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This week’s lesson comes from PGA Professional Wayne O’Callaghan at his academy in Fernhill Golf Club, Carrigaline Cork. info@wayneocallaghangolf.com, www.fernhillcountryclub.com.
In recent years technology which was originally researched and developed for the medical field has been assimilated into the golf coaching world. This technology is providing a new way of looking at the swing and to highlight elements that were once invisible to the naked eye.
Technology which was first designed to aid analysis of the foot, its shape and how it operates when walking is now one of my key teaching aids. I use a force plate system from Swingia. There are many elements in this system which can help us understand what the eye cannot see but one aspect I will focus here is Ground Force.
Picture a person jumping up and down on a weighing scales. For a split second on landing the scales appears to show a higher weight as added energy is forced onto it. To achieve this added energy in a golf shot practice the following drill.
1. Place an empty water bottle under the ball of your left foot. I suggest you remove a little air first by crushing it slightly and then tightening the lid; this way your foot is not too high off the ground.
2. Make your backswing as normal not placing any more weight on the bottle.
3. In the key move push your body weight into the bottle crushing it as much as possible, this will increase your body weight creating “Ground Force” it will also help you move your weight to your left foot in the downswing helping the quality of impact and the force in the strike.
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Two of the best pro tips I’ve picked up down through my years of reading and writing about golf concerns the wrists. Used properly, the wrists are extremely powerful. As they hinge and unhinge, force is unloaded from the wrists to the golf ball.
Because the wrists can hinge up and down, rotate and move side to side, poor use of them results in not just weak shots but errant ones too.
Here are two very simple tips I use to help me set my wrists properly.
1. Many golfers collapse their left wrist at the top of the backswing, the right hand climbs over to compensate and a weak slice results.
tip1A great way to get clear in your mind the right position of the wrists at the top of the backswing is to hold a book (instead of a club) with your two palms facing each other. Now move the book to the top of your backswing keeping your left palm flat on it and allowing your right wrist to fold back. THAT is the perfect position in which to get your wrists before the downswing!
 
2. On the downswing, some players get too eager to unload the wrists and end up scooping the ball as the wrists flip and the clubhead passes them through before making contact.
tip2Imagine holding a tennis racket in your left hand and hitting a backhand shot. That is exactly how your left wrist should be when hitting down on the ball; firm and bowed a little. Ben Hogan called this “pronating” the wrist and always said it was of critical importance in contacting ball before turf.
Once you get the feeling of where the wrists should be at the top of the backswing and at impact, you’ll enjoy more powerful, more accurate shots using their full power.


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This week’s lesson comes from PGA Professional at Millicent Golf Club, Darren McLoughlin
All too often I see amateur golfers at set up with their head in an incorrect position for their driver. The position of the head at set-up is critical as it can affect the shoulder and spinal rotation.
The photo on the left shows the incorrect position with the neck at 90' to the ground
On the right I have shown the correct head position, with my neck tilted to the right . By doing this you can see the left shoulder is now higher than the right, with the head tilted to the right , but importantly, still in line with the spine angle.

Ball-Position2Another vital component of the driver set-up is the ball position. As, you can see from the photo my ball position changes due to the club being used. For the driver, because we are looking for maximum distance, the ball should be placed just inside the left heel. Playing the ball in the correct place takes no athletic ability, you just have to remember to monitor it. Get it right, and your driving will improve immediately.
Contact Darren on 086-1713465 or by email at darrenmcloughlinpgapro@hotmail.com and check out Darren’s blog  www.darrenmcloughlingolfacademy.blogspot.ie







