Should Tiger should look to Tennis to understand coaching?

I have been saying ever since Tiger Woods left Butch Harmon that he should seek help from the greats of the game.  Choosing a coach who has not had the experience of winning at the highest level is a mistake.  Using someone to discuss the mechanics of the swing is fine, but Tiger has become so mechanical and trying to get his body into certain “positions” that it has hurt his body, and now he is paying the price.   Lee Trevino, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus have all offered to help Tiger at one time or another.  Gary Player once said “Give me 15 minutes with Tiger and he’ll be fixed!”  I believe that!  Having people like Sean Foley and Chris Como, who are technicians, I think, has hurt one of the greatest feel players the game has ever known.  A little bit like Seve Ballesteros when he went to David Leadbetter.  To much information!  Tiger, get off your high horse and go and see Arnie, Jack, Lee or Gary.  You won’t regret it! I am not the only one with these feelings.   Alex Fortey of Athletic Golf Training points to the top players in the game of Tennis.  Most of them have former “greats” of the game as coaches.  They know how to win.  Winners breed winners! Here is Alex’s view on the subject.
 A lot is being written about Mr Tiger Woods with his struggling form and the media’s portrayal of his demise and after several emails asking me my opinion, I thought I will chime in a bit here because I do believe Tiger will be back at the top again… I just hope (with the tips below it will be sooner than later)  
There is nothing wrong with Tiger Woods' swing.

There is nothing wrong with Tiger Woods’ swing.

  First off, I am not suggesting Tiger goes out and hires a tennis coach, but I am asking for him and perhaps many other PGA Tour and LPGA players alike to learn from the tennis tour. You see, even the very best best players in the world and dominant long term stars have had the sense to recruit as their coaches and at the very least consultants or mentors; former champion players who know how to win, deal with pressure, have a swing and game to deal with pressure and how to think to win. At the end of the day, the object for professionals is to win.

So why oh why are golf professionals not asking for advice from world champion golfers instead of bio mechanists for example that have no clue about the art of winning.

Yes science and swing mechanics have their place in the scheme of things but you cannot be a complete player relying on it alone. And there are many good coaches who understand how to play, like really play and understand the swing as well. All of the coaches we feature here on Athletic Golf Training are impressive on the course as well as in the teachings. Is a crucial aspect that we look for. It’s the same for me… I can walk the talk in swinging, playing and training so it means, I can say with confidence.. “this works” and the evidence is clear to see. Tiger needs to play like Seve or Bubba. Just the other day a reminder of the art that is golf came to me as I watched Seve the movie. What an amazing film! I urge you to see if you haven’t yet because it does a great job of depicting the Spanish artista in all is glory young and old, but the reason I mention it is because Seve Ballasteros played golf by feel, reaction and vision. He loved the art of it, not the science and he possessed one of the most elegant fluid golf swings and inspirational short game the world has ever seen. Bubba Watson is another artist.  They play with feel and with natural creation of mechanics. This is what Tiger needs to do for one thing, but I truly believe he needs to be coached, mentored by one of golf greats or a coach who understands the real way to play great golf is letting the brain be free and having a golf swing that feels as natural and kinetic as throwing a stone. I think Tiger may have lost his way a little and his voice of reason when he lost his father I know all to well what that is like and it puts ones internal compass all out of whack… He misses his dads words of comfort, encouragement and wisdom. probably the only person on the planet who could say to tiger without any fear or motive…”what are you doing” and give him a slap. Now Tiger has not gone off the rails, but I am saying too many people want a piece of him and are willing to say anything to him to get a pice of the Woods pie. Getting back to the tennis players; – Roger Federer (who Tiger is good friends with) for example… perhaps the finest tennis player and most successful ever to have played the game takes advice and coaching from Stefan Edberg; A fine champion of multiple grand slam events.  
Great tennis players have great tennis players as coaches.  Federer & Edberg.

Great tennis players have great tennis players as coaches. Federer & Edberg.

  – Andy Murray had Ivan Lendl, now Mauresmo … Both very successful champions.
Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl are a team.

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl are a team.

  – Novak Djokovic has Boris Becker a multiple grand slam champion..
And so are Djokovic and Boris Becker.

And so are Djokovic and Boris Becker.

