Category Archives for "Videos: Lesson of the Week"

Lesson of the Week: Stacy Kress- Trying to Lessen Right Hip Spinning

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Stacy, the daughter of my good friend Richard Kress, has been a student of mine for over 20 years. Richard is one of the world’s most avid golfers (he’s taken at least one lesson from every teacher you can possibly name) and kept bringing Stacy for lessons even when it seemed that she had no affinity for the game. She was unfazed by her failures and kept at it, and eventually she won the women’s club championship at Woodholme when she was 17, upsetting a 5-time Maryland State Women’s Amateur champion in the process. She went on to play D1 golf for Penn University, and was chosen Freshman of the Year. She now resides in West Palm Beach and is a member at Bear Lakes, where she won the club championship last year as well as the Tri-County Women’s Amateur. Stacy has always had an idiosyncratic right shoulder and scapular movement in transition, and she has always tended to lift as she gets to the top of her swing. When she lifts, she is extending her right hip flexor, which in turn leads to spinning the right side of her pelvis and leaving her arms and hands trailing behind. To improve the synchronization of her upper and lower I try an old trick used by Butch Harmon to keep the right heel down longer and encourage the foot to roll inward instead of shooting straight up. You will see here that by restricting the upward motion of the heel and foot her pelvic rotation slows down and her arms move further down without the hips spinning open.

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Lesson of the Week: Scott Kremer- Posture Induced Hip Depth Issues Leading to Path Problems

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

After watching Scott hit his first few shots, I knew that we could make some serious progress right away given that he was setting up well back into his heels. His shot pattern was a pull draw that turned into a major pull hook, and it was obvious that after setting up in his heels he was moving toward the ball immediately in the takeaway with his hands and arms as well as his hips. This is a common issue that gives the player a backswing that has a large progression from P1 to P3, an upright appearance at the top, and no room for the right arm to get in front of the body without pushing the hands well away from where they started at address. Once I got Scott to set up more out over the ball and concentrate on trying to deepen his right hip in the backswing, we could then talk about the feeling of the left arm staying more against the chest and the club approaching the ball from more behind him. We then added the idea of keeping the hips deep in the forward swing and aiming the lateral movement more to the left instead of straight out to the target, which reduced his lateral slide and gave him the feeling of sidearm throwing. The shorter swings we filmed at the end of the lesson with the help of the Spine Board looked particularly improved, and Scott left feeling like he was definitely on the right track.

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Lesson of the Week: Phil Cargile- Big Improvement in 2 Hours

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

This video is a bit long but if you hang in there and watch the whole thing, I think you will find it quite instructive. Phil is 55, around a 10 handicap, and has a swing that looks much better than it works. His issues are classic; takeaway slightly inward and behind him, overuse of the right arm at the top, hands dropping behind him starting down, right leg firing under him in early extension, and a “stuck” clubhead at P6 leading to an overly in to out path through impact and a pronounced flip release. Phil has come to me in person once in 2016, once in 2017, and now twice in 2018, and you will see that while he definitely improved his right arm pullback the rest of his pattern is stubborn to say the least. By the end of the lesson you will see with the help of explanations, drills, and swing aids (the Sheftic Spine Board) Phil gets a different look and feel and makes some swings that show great progress.

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Lesson of the Week: Frank Goldman 2- Deeper Hips, More Width

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Frank has come a long way in a few months of lessons (around 15 hours), especially since he almost never has a chance to practice. He does play a few times a week, however, usually with business clients at great golf courses such as Deepdale and Maidstone on Long Island. In this video I contrast Frank’s first swings with his latest, and while his signature issues remain the same he has made some headway in creating a more controlled backswing, which has made his ball striking more consistent.

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Lesson of the Week: Alan Grabush- Working on a Quirky Backswing

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

I’ve been working with Alan off and on for over 4 years now, and while we have made significant progress at times with his ball striking we have never been able to rid him of the hitch in his backswing. The biggest issue is that Alan doesn’t feel what he is doing, which means he is not aware of it unless he sees it on video. He can perfectly position the club in the mirror, and he can perform reasonable stop and go drills from different starting points, but in a full swing there is a pattern of movement that causes his hands to move toward his head in transition, which creates a steeper plane than he would like while also making difficult the task of getting the upper right arm in front of the ribcage in the forward swing and the hands further forward on the approach and at impact. In the past I have failed to account for his body motion in assessing why the arms should move the way they do, but in this lesson, I do a bit of hands on holding of his head during the swing, and the results are very encouraging.

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Lesson of the Week: Frank Goldman- Overcoming Shoulder Mobility Problems

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Frank works in New York but lives in Baltimore where he is a former member of my club, Woodholme CC. Working in the Wall Street world of finance Frank gets invited to play some of the courses clustered in the New York area from Westchester out to the tip of Long Island, which happen to be some of the best courses in the world. He never practices, but he is tired of not being able to play at a level that would produce a decent score on a difficult track. He decided he wanted to get better, so he contacted me about taking a series of lessons. In his first visit I could see that this would be a project, but the good news was that he is an athletic guy and had a good feel for the general motion of the swing. I saw right away that his major problem was the common issue of right arm folding and pulling behind him in the backswing, which made it impossible for him to get his hands far enough forward at P6 to forward lean the club on an iron shot. When I told him that he needed to make a better upper trunk turn in the backswing and keep his hands wider at the top with space under his right arm, he pointed out that his left shoulder had an impingement that made it hurt when it stretched to a certain point. I knew right then that for Frank to have his right arm stay more in front of him his swing would have to be radically shorter, and if we were able to accomplish that he would then have to train his hands to feel the lag of the club and to square the face as they passed in front of the ball. I referred him to my M.A.T specialist who is working on his shoulder, and we have consistently worked on gaining space with the right arm while keeping it from over bending. Thus, stop and go swings are a staple of the lesson, after which we switch over to impact drills to train his hands what to do were he to get them as forward as we were hoping.