mad-golferIn this job I get to see the professionals play golf quite a bit. People often ask me what’s the difference between a Tour professional and an amateur? Do they hit it further, do they putt it better? The answer is yes, they do hit and putt better but the single greatest difference between pros and amateurs is how they handle making mistakes.
Take for instance Thomas Bjorn. He was the first guy on the range at Carton House on the Monday before the Irish Open. He practiced his swing and his long game with his coach for about four hours, chipping for two and putting for another two. His clubs are custom made to suit his consistently repeating swing. Yet when Bjorn went out for nine holes that evening he didn’t expect to hit every shot out of the sweet spot of the face; maybe three or four perfect strikes would be what he was expecting.
Then you have the amateur, racing to the golf course on a Sunday morning; hasn’t played since the previous Sunday. Jumps out his car ten minutes before his tee time, feverishly blasts 15 drives into next week on the range and runs to the tee box. His clubs are mix of Christmas presents and some irons he got cheap on DoneDeal. Yet the first ball that hooks viciously out of bounds has him ripping mad for the day.
Professionals realize that golf, as Bob Rotella puts it, is not a game of perfect. It’s actually a game of mistakes. They however, don’t let mistakes affect them mentally, they don’t compound an error by making another, and they don’t get psyched out.
For amateurs on the other hand it’s a slippery slope. Thoughts after the first lost ball might go something like “Why did I hit that big hook? What if I hit another one like that? I’ll run out of balls. This hole is going to cost me a tenner in Pro V1’s. That bloody pro ruined me with that lesson last month. I was grand until I met him. Waste of bloody time. I might go in after nine.”
So how can an amateur be more like a pro? One way is to use the Tiger Woods approach. He allows himself 30 paces down the fairway to call himself everything under the sun after he hits a bad shot. Then his attention switches fully to executing the next shot as good as possible. That’s why you hear commentators saying so often “Tiger never gives up,” even when he is playing poorly.
Another method is to use your handicap as your bad shot allowance. If you’re a 12 handicap, allow yourself 12 mess ups per round. Every time you hit a poor shot, it’s no problem, just subtract one from your allowance.
Developing the acceptance of mistakes and the ability to recover quickly is as valuable to an amateur as spending an hour beating balls on the range. Next time you’re out on the course and hit a bad shot, put it behind you and make the next one a good one; you’ll enjoy your golf more and see your scores improve.

 

This week’s lesson comes from Doonbeg PGA Teaching Pro Ian Kearney. To book a lesson or to contact Ian at Doonbeg Golf Club email Ian_kearney@doonbeggolfclub.com or call 087-7679976

This week we will see the best golfers in the world crisply strike their irons shots from tight lies at the British Open. If you struggle with fat or thin iron shots this drill will help you learn a better impact position for your shorter iron shots.

Take your normal set up with an 8-iron (pic 1). The aim is to hit a low 50 yard shot using a half swing. In order to keep the ball lower the shaft must lean to the target at impact; with the left forearm and shaft almost forming a straight line that clearly leans to the target (pic 2). The grip will be ahead of the clubhead.
As it is only a half swing you will have an abbreviated follow through. Watch your trajectory and experiment to see how low you can keep the ball. This is the basis of the punch shot which will help greatly in windy conditions. The correct impact will be where you will slightly strike down on the ball with the divot coming after you make contact with the ball.
So remember, keep the club leaning to the target, to produce a well struck low shot. The correct impact will feel effortless but compressing the ball correctly is essential for distance and control. Sounds simple but this is something many Tour golfers regularly practice to improve their impact!

 

This week’s lesson comes from Doonbeg PGA Teaching Pro Ian Kearney. To book a lesson or to contact Ian at Doonbeg Golf Club email Ian_kearney@doonbeggolfclub.com or call 087-7679976
Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to spend time with renowned American PGA Coach Michael Hebron. Michael was one of the first people I met to highlight the importance of understanding and focusing on what the "stick" or club does during the swing. If you struggle with your chipping this simple learning drill focusing on how the club works through impact will really help you.

