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Sunday, September 18, 2011

August 2011 Golf Newsletter

I hope you're all having a good summer, and ignoring the default crisis nonsense by burrowing your focus into your golf games.  There's no better way to take one's mind off work and financial worry, than practicing and playing a demanding yet rewarding game like golf.  This month I'd like to discuss one of the main problems golfers have with their backswings

Many people watch golf on TV, see the pros hitting the ball way out there, and wish to do so as well.  In their efforts to hit the ball far like the pros, amateur golfers will often take their arms back as far as they can, thinking they are winding up and gathering power to unleash fury on that golf ball.  In doing so, they break down their arms (bend them alot), disconnect their arms from their bodies, and don't properly coil the body up.  So, in their efforts to get wound up to hit the ball far, they take the arms too far back and too far around themselves, leading to a dissipation of power and an unsolid strike of the ball.   

Rather you want strive for a full, tight, powerful body coil with as little arm backswing as possible.  This entails keeping the arms in front of your body with your hands up high, feeling like you've only made a half to 3/4 arm swing.  It then becomes important to use the core to take the club back, and to get your back facing the target at the top. 

Many people think they need to be loosey goosey in order to be relaxed, but the pros don't swing that way.  You want to strive for a free swing yes, but one with a firm structure and foundation.  I liken this body sensation to that of a boxer in the ring, as he throws powerful, controlled punches with muscles engaged, while dancing around lightly on his feet, bobbing and weaving.  Likewise, in our backwings we want some tension and tightness (right adductor, right hip, and right lat area), and yet a freedom to release the coil with speed on the way through, like a rubber band pulled back and then released.

Let me know if I can help you work on this 'non-existent' arm backswing, and the accompanying correct torso coil and pivot.  There are some fun drills we can do, along with employing precise placement and physics to the moves.  Let's work smarter and more efficiently, as sometimes less is needed in some places, and more in others.  

Many of us are on a tight budget right now, so this month I've reduced the package of 10 lessons to 4 lessons, with the same unit price.  You can call or e-mail me to sign up for the August special of 4 lessons for $200, balls and use of training aids are included.

Stay cool,
Christy Erb
(858) 254-6591

Pre-Summer Golf Newsletter 2011

Golfers Who Want to Hit it Further!

I'd like to go over the 'RELEASE' in the golf swing with you at this time. The release starts occurring half way through the downswing, as we start rolling the arms and hands over. In this way, the club head can properly pass the hands when striking the ball.

Weight on Left: In order to have the possibility of a powerful release, most all of your weight needs to be on your left foot at time of impact. This means driving your weight onto your left side on the downswing, bracing against your left leg. As you do this, you want to pull the club through with your left side, leading with the handle of the club, keeping the club head lagging way back of the handle as you are rolling the arms and hands over. This is called loading into the club, loading up energy in the bowed shaft, so that when you release the clubhead, all that stored energy is applied to launch your golf ball into the stratosphere.

Posting through the Ball: This means that your left leg straightens at time of impact as you dynamically release the club. When you strike the ball, your left leg should straighten as your right hand and wrist turn over your left hand and wrist (like you have a watch on your right hand that you want to read as you are contacting the ball). Another way to think of it is rolling your left palm up toward the sky as you roll your left knuckles underneath (this is the Hogan way). The back of your left hand should be straight, not concave or collapsed, as you roll the club head past the hands. This will create a powerful snapping or whipping sensation of the release of the golf club, sending your ball soaring past your opponent's!

With Father's Day soon approaching, I've got a great offer going for the special dad's in our lives. From now until Father's Day, June 19th, I am offering gift certificates of 3 lessons for $135 ( $45 savings). E-mail or call to take advantage of the best deal going this year!

Now get out there and foucus your attention on learning the mechanics and timing of the powerful release of the golf club in your swing!

Your Golf Mentor

Christy Erb

March 2011 Newsletter


With all the rain we've had lately and may have again in the next few weeks, let's use this time indoors to focus on the oh so important Mental Game.  Most don't think this is important, and are doing themselves a disservice in their skepticism and unawareness.     

How we practice is actually more important than the amount of time we put into practice.  You could be practicing 6 hours a week, pounding golf balls from an emotionally charged state, and getting nothing out of it.  Or you could be practicing half that amount of time, in a calm and purposeful way, building up a good foundational base for a consistent swing over time.  If any of you watched the Haney project with Rush Limbaugh lately, you saw Rush celebrate what he thought was a good shot, only to have Hank tell him it was garbage.  Everyone can make decent contact with the ball here and there on the comfortable driving range, another ball waiting to be scooped over to replace the one you just hit.  However, if you want to build consistency and a game that you can take to the golf course, then you need to strive to ingrain solid fundamentals.  For as you see on the course, when those aren't there, and you're under the gun on the tee box or are approaching the green, you can kiss those wayward shots good bye and add strokes to your score.

When we talk about mental game, we mean being in control of our reactions and not involuntarily reacting to the results.  It's the difference between subjectively reacting to what the ball does, rather than thoughtfully and objectively understanding what you have done or not done in the swing.  You have to hit many bad shots on the driving range on the way to building up the fundamentals of the golf swing, there is no other way it has ever been done.  If you can keep your eye on the prize - the positions, postures, and dynamics of the swing and short game - regardless of the immediate outcome, then you can actually progress. 

It is when we aren't looking for results, but are week after week and month after month absorbed by the present moment of attention to whatever swing mechanic we're working on, that results unexpectedly reveal themselves.  For just as in life, when we search for happiness or pleasure, they are more elusive than when we strive to live a purposeful and responsible life.  Happiness usually comes upon us surreptitiously when involved with life in a patient, appreciative, and understanding way, not when we are looking for gratification from the things we do.

So the question comes to you:  Are you going to allow yourself to hack away on the driving range and golf course, looking like a clueless cave man?  Or are you going to use your modern, evolved brain to tackle the golf swing step by step, one or two mechanics at a time, in a useful, wise, and productive way?  The decision is always yours, in golf and in life.

Happy March to you all!

Your Golf Mentor,

Christy Erb