  And the list goes on down the ranks. But these are the best in the world and they are going to champions for a reason. Because they know how to get shit done and finish the job.

They know the heart of a champion, the mental strain, how really to play under pressure.. so their coaching allows for that.

A coach who reads 50 text books on a tennis serve is not going to help them. Maybe a little bit yes, along with fitness trainers, physios etc.. But the heart of a champion and the drive can only be truly understood by a person cut from the same piece of cloth. Imagine having you car repaired by a mechanic who never saw inside an engine or drove a car.. Who only read about it in text books.. You would not want them working on your car would you?!? So .. Getting back to Tiger Woods… I hope he sees the light and goes and asks someone like Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Nick Faldo  to help him clear the fog and find his heart the natural way and simply PLAY GOLF LIKE A CHAMPION! Not in a laboratory but on a course and just trying to get that ball in the bloody hole. So my advice to you Mr Tiger Woods if you happen upon this post; 1) Take a 6 iron out and do everything you can imagine with it with the ball… Become an artist and play the game. 2) Listen to those who have done it just like you, trust them, trust yourself and go and kick ass and inspire a new generation of golfer. Hope you enjoyed my rant and why not comment or reply, we love hearing what you think and helping to solve any golfing or fitness headaches you may have.
  Alex Fortey     Founder Athletic Golf Training Pictures : Mariaane Bevis

3 Absolutely MUST DO tips to play in cold weather!

I have a friend in Toronto, Canada. who simply cannot wait for decent weather to play golf. He’ll golf in snow, sleet and rain if a course is open. This student of mine even tricked me into joining him once, with a promise that it was going to warm up (from 36 F to 45 F) and a promise that we’d only play 9. HA!  I showed up at the course and there was a lone golfer hitting balls on the range.  I knew it was Michael!  When I went into the clubhouse, his wife Jayne looked at me hopefully, but I knew Michael was determined to play.  After 9 we tried to trick him by saying “Lets go to the clubhouse for a hot chocolate?”  “Yes, but we’ll leave or bags on the 10th tee”  So, we played 18 of the coldest holes in my life.   But I learned from my mistakes and here are 3 great tips for playing in cold weather.
A cold blustery day, but you can still go out and play if you dress correctly!

A cold blustery day, but you can still go out and play if you dress correctly!

  If you find yourself scheduled to play in unfriendly weather, consider these three great tips to make it more bearable:  
Dress appropriately in cold weather.  Good gloves are a must!

Dress appropriately in cold weather. Good gloves are a must!

  1. Dress for it – Start with a long-sleeved, snug shirt made of a moisture-wicking synthetic fabric like those made by Under Armour. Add a lightweight turtleneck sweater next. On top of that, layer a zip-up, warm vest. Lastly, put on a windproof jacket that can easily fit into your golf bag. (In case it warms up) Also, wear moisture-wicking long underwear and top with windproof slacks. Put a wool, fitted hat on your head that covers your ears. A huge amount of heat is lost through the head, if it is not kept warm.  Wool mittens add the final touch to keeping your hands warm.

2. Change Your Ball – Try playing a lower compression ball. Higher compression balls feel like rocks in cold weather, and it’s harder to compress them on the clubface.  Also, keep one ball in your pocket and switch out on the next tee, that way you’re always playing with a warm ball.  Keeping one of those hand heaters in your pocket will speed up the warming process.

3. Retain your sense of humor and expect to shoot a higher score – Hey… you’re golfing, not working!

If you have any further ideas to add to these I would appreciate your comments!

Source : Mel Sole.

Pictures : Towne Post Network   Allen Watkin  Mr. Tin DC

How to play out of Soft, Fluffy bunkers.

Unless you’re playing the PGA Tour, it’s likely that you’re playing courses with bunkers that have varying textures of sand, from hard pan to soft and fluffy. Learning how to manage these tricky situations is critical to lowering your scores. Last year, Mel Sole shared three pro tips for playing out of hard bunkers. As mentioned, the approach for playing hard bunkers versus soft bunkers is quite different. On location in Mexico, Mel explains the key to successful shots out of soft, fluffy sand in this month’s video golf tip. Watch now!     Source : Mel Sole Golf Schools Picture : Mel Sole

Golf as a Treatment for Autism? Definitely!