1. Take your normal set up to the ball for a small chip from two yards off the green and choose an 8-iron. Place the club directly behind the ball as if you were just about to play the shot.
2. Now, instead of making a backswing, try to push the ball onto the green. Most players with poor chipping technique will try to flick the ball breaking their left wrist. This causes the ball to roll up the face and drop in front; it will not roll out along the intended line.
3. To execute the drill correctly, with the club leaning slightly towards the target, concentrate on maintaining a nice long straight line down the left arm and club shaft. When you successfully push the ball onto the green with control you will have learned the correct impact and motion for a basic chip shot. After a few minutes, add in a little backswing and see if you can replicate the feeling from the drill.
Adding this drill to your practice sessions will greatly improve your impact position when chipping.






This week’s lesson comes from Doonbeg PGA Teaching Pro Ian Kearney. To book a lesson or to contact Ian at Doonbeg Golf Club email Ian_kearney@doonbeggolfclub.com or call 087-7679976
So often golf games are won and lost on the greens. How many times have we seen a good player make a bad stroke when the pressure comes on in the heat of battle. Here’s a great little drill for the practice green to simulate some of the pressure of having to make that vital putt.

Pick a straight putt. Place a tee or a marker three foot from the hole, a second tee six foot from the hole and a third tee nine foot from the hole. Start at the nearest tee and try to putt three balls into the hole. If successful move to the tee at six foot and again try to putt the three balls into the hole. If you miss any of the putts you must return to the start, the nearest tee and try again. The aim is to try and hole nine putts, three from each distance.
As you get closer to completing the challenge, you will begin to feel the pressure. If you can maintain your poise and hole that crucial last nine footer, the next time you face a pressure putt in competition, you will be more than ready to execute a confident stroke.






This week’s lesson comes from Doonbeg PGA Teaching Pro Ian Kearney. To book a lesson or to contact Ian at Doonbeg Golf Club email Ian_kearney@doonbeggolfclub.com or call 087-7679976
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When you see the Tour professionals play this week at Carton House you can only marvel at their putting, especially the tempo and pace on long putts. Many club golfers find they struggle with long putting pace control. Sometimes they accelerate too much, other times they 'forget' to hit the ball hard enough.
Here’s a great drill to improve your speed control. Recent research studies have actually found that people who moved their focus to the target (i.e. the hole) in long putting actually control their pace and accuracy better than those who focused on the ball! I still wouldn't try it on the course but it can certainly help you in practice if you try the following:
1. Drop a few balls 20 feet from the cup and set up to the ball as you normally would.
2. Then practice making some putts but do this looking at the hole during your stroke not the ball! You should start to feel a smoother through stroke and after the initial anxiety of “am I going to hit this” you will start to enjoy the freedom of this smooth stroke.
3. Finally move back to looking at the ball and see if you can repeat this smooth feeling. Mix up looking at the ball and hole in your practice session putts intermittently until you begin to feel the rhythm of your stroke improve.
I really hope this helps your game and makes putting practice a little more varied and fun!







This week’s lesson comes from PGA Professional Wayne O’Callaghan at his academy in Fernhill Golf Club, Carrigaline Cork. info@wayneocallaghangolf.com, www.fernhillcountryclub.com
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A drill I find is really effective to improve putting is to place five lines of string secured to the ground with tees. They should run parallel to each other on a flat part of the green with no break involved. The first lane is one foot wide, the second nine inches, the third six inches and the last one just slightly wider than the golf ball. The objective is to roll the golf ball through the lanes without the ball hitting the lines.
It creates a great understanding of where the putter face is facing at impact. For instance if the ball hits the line to the left the putter face was closed at impact, try the putt again and if you hit the same line you will need to feel the putter face is open to the target at impact to roll the ball straight. This will only be a feeling if the ball rolls straight down the lane and the putter face will in fact be square. You can play games with friends with this drill to see who successfully rolls the ball down all four lanes first but if you hit a line you must start at lane one again.
Remember you drive for show and putt for dough.




