My putting is great. My fairways hit is about 80%. If I miss a green in regulation though, I’m in trouble. As a current 2.5 handicap I struggle with my short game. When I hit greens I can shoot in the low 70’s or high 60’s. If I miss greens it can be ugly, as my up-and-down percentage, which I track with GolfStats, is about 20-25%. As they say on Twitter: #lame.
I had the opportunity to submit my video to PGA.com for a lesson on their cool new feature, Free Lesson Fridays. FLF is a fun and educational part of PGA.com in which renowned golf teachers help out folks who submit their questions and game issues. My lesson, linked here or by clicking the image below, was quite an eye opener.
Click photo to go to my PGA.com Free Lesson Friday
I didn’t realize I broke my left arm. Shoot. I have the dreaded left arm chicken wing! Somebody kill me now. I also didn’t know that my short game shots were mostly hands and not shoulders. And last I didn’t realize the club head passed my hands. These are all things I know are not good, but didn’t realize I was doing them until a PGA instructor showed me.
I’m thankful for the video lesson, and for PGA.com exposing my weak short game to millions of their readers. Exposing my short game to the public is worse than those naked pictures I accidentally posted online of myself, the ones with the lamp shade. That’s a post for another day…
I’ve been a member of Gold’s Gym for a year or so, and I’ve made some good progress in my fitness. Unfortunately a couple of months ago the gym I go to, which I can walk to in about one minute, closed. Now the closest gym is a very inconvenient drive away. That inconvenience has hurt my workout schedule. Recently though, I’ve acquired the SKLZ TRAINERmat and TRAINERball. I’ve done a lot of working out at the Gold’s on mats and with workout balls in the past, and now I can do some of those exercises at home. Today I’m reviewing the TRAINERmat.
SKLZ TRAINERmat – click to zoom
Quite simply, the SKLZ TRAINERmat is exactly what its name says. But this mat has some unique features which make it stand out above other mats.
First, this mat is long. The mat is six feet long and two feet wide. Most mats at my gym are only four feet. I really like being able to keep my whole body on the mat, instead of having my legs or upper body on the floor.
Second, this mat has graphics which show all sorts of stretches and exercises which are geared for GOLF. There are 24 total exercises printed right on the mat. No more reading my notes from a piece of paper or from my iPhone.
The pad rolls up into a very easy to carry compact cylinder for transport to the gym, storage in the house or car. See below.
SKLZ TRAINERmat rolls up for easy storage – click to see more
The 1/4″ thick pad is also a very cool shade of golf green. Love it.
Example exercise – click for more
The mat groups the exercises into four categories:
- Pillar Preparation
- Movement Preparation
- Movement Skills
Hard to write a 3,000 word review on an exercise mat, so I’m not going to try. In short the $29 SKLZ TRAINERmat is great for golf training, stores easy, covers a full body length and has the exercises printed right on the mat.
Hooked On Golf Blog SKLZ image gallery
PGA.com has a really neat feature if you go to their home page and scroll down a bit. Under the video heading you’ll see “Free Lesson Friday.” Users can send in videos of their golf swing and a PGA professional will give them a quick, free lesson. My dad and I decided that sounded fun, so at the range a couple of weeks back we shot our videos. I’m happy to announce that my dad’s video made the cut and is featured as this week’s free lesson, given by 2009 PGA Teacher Of The Year. Click here or the photo below to watch the video.
Thanks to PGA.com. I think the solution my dad received will help him get rid of that broken left wrist and left arm chicken wing, and give him better extension and power. I’d bet his accuracy will improve as well.
The video I sent in was a short game video. Crossing my fingers for some help as well. I have distance control issues.
Butch Harmon DVD – click to zoom
Today I’m reviewing a great instructional DVD. I’ve now watched the entire two disc set “About Golf” by Butch Harmon three times. I’ve watched the short game section (4) at least five times, the area I need the most work in. Let’s take a look at the product and what it covers.
About Golf DVD Overview
This DVD set covers literally every aspect of the golf swing and the game imaginable. There’s even a section on anger management.