We’ve seen Alzheimers patients moved by music that they once knew and enjoyed.  Sometimes a person who hasn’t spoken, smiled or moved in a long time, breaks out in a grin, claps their hands and even dances a little. How wonderful it is that golf is having a similar connection with autistic people.  Young and old, have demonstrated life-changing behaviors when introduced to golf. Perhaps Ernie Els’ wife Liezl, said it best in an interview with Golf Channel’s Jimmy Roberts, “It makes perfect sense.  They feel the comfort of repeating things that aren’t foreign,” To see the amazing impact of this game on families with autism, check out this video………………………….. Source : Golf Channel       Jimmy Roberts Pictures : Keith Allison

There she was just a walkin' down the street…7 leg exercises!

Golf Strength training has blossomed in the last 20 years.  To take your game to the next level, you need to strengthen your legs to a) to provide a solid base to swing from and b) provide balance and c) build a more powerful golf swing through strength! Womanshealthmag.com is one of the leading websites for a woman to improve their strength and, therefore, their golf!  Here is their take on the subject! Start walkin’  
Strong legs make for good golfers!

Strong legs make for good golfers!

                   
7 Exercises for Lean, Sexy legs To upgrade your lower bodt workout, try these killer exercises for your hamstrings, quads and calves.
1. Pistol Squat
Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level, parallel to the floor. Raise your right leg off the floor, and hold it there. (A) Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. (B) Pause, then push your body back to the starting position.
2.Dumbbell Split Jump
Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides, palms facing each other. Stand in a staggered stance, your left foot in front of your right. From a standing position, lower your body into a split squat. (A) Quickly switch directions and jump with enough force to propel both feet off the floor. (B) Repeat, alternating back and forth with each repetition. (C) 3.Farmer’s Walk on Toes
Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells and hold them at your sides at arm’s length. Raise your heels and walk forward (or in a circle) for 60 seconds. 4. Reverse Dumbbell Box Lunge with Forward Reach
Stand on a 6-inch box or step, holding a pair of light dumbbells at your sides. (A) Step backward into a lunge with your right leg as you lean forward at your hips and reach toward your feet. (B) Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.  
To see the rest of these great exercises, go here – 7 Best Leg Exercises
 

Tiger "Over-engineered" says Paul Azinger.

We now have a new word in our golfing vocabulary – “Over-engineered”  Nick Masuda had a open discussion with the outspoken Paul Azinger. Here are Nicks’ comments.  
Paul Azinger isn’t one to mince words, and the 12-time PGA Tour winner has some pointed words about the state of Tiger Woods’ game. Just 24 hours removed from Woods’ career-worst 11-over 82 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Azinger says that Woods’ woes with his short game should be a quick fix.  
Tigers' chipping woes continue.

Tigers’ chipping woes continue.

                  “He seems to me like he has been over-engineered a bit. He’s gone from artist to engineer and he’s taken the feel out of his game,” Azinger said in an ESPN interview. “We are talking about the most physically smart athlete (and) golfer that has ever lived, for sure. “These chipping and pitching problems can be fixed in minutes. Not days, not hours, not weeks, but minutes. Somebody like Tiger Woods should be able to fix all his issues in literally minutes.” Azinger believes that Woods’ explanation of rust and the need for tournament reps is a sign that he might not know what is going on with his game. “He is as confused as he has ever been in his career,” Azinger said. “Byron Nelson used to say that there are two kinds of players that need to know a little and those that need to know it all. Tiger is in a mode that he thinks he has to know it all. Technically and physically i think he felt like he peaked, (and) he needed more information to get better “(But) in this quest to get better, he’s actually got worse. And now he’s confused.” Azinger also made the observation that Woods is more friendly with his competition nowadays, seen this week walking the fairways at TPC Scottsdale with playing competitors Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. Azinger pointed to a shift in Woods’ personality after his off-the-course incidents in 2008. “Tiger used to be uncomfortable if you were comfortable with him. Now he’s uncomfortable if you aren’t comfortable with him,” Azinger explained. “That’s a big difference from a guy that used to show up on Sunday with black pants and shirt the color of blood. He wanted to intimidate guys like Patrick Reed, not bond with him. There’s a major shift in his personality. At age 39, I wonder if Tiger has that same work ethic and commitment to success. “Tiger was the kind of a guy that once he got you down, he’d step on your back.” And Azinger did point to Woods’ back issues and the injury-plagued years since Woods’ last major victory in 2008. “At this point in his career its not really what he has accomplished, it’s what he can overcome. And he’s got a lot to overcome physically and mentally,” Azinger said. “I don’t know that he will mentally accept that. Desire is the big issue here, we don’t know where he is at in his head. Obviously not working nearly as hard as he did in his prime.”
Source : Nick Masuda   GolfWeek Pictures : Ed Balaun   Rick Burtzel