This week’s lesson comes from Wayne O’Callaghan at Fernhill Country Club. Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.com
Dialling In your Wedges

The shot most amateur golfers and even Tour pros have trouble with is the 30 to 50 yard pitch shot. Tour professionals are great course managers and as such when laying up on a par 5 will always leave themselves a full 3rd shot. The half shot is far trickier to judge and requires great skill. However the half shot can’t always be avoided as golf is not a game of perfect.
To play this half shot firstly narrow the stance, maybe as wide as three clubheads with the ball played in the middle of the stance. When I give clinics to students I like them to picture a clock face. In the backswing the left forearm (not the clubhead) should reach 9 o’clock and the follow through should finish at 3 o’clock. That is the length of swing that produces the best results. Once this swing length has been achieved the backswing should be smooth and slower than normal. Many people fall into the trap of swinging with the same speed as a full shot and decelerate in the downswing in their attempt to hit a short shot. To start hitting shots 30, 40and 50 yards you will need three different speeds of acceleration in the downswing.
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Work on this one the range and you’ll be dialling in your wedges.




This week’s lesson comes from PGA Professional Wayne O’Callaghan at his academy in Fernhill Golf Club, Carrigaline Cork. info@wayneocallaghangolf.com, www.fernhillcountryclub.com

The secret to better scoring is to hole more putts during a round of golf. Look at the Tour stats any given week and the winner will invariably be in the top 10 for putting.
So how you can you improve your putting?
A drill I find very effective is to place a series of tees in the ground around the hole. The inner circle of tees is two feet from the hole and repeat with the tees pinned in concentric circles three and four feet away.
Now place practice balls alongside each tee. Begin by putting the balls in the two foot circle focussing on establishing a sense of rhythm right away. One way to do this is by counting each putt silently as it drops. “One, two, three” and so on only interrupting the drill to retrieve the balls from the hole.
Once you have holed all the two foot putts in a row only then can you move on to the next circle at three feet. Setting yourself a goal of holing all the balls before you go home is a great way to create the same pressure experienced in a tournament.
Practicing this drill regularly will get you holing more putts and lowering your score during rounds.

 

Doc’s Pro Lesson: Chipping Cleverly with Michael Gallagher

This week’s lesson comes from Michael Gallagher, UK and Ireland Junior Golf Coach of the Year and Qualified PGA Professional at Killymoon Golf Club. www.mgprogolf.com
All too often I witness many golfers being one dimensional around the green and resorting to the one club that they have faith in, whilst not always playing what I call the ‘right shot at the right time’. By following the steps below I am hopefully going to add another dimension to your games
A chip shot is a low flying greenside shot that rolls farther than it carries in the air. There are many different techniques that can produce this shot; however, some are more efficient than others. One of the most efficient ways to chip is to treat the shot as a putt using a different club for the length of shot required. This will allow you to take advantage of a motion that is easy to reproduce because there is no wrist hinge, which can be difficult to control.
1. Once the technique is established there is one job and one job only: to fly the ball to a specific spot and let it roll out from there.
2. That spot (Picture 1) should be approximately three feet onto the green, regardless of the distance from the pin.
3. Using different clubs will help control how far the ball rolls after landing: less loft equals more roll.
4. Set up by taking a narrow stance that is slightly open to the target line, and let your weight favour the front foot.
5. The club's butt end should be pointing towards your left shoulder with the ball played slightly back of center in the stance (Picture 2).
6. Good posture will encourage the arms to hang relaxed from the shoulders.
7. The chipping motion is similar to a putting stroke. The club swings away with a small turning of the shoulders. As the club returns to impact, its acceleration should be supported with some body rotation to the left.
8. It is important that the wrists remain quiet throughout the entire motion. This ensures the clubhead trails the hands into impact for a more consistent downward blow.
Down the lineFace on

Doc’s Pro Lesson: The Kinematic Sequence

This week’s lesson comes from PGA Professional Wayne O’Callaghan at his academy in Fernhill Golf Club, Carrigaline Cork. info@wayneocallaghangolf.com, www.fernhillcountryclub.com
 
