Archive for the ‘INSTRUCTION’ Category
Hello again readers,
Yesterday we officially launched the Srixon Weather Fit Application on the iTunes Store, and we couldn’t be more excited! The app allows users to check the forecast at their favorite courses around the country up to four days in advance.
The Weather Fit App show users how to best change the settings of their Srixon ZStar driver, depending on weather conditions and desired ball flight. The ZStar driver features front and rear weighting, with the options of 3, 7 and 11 grams in each weight. It also has an adjustable hosel that allows for 96 different settings in one driver.
“The Srixon WeatherFit App brings adjustable fitting into a whole new arena. Knowing the weather is essential to all aspects of golf, there is now an app that address this. This app truly allows users to play the driver settings that will suit them best on that particular day.” –Chris Beck, Srixon Brand Manager
For more information, check out the app here.
Golf is a game that can never truly be mastered. The intricacies of the golf swing, coupled with the tricks of the course, make it so you, nor anyone else, will never be a “perfect” golfer. But let’s be honest, we all still try to be perfect, and we should try. If you are not trying to get better, you are getting worse.
I was looking this week at different practice regiments that different players prescribe too. Certain players on tour (notably Vijay Singh) are known for going to the driving range for hours on end when getting ready for a tournament. These types of players are applauded for their determination and grit, for never quitting until they believe that their game is as good as it can get.
Advantages to grinding at the range: When you hit balls at the range, you can really work on your swing mechanics. Working out kinks in the swing is best done on a level piece of ground with a good slot of grass and time to commit to the problem.
Disadvantages to grinding on the range: You cannot always tell what will happen when you get onto the course. You could also start to over think your swing. I have found that too much range time can sometimes cause you to create whole new problems.
Other players swear that playing golf is the only way to truly learn how to score. The experience of learning from your mistakes on the course is invaluable, and one that cannot be learned on the range.
Advantages to playing the course: In preparation for a tournament, course knowledge is essential. No amount of grinding it out on the range can prepare you for a blind shot or a tricky false front.
Disadvantages to playing the course: If you go out on a Tuesday and shot 64, you could get a feeling of overconfidence (deservedly so). In addition to that, you need to get your swing in order before a tournament. Mixing up practice habits could come back to haunt you in the long run.
So readers, which do you think is the best way to lower your scores? Is it putting in hours at the range beating balls, or hitting the links?
Rob Akins has been a teaching professional for over 30 years. In that time, he has taught the likes of: David Toms, Shawn Mccheel, and other touring professionals. He has been named a Golf Digest Top 50 Instructor and was the PGA – Tennessee Section Instructor of the Year. Rob was in the office last week and took a few minutes to talk to me about the golf swing, and his thoughts on the current state of golf.
How long have you been teaching?
I started when I was 15 years old, so I was a kid teaching kids. I ran a junior golf program and most of it was babysitting. I did that for five years and over the years I got enamored with trying to help people. I was just doing it as a summer job, but it was four days a week for five hours a day. I got to work with the same kids over 5 years, about 25 of them stayed with me so I really bonded with those kids. I was 20 when I left and those kids were now 15. That’s what got me started, I really thought I was going to play golf for a living. I had practiced my whole life and I was a decent player, I wasn’t the state champion or anything but I had made my mark in that area as a pretty good player. I started in the PGA when I was 21 as an assistant pro, I got hired because I had a background in teaching. I stayed true to that, I have never quit teaching through my entire career. When I was 26 I made the switch from trying to play for a living to teaching for a living. So I decided I wanted to make an impression and get other people on tour. When I was 30 Shawn McCheel got his tour card and then other guys got their tour cards that I was teaching. Through that whole time I was working with David Toms because we had grown up close to each other in Louisiana. About 1996 I became his full time teacher. But that’s what it really was about, I had a dream to play the tour but it never happened, so I turned my energy towards getting other people on Tour.
What keeps you coming back to teaching?
I teach 11 or 12 lessons a day, so in the summer I get tired after the 50th day in a row. I was always enamored with the golf swing and I can tell you, the only thing harder than playing golf is trying to teach someone to play golf. I always liked that challenge and that ability to communicate and hit the shots they didn’t think they could hit. To see people become better than they thought they could be is a fun thing to watch.
What is “the answer”? What is the one piece of advice that everyone is missing?
The secret is that there is no secret, I can tell you that much. But, I will tell you that the key thing in golf is to transfer energy from the club to the ball in the most efficient way. It’s all about being able to hit it solid. If you look at the great ball strikers of all time, when they were kids they hit into the net and they didn’t even see where the ball was going. They learned if they were hitting a good shot based off the vibrations in the club. When they finally started playing golf on the course they had learned how to really hit it solid. So the key to making solid contact is maintaining your lag through the ball. Swing through the ball, just swing and let the ball get in the way. So, hitting it solid is the key ingredient.
What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Overnight success usually takes about 15 years. I remind myself that every day and I tell that to everyone who takes a lesson. To master a task, any task, it takes about 10,000 hours. It just takes time to master a craft. People don’t realize that and they never master a craft, they just give up.
How has the golf swing changed since you began teaching?
There have been several things that have really changed it. The video camera had the greatest impact, it got people worried about how they looked and not necessarily about hitting the ball solid. Everyone has to be thinking about something to play, but the more you think the harder it becomes. They care more about what they look like than making solid contact.
How has technology changed since you have been teaching?
The biggest change has been the ball. It was a harder ball and therefore it was harder to stop on the green. But, with the high spin balls on the other hand, if it spins a lot backwards than it spins a lot sideways. So, when we were able to go to a harder ball that didn’t spin the ball quit curving and people were able to swing harder at it. I don’t think that anything has impacted the game as much as the golf ball.
When I started blogging I promised to keep all of my faithfull(ish) readers up to date with my favorite tips from our Tour Staffers. This is another tip from deep within our archives, a great putting drill from Steve Flesch. Now, by no means am I what people would consider a “good putter” and I usually scoff at the idea of fancy putter drills… But I love this drill.
We have also added an Instruction category to our blogs, so now all of our latest tips can be viewed in one place. Be on the lookout for more to come!