Did you know Golfers Live Longer?

Here is something I didn’t know, but I’m glad I found out.  Golfers live longer!  A study which was published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, is based on data from 300,000 Swedish golfers and shows that golf has beneficial health effects. Golfers have a lower death rate regardless of sex, age and social group.  Guess I’ll be playing golf for quite a while yet! Here is Andrew Wood from Legendary Marketing and his take on the subject!
Golfers live longer and have more fun!

Golfers live longer and have more fun!

Did you know golfers live five years longer? It’s certainly not something I have seen anyone else in the golf industry talking much about but it’s a fact. A fact everyone in the industry should be shouting from the highest peaks for there is way too much negative press about golf and not nearly enough about the games amazing mental and physical benefits. People who play golf live longer, healthier lives. Five years longer on average, according to a recent study the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden. Not that surprising really… Golf Keeps You In Shape A study done by Reebok showed that golfers who walk and carry burn approximately 55 percent more calories than those who ride in a cart. The number of calories varies by distance walked and also the metabolic rate of the golfer. But fitness experts estimate you’ll burn roughly 1,500 calories during a four-hour round. A round of golf is 10,000 steps or about a 5-mile walk. That’s 825 calories more than if you ride in a cart, which clocks in at 675 calories. So no matter how good or bad your play, if you walk or ride, you can at least get some exercise and calorie burn out of your round! The golf industry, especially in the USA, where many clubs depend on cart income does a poor job of communicating this important aspect of the game. Encouraging players to ride nine and walk nine by appealing to fitness may be a good start Golf Keeps You Mentally Active Golf is not just a physical game but a mental one as well. It calls for strategy, creativity and problem solving, all of which help keep your brain active, one of the key ingredients in fighting off the aging process. Golf Helps Relive Stress
Does this guy looked stressed to you?

Does this guy look stressed to you?

The natural environment helps relieve stress while the social aspects allow you to make new friends easily. Says Professor Anders Ahlbom “People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects to the game that can be of help.” The friendships created provide motivation to meet and go play! They increase self-esteem and happiness. Golf can help to lift depression and improve someone’s outlook on life. (Unless you start shanking it which quickly drives you insane) All of these attributes help improve mental health by leaving golfers with a feeling of greater satisfaction. Golfers Get More Sun and Feel Better While we all know the dangers of too much sun the sun does provide one very important nutrient – vitamin D. The sun is one of the best ways to soak up vitamin D, something many lack in their regular diet. Vitamin D can raise energy levels, improve attitude, aids calcium absorption, and generates cell growth. Overall, it’s a vitamin that just makes us feel good. Golfers Sleep Better Studies show that people who engage in a regular physical activity and have proper nutrition sleep with less interruptions and report sleeping soundly. Getting sound sleep helps a person’s health in a number of ways, and golfing is one activity that can help you obtain a better night’s sleep. The Better You Play The More You Benefit The study on golfers living longer, which was published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, is based on data from 300,000 Swedish golfers and shows that golf has beneficial health effects. Golfers have a lower death rate regardless of sex, age and social group. Better call the pro and take some lessons because….
Lessons make you play better!

Lessons make you play better!

The lowest death rates were found in the group of players with the lowest handicap. Says Professor Ahlbom, “Maintaining a low handicap involves playing a lot, so this supports the idea that it is largely the game itself that is good for the health.” Now you wouldn’t want to argue with your doctor would you? So get off the couch and get out and golf. Your body, mind, insurance agent and loved ones will all thank you! Source : Andrew Wood   Legendary Marketing Pictures : North Carolina National Guard       Mel Sole.      