Have you ever wondered how someone like Jim Furyk has won a US Open with such an unorthodox golf swing? Fortunately with the aid of 3D motion capture systems research has identified the true measurement of a good golf swing. The answer is not that your swing resembles Tiger woods on a video camera, the answer is in the efficiency of your golf swing compared to the best players in the world.
The Kinematic sequence is where golfers generate speed and transfer it through their bodies and to the clubhead. There is an identical sequence of speed generation for all great ball strikers. That sequence is lower body first, thorax second, lead arm third and club shaft next. Each segment of the body builds on the previous segment, increasing speed up the chain. Each segment slows down as the next segment continues to accelerate.
A great drill to an efficient Kinematic sequence is to place an alignment rod in the belt loop of your trousers at the left hip and hits shots. If you move your hips too fast your hands will hit the rod before you make contact as shown in the picture on the left. The picture on the right shows how the hips have lead the downswing but slowed for the chest, arms and clubhead to fire in an efficient way.
photo spin doc badphoto spin doc good
Left = bad                                Right = good

Doc’s Pro Lesson: Low Punch And Stop with Gareth McCausland

This week’s lesson comes from PGA Professional Gareth McCausland of Ballyliffin Golf Club in Donegal. www.ballyliffingolfclub.com
gareth lesson with arrowsDid you enjoy the Masters? One of the key shots used by many of the players who laid up on the par 5 13th and 15th holes was the low pitch that is thrown all the way to the pin, then zips to a stop. Every player in the field had it.
It’s a really fun shot to play from 40 to 80 yards and a great one to have in your arsenal.
To play the shot use a 52 degree lob wedge or a pitching wedge. Grip down the shaft and place the ball back in the stance. Push the hands forward. Now really commit to the shot, you’re aim should be to land the ball at the pin. Correctly executed, the trajectory is no more than 10-15 feet off the ground.
The set up will deloft the club and get you striking down on the ball, imparting the most spin possible. It’s a shot that’s easy to practice at the range or with a bucket of balls on the lawn.
Having a go-to pitch like this to fall back on gets some of the world’s best players out of some sticky situations and capitalize on par 5’s. It certainly did for Adam Scott!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Fit and Able Week 16: Lag Putting Drill

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With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of St. Margarets and Harrington Golf. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.
When most golfers practice, they focus on hitting shots. But putting accounts for so many shots during a round, it should not be overlooked. Here’s a great lag putting drill to do on the practice putting green. Before you start mark a three feet circle around the hole with tees or coins. Come back about 30 feet from the hole and with five balls, practice putting to within the three foot circle.
From 30 feet away we don’t expect to hole the putt but what we really want is to eliminate the possibility of three putting. Generally speaking it’s the pace of the putt that causes the three putt. With your first ball learn the line, get the feel, use your eyes. When you have hit all five balls, count how many are within the circle. Then do the same drill from the opposite side of the hole.
Practicing this drill regularly will greatly improve your lag putting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Fit and Able Week 15: Make A Full Backswing

With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.
One of key differences between amateurs and professionals is that pro’s make a much bigger backswing. One of the key factors that limits the range of the backswing is having really lat muscles in the shoulders. Here’s a really great exercise to improve the range of motion in the lat muscle.
Firstly kneel down in the prayer position. With the knees pointing forward, reach out your left hand as far over to the right side as possible. You will really feel a stretch in your let muscles. Hold the stretch for 25-30 seconds or as long as is comfortable. Repeat on the other side. Do this exercise every day and you will notice a huge improvement in your backswing turn.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Fit and Able Week 14: The Belly Wedge with John Kelly

