingassociation.com


Its where we create a seamless marriage between technology and the golf industry and help fellow professionals learn how easy and incredibly valuable things like follow up is, but with all the daily demands find it challenging.


Friday Afternoon Rant -Tiger Woods and Other Elite Golfers

Posted on: February 28, 2014
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OK, so it’s Friday afternoon and I am watching the sky clear after a morning of much needed rain here in Southern California…and while I am waiting for the skies to clear I see players like Tiger Woods, specifically, struggling to make the cut in the Honda Classic in Florida.


The telecaster, while I was watching, also mentioned Padraig Harrington and his issues with finding his game, its been 3 years…BAAAAHHH!

I have to ask, virtually of course, since its just me and this keyboard, where are the instructors who are teaching these elite players?  And just as important a question is what the heck are the GURU’s teaching them that causes a player, who makes their living practicing and playing golf 8-10 hours a day, struggle to understand simple things…

Simple things like what has to happen to make their ball go straight….no I am not talking about all the nuances…I am talking about simple facts supported by physics.


So Easy A Baby Can Do It

These are the physics we teach our students daily who get it.  And in an extremely short period can have some pretty darned good command of the direction the ball is headed when they hit it.

And by the way…this is not rocket science.  Brand New Students attending our clinic this past Wednesday?>>>>yes they were able to hit straight shots in minutes of understanding what it took.

For instance, to hit a straight ball the club has to contact the ball with the face square (or pointed at their target) at impact while the path the club travels is also traveling on this same line.

When a player, no matter what skill level does this, the ball, which has no ill feeling towards you or me and cannot make independent decisions, MUST TRAVEL STRAIGHT!

I am going to get off this soap box right here…mainly because the next issue facing golfers, distance (more distance) is really not an issue in today’s PGA and LPGA Players.

But if you’re interested in what it takes to hit it further, let me know and I will send you a video showing you how to get more yardage, again by applying simple physics that won’t hurt your back or make you grunt like Sharipova returning a serve from Venus Williams!

In the meantime, just click How To Hit It Straight Drill Video and then go do what hundreds or our students do….hit it where they are aiming!

Whew, I think I need a nap!


Trackman and the Flat World Mindset

Posted on: August 27, 2013
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                                            Old or New the Facts Remain

Track-man and the information it and science has exposed about the ball flight laws that golf professionals and the like have followed for years have golfers on all levels spinning.
From Nick Faldo explaining, on national television, in front of millions, how to hit a hook around a tree using the method he used to become one of the best ever, now shown to be incorrect!
To instructors like Michael Breed of The Golf Channel, he too getting it wrong according to these scientific findings!

At the end of the day the roads of old and new cross to expose what I and I am certain other top instructors have been teaching students for years and getting documented successful results…

The ball flies straight when the club face strikes the ball perpendicular to the path of the club.
And, when they don’t the ball won’t!

So as a golf professional who teaches this, the goal is not to teach someone to focus on the broken or unwanted results, but to learn how to consistently make the club face and the path line up perpendicular and create straight consistent shots…yes or yes?

The keys to understanding this are far from difficult as are the steps to learn how to make the ball go straight.

Simple drills that develop the alignment of face and path require no special equipment, beyond six golf tees…

I call it the six tee drill. And when a student uses this simple drill they immediate, no matter what ability level, understand what it takes from them to create consistent straight shots.

If you’d like a video of this drill for yourself simply click the link below and begin today working on the right (new and old) stuff.

6 Ball Drill Video 

First Tee Core Value Sportsmanship

Posted on: July 13, 2013
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List 3 examples of how you used Sportsmanship while in an activity that did not include a sport…so like if you were working on cleaning up the yard, or your room…

First Tee Core Value Courtesy

Posted on: June 29, 2013
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PLAYer – Core value Courtesy

Funwork:Give me 3 examples of how you used Courtesy when it came to you and others

After you watch the video, please leave the answers to your funwork in the comments section below. Make sure leave your name and what day you attend Class


First Tee Core Value Honesty

Posted on: June 25, 2013
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Welcome to the First Tee Online Class.  Please watch the video below and then answer the following questions, which you may bring to class or answer online in the comments area.

How will you use Honesty at home?

Give one example of how you used Honesty with Yourself, Once with Others and Once with Your Surroundings.


First Tee Core Value Respect & Code of Conduct

Posted on: June 21, 2013
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PLAYer 3/6 Week 1  Session Funwork 

Funwork:  Write down and bring to class 3 examples of how you used Respect during your week at  at home with your family or friends. You may also leave your answers in the comments section below.

This is a password protected post so all answers will remain private and not available to public.

Code of Conduct


 Core Value Respect and Funwork




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