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April 19 /10

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Click on any of the following Newsletter topics or just scroll down the page:

Eight-Week Golf Fitness Improves Golfers
Putting on and Off the Course
Wedge Loft & Gap Distance
Alignment & Hitting Enough Club?

Going away on a golf holiday this winter with a group? Need a golf draw that pairs each player with each other player exactly once? or twice? or not at all? I have developed draws that meet those requirements. Take a look at them by CLICKING HERE, Golf Draws.

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8-Week Golf Fitness = Better Golf

I haven't done a review of a golf research study for a while. I came across one the other day on golf improvement using a golf-specific exercise program. It was published in "Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research" in 2007, authored by S.M. Lephart et al.

15 trained golfers (who play 2-3 times per week and practice 2-3 times per week during golf season) were given an 8-week fitness program to determine the effects on physical characteristics, swing mechanics and golf performance. The average age was 47 years and average handicap was 12.

The program consisted of the following types of exercises:

Stretching -- hip flexion, kneeling lunge, hip & torso rotation seated and with club, standing lateral bending

Strengthening (with elastic tubing) -- hips, arms, resisted backswings & downswings & through-swings, abdominal crunches

Balancing -- static front squat, single-leg stances

Before and after the program was implemented, a number of assessments were done and found statistically significant improvements in:

- left & right torso rotational speed
- left & right shoulder flexion, extension and abduction
- left & right hip flexion, extension and abduction
- left & right torso axial rotation

These improvements resulted in the following golf ball striking improvements:

Carry Distance +7.7%
Total Distance +6.8%
Ball velocity +5.0%
Club velocity +5.2%
Launch Angle +2.2%

The study concluded that a golf-specific training program can improve strength, flexibility and balance abilities, which can improve golf performances. Golfers can develop a more stable base with greater functional flexibility. this combination allows for greater upper-body rotational velocities resulting in greater club head velocity.

This study also pointed out the relevance of conditioning for injury prevention for all golfers as well as limiting age related limitations for seniors (like flexibility, strength and balance) as well as maintaining greater overall health.

Distance-wise, club manufacturers can no longer make any further improvements (they have met the maximum allowed by the USGA and R&A). The only way for a golfer to now get mor distance off the tee is to improve their strength, flexibility and balance through a fitness program.

Take a look at a 6-week program that you'll find will provide you with the guidance and encouragement you need.

6-week Golf Specific Training Program

You can look at all of my products here: Order Golf Tips & Accessories

Please complete this Golf Newsletter Feedback form so that I can provide you with more great golf tips you're looking for in 2010.

Putting on and Off the Course

 

Consider having to reduce your household or business budget. Which part of the budget gets cut the most? Some things can't be cut (such as mortgage or rent). So, you look at those that account for the lion's share of the total budget, like salaries in a business or food & transportation in a home.

Likewise, if you want to lower your golf score, it's easiest to improve in an area of the game which accounts for the lion's share of strokes. In this wonderful game of golf, it's your putting. Out of all the different areas such as driving, irons, sand play, chipping, etc., putting is by far the largest contributor to your score.

In fact, putting accounts for almost 40% of your strokes (38% for a 30 handicap and up to 41% for a 0 handicap). And, about half of your putts (which means 20% of your total strokes) are in the range of 5 feet or less. So, you can lower your score by improving the shortest length shots in your game without having to get the ball airborne.

Improving your putting will have the greatest impact on reducing your score and lowering your handicap. How does one improve at putting?

A good putter has the following qualities:

1. A putting stroke with good mechanics.
2. Great feel and distance control.
3. Ability to aim the putter face on target.
4. Ability to read greens well.

Good Stroke Mechanics

Try to keep the putting stroke as simple as possible. The keys to a good stroke are:
- a stance with the ball position directly below the eyes (to promote good aiming)
- the arms and putter forming a Y and maintaining the Y shape without breaking the wrists (thus a pendulum-like stroke)
- a shorter back stroke is best, with a follow through stroke slightly longer (thus ensuring accelerating through the ball)

I'd really recommend you acquire a copy of "Dave Pelz's Putting Bible" from your local bookstore or library. You can also use the link below to order it from amazon, along with his "Short Game Bible."

 

   

 

Great Feel & Distance Control

This is where the majority of your putting practice time will be spent. Reading greens well and aiming well won't help much if you come up 10 feet short or long.

It's important that you train the eyes along with the body. You must ensure you look at the hole intently each time so that you can learn to judge the distance. Quality practice is much better than quantity.