Congratulations to John Kelly who performed brilliantly playing all four rounds at the Irish Open. To book a session call John on 086belly wedge-8155248.
The belly wedge is a great shot to have when your ball is nestled up against the collar of the rough surrounding the green. Top players often use this shot to extricate themselves from a tricky situation. Rather then hitting down on the ball as with a conventional shot, the belly wedge you hit the leading edge off the middle of the ball. It sends the ball out almost like a putt.
To play the shot, grip right down to the end of the grip, just to make sure you are closer to the ball. Stand with the ball back in the stance, opposite your right foot. Now hovering the club off the ground you play the shot almost like a putt, rocking the shoulders back and fourth.
A well executed belly wedge will see you make contact with the equator of the ball, making it run out like a putt. When it simply impossible to get your club under the ball, it is great to have this shot in your locker.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Fit and Able Week 13: Deer In The Headlights

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With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.
Your glute muscle, or your backside muscle is the biggest muscle in your body and should be the strongest muscle. But because of our everyday lives we spend a lot of time sitting and develop poor posture resulting in the glute muscle being forgotten about or switched off. This exercise teaches you how to isolate and fire, or switch on, your glute muscles independently of other muscles in your lower body. Knowing how to do this will help you build strength and stability in the lower body.
Instructions: Lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, place both hands on your glutes or backside. Try to contract your right glute without engaging any other muscles, especially the hamstring. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds trying to squeeze as hard as you can. Repeat this on the left side and then on both sides together. Doing this regularly will help you understand how to fire your glutes in the golf swing.

Fit and Able Week 12: The World’s Best Bunker Drill

With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf and St Margaret's. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.
If you struggle to get up and down out of sand then this drill will be invaluable for you. It will teach you how to set up to a bunker shot and give you the confidence to swing through the shot and achieve the correct strike.
The first thing to do in the practice bunker is to draw a line with your club in the sand across the bunker. Now without even having a ball in front of you, practice your swing. Do this by placing your left heel on the line, aim the feet and shoulders a little left of the target and set up the club as if the back of the face is almost sitting on the sand (without actually touching it!)
Now practice the swing trying to take a divot starting just to the right of the line and continuing on through the line. Do this 10 to 20 times concentrating on the position of the divot. Rake the bunker and redraw the line now placing balls on the right side of the line. Repeat the swing, this time hitting the balls and you will soon master an altogether more consistent and effective method of hitting out of bunkers.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Fit and Able Week 11: With Robbie Cannon- The Core of The Issue

robbie coreWith top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.
The “core” has been the biggest buzz word in the world of golf fitness. Having a strong core provided Rory McIlroy with a solid fulcrum that allowed him produce a strong repeatable golf swing in the pressure cooker environment of the US Open. However even finding your core, let alone toning it has been a challenge in itself for many. Here’s a great exercise to help you both discover and strengthen your core.
The exercise is called the plank. Facing down on a mat, raise your body with your forearms and toes so that your back is as straight as possible. In this position “switch on” or tighten up the muscles of your backside and your belly and keep them engaged for 30 seconds. You will find it tough at first but do it daily and over time you should aim to increase this “switched on” to time to one minute. Doing this exercise regularly will make your core the envy of everyone in your club! 

Fit and Able Week 10 with John Kelly: How To Hit Long Irons

With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf and St Margerets. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.
backOne of the key shots you will see this week at Congressional is the 200 plus yard long iron. Many amateurs nowadays are afraid to hit long irons and trust hybrids instead. They look at face of, say, a three iron and the lack of loft does not inspire confidence.
Instead of committing to the shot and hitting down onto the ball, many people hang back and try to compensate for the lack of loft by scooping the ball into the air. Two outcomes are likely with this swing, a high weak shot that drifts to the right, or failure to get the ball airborne at all, aptly termed the “scutter”.
To hit a long iron you need to trust the club and sweep the ball of the turf. The key to doing this is good timing and tempo in moving the weight onto the right side during the takeaway and through onto the left side and a full balanced finish. When you have hit the ball, your right toe will be the only point of contact with the ground on that side, with all the weight on a strong straight left leg.