The discs are broken down into sections as follows:
|DVD ONESECTION 1: Ball Striking, Basic Fundamentals
1. Set Up
3. Grip Pressure
5. Ball Position
6. Pre-swing Posture
10. Head Position
13. Follow Through
14. Pretty Swing vs. Efficient Swing
SECTION 2: Faults, Cures & Drills
1. Swing Too Fast
2. Topped Shot
3. Hitting it Fat
4. Dreaded Hook
6. Hook & Slice Drill
7. The Shank
8. Hitting from the Top
9. Reverse Pivot
10. Taking a Divot
11. Anger Management
SECTION 3: Specialty Shots
1. Long Drive
2. Draw / Hook Shot
3. Fade / Slice Shot
4. Low / Punch Shot
5. High Shot
6. Ball Above Feet
7. Ball Below Feet
8. Uphill Lie
9. Downhill Lie
10. The Stinger
11. Fairway Bunkers
12. Hitting O! Hard Pan
SECTION 4: Short Game
1. Basic Wedge Shot
SECTION 5: Sand Play
1. Short Bunker Shot
2. Long Bunker Shot
3. Buried Lie
4. Uphill Lie
5. Downhill Lie
|DVD TWOSECTION 6: Putting
1. Putting Fundamentals
2. Reading the Break
3. Putting Drills
4. Practice Routine
SECTION 7: From Good to Great
(in alphabetical order)
1. Fred Couples
2. Ernie Els
3. Natalie Gulbis
4. Dustin Johnson
5. Phil Mickelson
6. Greg Norman
7. Adam Scott
8. Nick Watney
9. Tiger Woods
SECTION 8: Selecting Correct Clubs
SECTION 9: Fitness in Golf
SECTION 10: Kids/Women/Seniors
The lessons Butch gives in this two disc set are very well done and very educational. Butch covers everything from the very basics that all golfers need, to the fine details of shot making and dealing with trouble on the course. Harmon is very clear and descriptive in his concepts, setup and execution. He really stresses the basics, which are so obvious but so often overlooked.
Before turning golf web geek, I worked as an engineer in the audio/video field for 25 years. I know good and bad production. This DVD is produced, filmed, edited and packaged with the highest quality and attention to detail. The audio is great, the video quality is fantastic and so are the supporting graphics and materials. This is a top notch production.
My favorite section other than the short game section is “From Good To Great.” In that section big name stars like Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson etc., talk about their game and how Butch helped them. Very interesting to know that even Ernie Els was aligning some 15 yards right of target with a 7-iron and had to make all sorts of other manipulations in his swing to compensate. Once again, going back to the basics and checking alignment, helped Ernie.
Putting It Together
There’s so much material in this DVD. I’ve developed a couple of ideas on how to best take advantage. First I might pick one lesson inside a section, like hitting the stinger for instance, and work on that for a range session. I’ll pick another section or subject for the next range session.
Butch’s DVD in my computer this morning…
The other way I use the DVD is running a section over and over on my home computer, like pitching or chipping, to pound the concepts into my cranium.
This DVD is fantastic for golfers of all ability levels. At $89 retail, this program costs as much as one or two lessons, but there are 100’s of lessons and tips one could learn from. Whether you are a pro, low single digit like me, or a beginner, this DVD is a great resource for learning and improving your golf game.
There are many training aids, alignment aids, devices and gadgets to help with putting. Believe me, I know. I trip over them all the time in my house.
Two of the most important parts of the putting setup are alignment and club head path. If either is off, you will miss the putt no matter what.
One way I like to check my setup is simply by checking my stance and putter head alignment in the kitchen while making Greek chicken, Greek salad and sipping on a red. I’ll use two different alignments on the kitchen tile.
First I’ll set up with my feet on one line, and put a dissecting line in the center of my stance. I can check my foot alignment and club face alignment against the grout lines running perpendicular to my stance.
Here I’m checking foot alignment and club head alignment…
Second, I’ll set up with the putter face at a four way intersection of the tiles. There I can check the face alignment as well as try some strokes along the line.
Use tile intersection to check face alignment and swing path…
I’m a bit of a “swinging door” putter, so the head won’t travel perfectly along the line, but it still helps visually.