Here's what I recommend you work on:
- practice putting from different distances in 5 foot intervals, starting from 10 feet with 3 balls (not range balls but the ones you play with; I recommend you use high performance 3 to 5 piece balls with soft covers)
- don't concern yourself at all with holing the putt; the focus is on hitting the ball about one foot past the hole
- repeat this 3 times from each distance (10 feet to 40 feet)
- next, place the 3 balls out at different distances (like 10, 20 & 30 ft) from the hole, along the same line, and putt them (3 ft is a walking pace). Alternate from shortest to longest, then longest to shortest, then mid to short to long.
- do this at least 3 times each week

When you're on the course, whenever possible (without delaying play), replay putts except all you should be interested in is distance control, not holing the putt. The more "feel" practice you get, the better you'll be able to judge and execute correct distances and leave yourself with shorter second putts (and even hole more).

My site has teamed up with Peter Sanders and Golf Research Associates to provide some additional great putting tips as well as tracking your progress. Take a look HERE.

 

Aiming the Putter Face

Aiming the putter face on the correct target line is essential. If you mistakenly aim the putter face right, the ball will miss right. As you continue to do this, your brain will subconciously begin to alter your stroke to pull the putt to the left. This will cause your stroke to change and become inefficient. Likewise, aiming the putter face left will have a similar result. You need to practice aiming the putting face correctly.

The only way to do this is to have an aid, such as a laser attached to you putter face to see where it's facing. Practicing with the laser will definitely improve your aim and thus your stroke.

I can send you a laser putting device that attaches to your putter so you can practice you aim, and, you can even putt with it attached. Take a look HERE .


 Laser Putting Trainer

 

I'll continue next month with more great tips on how to cut your budget of strokes by improving your putting.

Please complete this Golf Newsletter Feedback form so that I can provide you with more great golf tips you're looking for in 2010.

Wedge Loft Angles & Gap Distance

How many wedges are in your bag? Most players have at least two, with some having three or four. I had a request a few weeks ago about my opinion on what the lofts of wedges should be to give good gap distances between them. So, I powered up the golf projectile model I use in my expert consulting business to come up with some numbers.

My projectile model factors in everything that's required including club speed, resulting ball speed, launch angle (related to but not equal to club loft), backspin and environmental factors such as temperature and air pressure.

Below is a table of results for different loft wedges. For each wedge, I assumed the club head speed to be the same. Even though some wedges might be a little longer in length than others, the increased length does not produce significantly more club head speed, thus the concept of equal length irons that I promote. Learn more about these revolutionary clubs HERE.

Wedge Loft
98 mph
88 mph
68 mph
46
126
114
84
48
120
108
79
50
114
102
73
52
108
96
69
54
101
90
64
56
98
85
60
58
94
81
56
60
90
76
51
62
85
72
48
64
83
68
46

 

The columns with speeds (mph) are carry distances in yards at three different swing speeds. The speed of 98 mph corresponds to the wedge club head speed. A golfer that swings a wedge at that speed would swing a Driver at approximately 116 mph, thus a long hitter. The slower swing speeds could correspond to shorter hitters or a long hitter swinging a wedge with less than a full swing.

A long hitter that wants a gap distance of about 10 yards between wedges would choose lofts of 48, 51, 54 and 60 corresponding to yardages of 120, 111, 101 and 90 yards respectively. A shorter hitter would choose lofts of 48, 52, 56 and 60 corresponding to yardages of 79, 69, 60 and 51 yards respectively.

 

Check out the optimum loft for your Driver based on you club speed. You can even download a version of the spreadsheet I use for my research. CLICK HERE.

 
Trying to find answers on my website? Here's how.

1. Go to my Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. There's a link to it on my pages from the left hand menu near the top of the page, just below the Search icon. It's called "FAQs." You then click on the graphic icon and you'll be taken to my database page. For your convenience, here it is:
FAQ

I've answered hundreds of questions over the past 6 years and have created a fairly large database. You can search it out. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, submit a question and I'll answer it.

2. On all of my web pages, there is a search feature in the top left section, right underneath my LOGO. Just place your search keywords in the search box, select "This Site" below it, and then press "Search." What will come up is a Google search of the pages on my site with relevance. You can also search the entire internet by selecting "Web" instead.
Go to my main page now: Home or just check the top left menu of this page.

3. Also, directly under the Google Search area, you'll find a pop down menu called "Your Topic." Select the topic of interest and press "Go."

I would suggest you bookmark my main page and/or your specific areas of interest so that you can find them easily in the future. On each page at the very top, there is a link you can click on:
"Click here to add this page to your favourites"

Hope you find all you're looking for.

You can learn more from NEW Titleist Pro-V1 by clicking HERE.

 

 

A list of resources that have been used to produce this newsletter can be found on my web site here.

Hope I provided some useful ways for you to become better prepared for you best golf season ever.

Ken Tannar

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