TTuesday, June 7, 2011

Fit and Able Week 9: How To Hit A Tiger Stinger

With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf and St Margerets. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.
stinger shotA great tee shot to have on a windy day, especially when hitting into it, is a low trajectory penetrating drive that will kick forward on landing. Tiger calls it his “stinger shot”. To play a stinger you firstly need to move the ball back in your stance. If for a normal drive the ball is just inside your left heel, for a stinger it should be almost in the middle of your stance. Your weight will automatically feel more on your left side.
During your takeaway, instead of your normal long backswing, reduce its length and take the wrists out of the swing. The backswing as a result will be a longer wider swing. The downswing is then initiated by rotating the body through the shot remembering to keep the wrists out the swing.
If you remember the keys of the stance, a shorter wider swing with the wrists prevented from cocking on the backswing or the throughswing, you can learn to perfect the low drilling “stinger” shot which is invaluable to have in your locker in windy conditions.
uesday, May 31, 2011


Fit and Able Week 8: Hip Mobility with Robbie Cannon TPI, Harrington Golf

With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.

Hip mobility is vital in the golf swing because it makes it much easier for you to swing through the ball, much easier to maintain the correct posture, and much easier to generate lots of power in the golf swing.
A great exercise to help you greatly improve the mobility in your hips is called “Hip Drops”. Lie on your back with knees raised and feet on the ground, played out a little wider than your hips. It’s very important to keep your hips as close as possible throughout this exercise. Whilst keeping those hips stationary, let your right knee drop in as far as comfortably possible. Bring the right knee back up and repeat with the left. Do this five times on each side. Adding this hip mobility exercise to your regular morning stretching routine will yield massive benefits for your golf swing.



Fit and Able Week 7 with John Kelly: The Shoulder Turn
With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf and St Margerets. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.
john kelly shoulder turn
Here’s a great tip to help you improve your shoulder turn so you can get behind the ball and move your weight correctly onto your right foot at the top of the backswing. Place a club on the ground and take your address positioned with four right heel touching the club.
With your hands crossed place another club across your shoulders. Turn your shoulders so that the shaft on your shoulders is directly over the shaft on the ground. This will put you in the correct position and give you the feeling of where you need to be at the top of your backswing. Doing this several times will train your body, help your shoulder turn and put you in a strong position to really commit to your downswing.
With thanks to Moira and all at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links for use of their wonderful course for filming.
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Fit and Able Week 6: Robbie Cannon TPI: The X Factor The Pro’s Use

With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.
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The X Factor

In the golf swing the x factor has been a buzz word for many years. Basically it is a move professionals use to ensure correct sequencing of the swing and generate extra power. It also counteracts an over the top swing where the hips shoot foreword on the downswing resulting in a weak left to right shot. It is achieved when you rotate your hips and lower body towards your target as fast as possible while your shoulders, arms and club lag behind. This produces more club head speed and means more distance. A great exercise for you to get the feeling of this is the stork turn.

Stork Turns

Grab a golf stick and use it as support or lock your arms out against a wall, stand on one leg and wrap your other foot around the back of your standing leg. Keeping your upper body as still and solid as possible rotate your lower body. Make 10 turns and repeat on opposite side. Doing this exercise every will help strengthen your hips, increase their degree of rotation and help you to discover that X Factor of explosive distance.


Fit and Able- Week 5: John Kelly PGA Pro The Curse of Early Extension

With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf. To book a session call John on 086-8155248. View the video of this exercise here coming soon.


Early Extension

Early extension is when a player gets to the top of the backswing, he moves his hips closer to the ball on the downswing to achieve impact. This ruins the correct sequence of the downswing, your left hip blocks your way, forcing the hands to become very active through the shot. This leads to very inconsistent golf shots.

