Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Break Practice

SMU Golf Practice Schedule
Spring Break 2015

Four hour practice today!

11-12! Putting! Please accomplish the following goals:
20 minutes on each goal:

1. Tour Average Challenge: Can you match the PGA Tour averages? You get three
tries from each length. Set a goal for your percentages before you start and see how
you do.
Put 5 tees down around the hole at each distance listed. Go around 2 times for a total
of 10 putts. Multiply your makes by 10 for your percentage.
4 feet: Tour Stats (3/6/15) 100% 8 Players tied. 90% (125) John Rollins 80% (198)
Jim Renner
6 Feet: 90% (5) Ben Curtis (Freddie Jacobsen is best at 92.86%) 80% 7 players tied
in (29th) 70% (96) Stewart Cink
8 Feet: 80% (2) Jason Day and Rickie Fowler (Aaron Baddely is best at 83.33) 70% 3
players tied (16th) 60% 5 players tied for (45th) including Hunter Mahan
10 Feet: 75% is tour best by Adam Hadwin 70% (2) Max Homa 60% (12) Zach
Johnson 50% 11 players tied at (34th) including Jonas Blixt and Sang Moon Bae

2. Box Drill: Put a box with chalk or string on the green in a sloped area. Make it 2-3ʼ
wide on all sides. Putt 2 balls from 10 feet, 15 feet and 20 feet until you get both to
stop inside the box. Do this from all four sides to learn to control speed on all breaks
and slopes. If you need a target in the box, put a tee on your low side to make sure
the box represents the high side of the putt. This will help you visualize using the
slope and working the ball into the cup instead of missing low side with the ball
working away from the cup.

3. Philʼs Drill - From Butch Harmon: “Here's a drill I learned from Phil Mickelson to
improve the pace of your putts. Take five balls to the practice green, and stick tees in the ground
25, 35 and 45 feet from a hole. Your goal is to putt five balls in a row from each tee to within
three feet of the hole. (Use your putter -- it's about 36 inches long -- to measure a six-foot circle
around the cup.)
Start at 40 feet, then go to 30, and then 50. Mixing it up like this prevents you from just grooving
a slightly longer stroke as you go. The trick is, you can't move to the next station until you get
five straight within the circle. It's a real gut check: When you've got four in the circle and you're
going for five, trust me, you'll be feeling it.”

12-1! Chipping and Pitching Please accomplish the following goals:
30 minutes on each goal:

1. Three Ball Drill: Chip or pitch all 3 shots. Pick up the best and the worst and putt
the middle one. You must get 10 up and downs with the middle ball.

2. Ten Point Challenge: Play against at least one teammate and play to 10. Closest
chip gets a point. If you donʼt hit and hold the green, you lose a point. Chip ins get 2.
Pick tough shots!

1-2 ! Bunkers and Wedges Please accomplish the following goals:
30 minutes on each goals;

1. Wedge Wizard - Choose 3 distances for each wedge in your bag and hit 9 shots
from each. 1 high, 1 medium and 1 low shot times 3. For example: With your sand
wedge, hit 9 shots from 50 yards, 9 shots from 60 yards and 9 shots from 70 yards.
The breakdown will be 3 low, 3 medium and 3 low. Learn the length of swing needed
for both your distance and your trajectory. This is 27 shots for each wedge in your

2. 30 Bunker Shots -
Hit 4 shots from a good lie, 2 from an upslope, 2 from a
downslope, 2 with the ball above your feet, 2 with the ball below your feet, 2 from a
fried egg lie, 2 with your feet out of the bunker and your ball in, 2 with the feet in the
bunker and the ball out of the bunker and 2 with the ball buried in the upslope. Finish
with 10 shots from a good, flat lie. Follow up with figuring out how to hit any shot that
gave you problems.

2-3! Full swing! Please accomplish the following goals:
20 minutes on each goal:

1. Aim It: Set up a gate like this:

Hit five shots through the gate with each club in your bag. Go through your routine.
You can hit straight shots or work it, whatever you choose. Do you feel lined up to your
target or open or closed? Did you start all of your shots through the gate?

2. Six Shots: Hit these six shots with each club in your bag: Your standard shot, 1
higher than standard, 1 lower than standard, 1 that draws, 1 that cuts and end with
your standard shot. No do overs.

3. Favorite 9: Play your favorite 9 holes on the driving range with a teammate. Call
each shot, go through your routine and have the intention of set one. Describe your
result to your teammate. Play great!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Do's and Don'ts of Recruiting