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Lesson of the Week: Ben Skowronski- Proper Sequence and Lag

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

This is my 3rd lesson with Ben, and as you will see, he is really a problem case. This is where a teacher really must know what he or she is doing to get this guy to actually compress the golf ball. Luckily, Ben’s backswing has no serious flaws, although I would like him to load deeper into his right hip and cock his wrists a bit more. This is nitpicking, however, and there are much greater priorities than perfecting his backswing. Ben has no sense of athletic sequence when it comes to the golf swing, while he can throw a ball sidearm with good form. Ben literally must build a totally new perception of the downswing and the strike of the ball if he is ever going to be able to tap into his innate athletic ability. I always start these projects with less than full shots, either a punch shot or a pitch shot, as it is much more likely that a player can feel the delay of the upper body and the club in a shorter swing. The idea is to get the hands in front of the ball at impact, and I could put a guy like Ben in a perfect approach position, ask him if he could hit it from there, and he would say “no”. The clubhead is moving so much faster than the hands at the bottom of the swing that if you have never hit a ball with forward shaft lean you just can’t figure out how the club would ever reach the ball, much less close to square, when your hands are even with the ball and the shaft is parallel to the ground. In this lesson we achieved success with the pivot sequence. Now we must deal with how the hands accept the weight of the clubhead and bend back instead of pushing the club forward.

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Lesson of the Week: John Shmerler-So Hard to Change a Pattern

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Here is a 3 handicapper with what would be considered a good swing but one he would like to change for the better. We have identified the issues, and they are stubborn to say the least. John tends to get the shaft flat at P3 and heading to P4 he always stuffs his right upper arm in close to his side, finishing the backswing with some right shoulder blade pull-back. This not only affects his sequence (the right shoulder pull-back actually initiates his downswing by leaning the upper body over the lower before the lower can get started) but keeps his right arm from getting into any kind of “pitch” position where the upper arm would be in front of the rib cage with the right elbow leading. It’s obvious that John has an excellent idea of what he would like to do, as shown by his spot-on slow-motion demonstration of his desired positions. After identifying the differences between his real swing and his demonstration, john does his best to stand the shaft up at P3, which would not seem to be the hardest thing to do. However, with a ball in front of the club for a full shot the best we could do was to go from 12 degrees flat off plane to 6 degrees, while the right arm still resisted getting wider and higher. The lesson ended on a positive note, but there is no denying the difficulty in changing baked in patterns when trying to hit a ball to a target with a full speed swing. In my opinion your “natural swing”, the one you don’t think about, doesn’t really have a “feel” to it; rather, it just “happens”. It’s like you don’t notice a body part unless it hurts. If you are aware of a swing flaw and can do it properly in a segmented (stop and go) drill, then you must be able to develop an awareness of how it feels when you do what you normally do. If you have nothing to compare your everyday move to, why would it change? The real “aha” moment is when you do what you always do and say “oh, I felt that”. Only then can you try to feel something different.

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Lesson of the Week: Will Levy- Stability and Perception of Swing Plane

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Will is mostly a baseball player whose grandfather would like him to learn how to play golf, and since he’s very good at baseball you might figure golf would come easier to him than most. As it turns out for whatever reason instead of swinging the club around him in the forward swing he always drops it way inside and swings exaggeratedly in to out with his legs driving out from under him to the right. This is exactly unlike a sidearm throwing motion or even a batting motion. Will is a strong but gangly kid who doesn’t control his body very well, so my focus with him is to stabilize his right leg in the backswing so that he has a brace to move forward from, and then to do anything to get him to swing more out and around to the left. The difficulty for the brain (anyone’s) is to process how a left miss (Will tends to hook the ball wildly more so than blocking it to the right due to his strong grip) can be rectified by swinging more left. As much as he swings in to out you can be sure he has the face closing rapidly by impact, so we must make sure his grip is weaker so that the face will be more open as the clubhead approaches the ball on a more proper path. His hips need to learn how to stay deeper as he aims his hip drive way more to the left, another item for the next lessons. Unfortunately, you can only do so much in an hour, but I think this is a good start.

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Lesson of the Week: Scott Wingrat- Laid Off Backswing Leads to Steepening Shaft

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Scott has a nice athletic move, but his flawed takeaway has the shaft extremely behind him at P2 and laid off at P3 and P4, which he can only fix by steepening the shaft in transition. As we have seen before, the tendency when the shaft tips steeper is for the lower body to try to help the shaft lay back later in the downswing by pushing out toward the ball. Scott had a good grasp of what was going on in our first lesson, but when he came back for the second we found that his takeaway had not changed much at all, another example of how difficult it is to execute a change no matter how simple it seems. Scott can correct this with practice as he shows in his stop and go, which gives him the time to think about and feel the takeaway keeping the shaft more on plane. His sequencing is good, and he demonstrates that when he does the backswing better he has a chance to shallow the club in transition, which, along with work toward keeping his hips deeper, will make him a more consistent ball striker.

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