Tip

A great to practice drill on the range is to place your golf bag behind you at address. Not touching, but about 3 inches or so away. Now get yourself into position on your backswing and you start your downswing your left hip should be turning and moving closer to the bag. If your left hip is tipping the bag even better, you’re really going to create lots of room for your club to make great contact with the ball. Practice this tip and enjoy get a great swing sequence!
With thanks to Moira and all at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links for use of their wonderful course for filming.
Fit and Able Week 4: Eliminate Back Pain Forever

With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon and John Kelly of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.

hip flexor stretchHip Flexor Mobility

One of the most common mobility issues affecting the modern amateur golfer is tightness in the hip flexor muscle. This can be caused by a typical day at work or in the car where you are sitting down for hours at a time putting your hip flexor muscles in a shortened position. Tight hip flexors can lead to an S posture in your golf swing which can lead to chronic lower back pain before during or after your round. It will also limit the range of motion required for the rotational movement of your hips in the golf swing which means loss of power and distance and badly directed golf shots. So by improving your mobility in this area can definitely help your golf swing.

Hip Flexor Stretch

To perform the hip flexor stretch place your left knee on the ground. Activate your glutes (or tense up your butt) and place your left hand on your left glute and right hand in the air to activate your core. Tilt your pelvis skywards and you should feel a big stretch down the front of your hip flexor. Do this a number of times every day and you will increase the range of motion in your hips and eliminate back pain from your golf game.


Week 3: John Kelly PGA Pro: Come Inside For More Power

Fit and AbleWith top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.

Theory
The key to hitting big accurate powerful tee shots is developing a good inside path on your downswing. To test your swing path place a stick just outside the ball pointing in the direction you want your ball to go. Simulate your swing checking that your downswing passes inside the line of the stick. A very common mistake is where a player goes “over the top” on the downswing, this type of swing passes over the outside of the stick resulting in a weak shot.
Practice Drill
Here’s a great drill to help you develop a constant inside path. Place your drive cover just a couple of inches away from the ball. Play your drive as normal making sure you don’t hit the cover. This will help you develop a consistent inside path, resulting in more power and greater accuracy off the tee.
With thanks to Moira and all at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links for use of their wonderful course for filming.


Robbie Cannon Harrington Golf TPI Fitness Week 2. Calf Flexibility

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Flexibility in Calf

With the Masters starting on Thursday this is the time of year where a lot of club golfers dust off their clubs and head off to the golf course for their first game of the year. Generally playing after a long lay off can leave some parts of your body a little stiff the next day. Walking on a soft hilly terrain such as a golf course can leave your calf muscles stiff and sore especially if you have not done it in a while! Having better flexibility in your calf is of vital importance for mobility in your lower leg.

Half Kneeling Calf Stretch

Get into a half kneeling position with your right knee down and left foot forward. Holding onto the head of your golf club place the grip of the club four inches forward of your big toe and hold the club vertically. Keeping your back straight and heel on the ground lunge forward trying to get your knee to touch the club. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and switch legs. Do this daily and you will notice a huge difference in power and mobility in your lower leg and stability in your stance without any of that niggling post round stiffness.
robbie calf stretch
With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432. Video Of This Exercise Coming Soon.


Robbie Cannon Harrington Golf TPI Fitness Week 1. Ankle Mobility

Robbie Cannon certified Titleist Performance Institute fitness instructor with Harrington Golf kicks off the season with an exercise to improve your ankle mobility.  Good golf begins from the ground up.


Part 1: Ankle Mobility
The importance of ankle mobility for your golf swing can not be overstressed. The ankle needs to be mobile enough to allow you to transfer your weight in both backswing and downswing. If your ankles are tight you wont be able to move your lower leg or rotate it during the swing. Furthermore your knees will not be properly loaded and wont be able to keep your hips stable during the swing! Your swing will suffer and will lead to faulty movement patterns which is the most common cause of injuries in golf. So it is vital that you keep your ankles nice and mobile as the golf swing really does start from the ground up.
Exercise: Ankle windshield wipers.
Grab a chair that allows the upper leg to be parallel to the ground. Place your two palms together and put these between your two knees. Keep your feet directly under your knees and lift them off the ground. Turn your feet to the left as far as possible and then to the right as far as possible. Just imagine it’s the motion of the windshield wipers of your car! It’s important there is no forward or backward movement and perform the movement controlled and slowly.


With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.

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