Clap your hands for a better extension!

One thing I work on constantly with students is getting them to have a good extension through the ball, keeping the clubhead on line to the target for as long as possible. This will produce more accuracy and more consistency in your ball striking.   In order to better understand the direct correlation of the arms and the body through the ball I want you to stand up and stretch your arms out in front of you as in picture #1.

Now, without moving your body, try to clap your hands together. You will see that you cannot as the right hand comes up short of the left.

There are two ways to make the hands reach each other.

You can bend your left arm, bringing the right hand closer and allowing the two hands to meet.

Or you can rotate your body so that the right shoulder and right hip come around level with the left shoulder and hip, allowing the two hands to meet. You can see the direct correlation between keeping the left arm straight and rotating the body into a position that has the hips and shoulders facing the target. Now put a club in your hands and try the same thing.

If you do not move your body through, the left arm will immediately break down.

If you allow your body to rotate, it is relatively simple to keep the left arm straight and create a good extension, which, as I said earlier, will produce those long straight shots you’ve been striving for. So, the next time you go to the range, clap your hands a few times first, I’m sure you’ll love the results. Source : Mel Sole Golf School Pictures : Mel Sole.  US Army

For golfers who are stiff in the upper body, try "disassociation" drills.

Today you will see a golf fitness workout circuit that will help you improve your swing sequence and also increase your swing speed with some fun dissociation drills. This golf workout is great for golfers and really good for your fitness too. Dissociation or upper/lower body dissociation or separation is really important in the golf swing to kind of minimizing unwanted swing characteristics and optimize swing efficiency and driving distance and accuracy. So, separation’s basically upper body and then lower body separation. Both really important for improving your golf swing and we’re going to give you drills to do both of those. First up, a great, cool one. We’re going to do a plank with an upper body dissociation. golf fitness exercises program So normally you have a plank and we’re going to keep our hips facing the ground and just turn to our side. I’m pressing the stomach. Give that a go, 30 to 60 seconds. Another great fun exercise… American football drill. Get into an American football wide stance, quick feet, keeping the shoulders facing forward. You’re going to twitch, turn the hips. Go as quick as you can. Gets me warm, too. Next up is mountain climbers. You’re really looking to drive the knees to the opposite elbow. So I’ll show you from here. Really getting that hip turning. Upper body’s locked in place. Other side. Quick cool work out, that one too. Banded Step And Rotations Next one, we ideally need a golf band. golf fitness workout for swing speed   For this you don’t need a band at all but it adds resistance and makes the golf exercises more challenging. Put the band around your ankles, around your knees. We’re just going to take little steps in golf posture, hands across the chest, and turn in both directions. You can do this whilst moving to the left and right too. I also think of it as like a space invader drill. Turn, back the other way. Now you’re good for dissociation, got your glutes too. Next one, I’m going to use a golf band again. Again, you don’t have to. It’s not needed. I should show you a slightly harder version, so what we’re going to do is we’re going to keep a nice sort of base, hips facing forward, and we’re going to turn around, bounce the tennis ball and back the other way. Look and bounce it right behind you, as quick as you can, from one side to the other. Turn the upper torso and keep the hips facing forward.

Here is the video for the golf fitness workout to improve your golf swing and increase distances.

  Source : Alex Fortey Video : Matt Scott – Golf Fitness Specialist.
 

What's a Tee Claw? A great new golf accessory!

Sometimes the simplest things work best. One of the new products I liked best that debuted at the 2015 PGA Show is the Tee Claw. This small, sturdy device allows golfers to use their own tee when hitting from artificial grass mats. How? It features “claws” that grab into the mat and provides a stable base for your regular golf tee. Much better than using those old rubber tees that aid in miss-hits, hooking and slicing.  But there is more……..it has elastic strings that attach to this device, so you can use it for alignment of your feet, alignment of your hips, and even put one at a slight angle to help you with club head path.

Strings attach to help with alignment.

Strings attach to help with alignment.

 
Use your own tee rather than the old rubber tees.

Use your own tee rather than the old rubber tees.

For more on how this simple device can help you, READ . . . . .

Source : TeeClaw.com

Pictures : Teeclaw.com