Football, Basketball, XC, Track & Field and Swimming & Diving
This tip sheet is intended to provide a summary of NCAA rules related to social media.  Please remember to contact the Athletics Compliance Office if you have any questions as the applicable NCAA, Conference and University rules change over time.
Type of Social Media Category Permissible Time to Utilize
Accepting or Initiating a Friend or
Follow Request
to Request
Permissible at any time
Skype Phone Call Subject to the telephone call limitations beginning September 1 of the PSA’s junior year in high school
Google Handouts
iChat Video
Twitter Direct Messages* E-mail Beginning September 1 of the PSA’s junior year in high school
Instagram Direct
Facebook Posts to PSA’s Wall Publicizing of a PSA After the PSA has signed a NLI, returned a letter accepting admission, or paid an enrollment deposit
Tweets Mentioning a PSA
Cyber Dust Text Message Beginning September 1 of the PSA’s junior year in high school
Facebook Chat Feature
Google+ Messaging
Yahoo Messenger
AOL Instant Messenger
Instagram Post Tagging a PSA Publicizing of a PSA After the PSA has signed a NLI, returned a letter accepting admission, or paid an enrollment deposit
Voxer Text Message Beginning September 1 of the PSA’s junior year in high school
Vine Mentioning a PSA Publicizing of a PSA After the PSA has signed a NLI, returned a letter accepting admission, or paid an enrollment deposit
HeyTell Text Message Beginning September 1 of the PSA’s junior year in high school
Commenting on a PSA’s photograph, post, or status Publicizing of a PSA After the PSA has signed a NLI, returned a letter accepting admission, or paid an enrollment deposit
PSA’s post or tweet:
Retweet, Reply, Repost, Like, Favorite or Share
*To the extent an athletics department staff member is aware that a prospective student-athlete is receiving a permissible form of electronic communication in an impermissible format (e.g., receiving e-mail as text messages), such electronic transmission is prohibited.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Create Speed With Your Backswing

It's time to get mechanical again and talk about your backswing and how it is supported and balanced.  Your power, timing and control are all reliant upon this balance and how you achieve it. 

I'll start by talking of the chain of support in your swing.  Your hands support the golf club; your wrists support your hands; your arms support your wrists; your shoulders support your arms and your core supports your shoulders.  This might seem obvious or even overkill as an explanation of how your club is supported, but it is often not achieved.  Here are two shots of golfers at the top of the swing.  On top, the golfer fails to make a good turn away and her core isn't supporting her shoulders as it should.  Her motion will have to first correct her balance and second swing the club.  Compare it to Suzanne Petersson at the top of her backswing.  She is strong and stable at the top and all of her motion can go forward to the target.

Suzanne's core supports her shoulders, which support her arms.  She is balanced and strong at the top.

Often, golfers feel like a longer backswing will provide more speed and more power, but that is an assumption that isn't always the case.  The golf swing is reliant upon angles and leverage and if you can maintain good angles and create leverage with a long swing, then you can take it as long as you please.  However, that takes great athleticism, balance and flexibility to pull off.  Here are some notable pros with long swings who have the gifts mentioned above.


Sakura Yokomine

Bubba Watson
John Daly

The thing that all of these long swings have in common is a right arm that maintains a 90 degree angle and the shoulders and chest continue to turn to support the arms.  Actually, in Bubba's case, it's his left arm.  The 90 degree angle allows the width of the arc of the swing to stay consistent.  Long backswings run into problems when the right arm breaks down and the angle decreases.
Here is a way to feel how things work if you maintain consistent width at the top of the swing.

This creates the opposite effect on the downswing and generally results in an early release of the club, commonly called a cast.  It also makes the width of the swing smaller and the arms to "run" past the support of the shoulders.  When this happens, the body turn doesn't support the arm swing on the down and through swing causing the player to throw the club at the ball or get stuck on the inside of the path. 

Arms that run on past the shoulder turn.

Many people think that keeping a straight left arm is the key to a good back swing, but a relaxed left arm often allows a fuller turn and better balance of the core which allows it to support the left shoulder at the top of the swing.  Tight left arms often create tension that flattens the shoulder plane at the top and creates other problems.  The arms become the supporters instead of the core.  There isn't anything wrong with a straight left arm unless it is achieved with too much tension. 

This golfer is working on his shoulder plane by trying to get his left shoulder to turn down, but simply softening his left arm would allow him to turn more easily while allowing his shoulder to stay better connected with his torso.
It isn't uncommon to see a good player holding too much tension in her shoulders as she swings the club.  This tension creates problems in timing and release points.  Players whose swings hold up under great pressure or who have consistent ball striking from day to day often have a full turn and soft arms at the top. Check out these pros and you will see how a softer left arm allows the shoulder to stay on plane and supportive of the arms and hands. 
Jordan Spieth

Jim Furyk
Fred Couples

Above, you can see Furyk and below is Fowler and both are included to show that it isn't where you place the club at the top of your swing, but the fact that it is supported by your wrists, arms, shoulders and core that matters.  Over the years, that has most commonly been called "connected", but I think it is better to call it balanced at the top.  There are a lot of ways to swing the club, but if you want speed and consistency, you need to make sure you balance the club at the top of the swing.

If you want to create a swing that delivers speed to the clubhead and ball, you need balance at the top, good support of the club and the final thing is a good turn.  If you make a good turn away from the ball, you will have the opportunity to maintain a wide arc at the top of your swing.  If your body doesn't make a great turn and your arms start or take over control of the backswing, you will get small with your angles.  Big hitters commonly have some space between their chests and elbows.  This isn't the only way to get power, but it is one you commonly see on Sundays.  Fowler carries his arms closer to his chest, but gains power through his body speed and release. 
Stacy Lewis
Belen Mozo
Ricky Fowler

Hopefully, today's blog leads you to make some discoveries that are helpful for your swing.  First, we want to dispel the notion that a straight left arm is the key to a good position at the top.  Second, we want to dispel the notion that the length of the swing is the most important factor.  Instead, it is the ability to support that length with a good turn, which means you will need flexibility and low tension in your upper body.  Creating power which turns into ball speed is about creating and releasing leverage.  Think about your swing in terms of where your tension is and what role your right arm plays instead of your left arm.  Learning to control these two factors might lead you to some breakthroughs to power. 


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