The USGA defines a stroke as “the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, but if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball he has not made a stroke.”
This means you do not actually have to touch the ball for it to make a stroke. Under this definition a “whiff” would count as a stroke. This also means that in the process of your downswing you can “abort” the swing by intentionally missing the ball. It will not count as a stroke because you did not intend to strike the ball nor did you strike the ball. If you strike the ball, regardless of your intentions, it counts as a stroke.
The next time you count up your score make sure to count those “whiffs”.
I have been using the K-Vest for a few years now and have seen measureable improvement in my students. The key word here is measureable, as the instructor, by collecting student swing data and when compared to the top PGA, LPGA or Champions Tour players, I can give the student a spot on diagnosis of their swing pattern and how it compares to the best players in the world. The K- Vest 3D system captures swing data such as speed, rotation, bend and tilt to precisely measure swing efficiency and movement patterns. Custom exercise & training parameters can be set based on the students physical limitations and swing style preferences. The real-time visual and auditory feedback when used in the exercise mode gives students immediate feedback speeding up the improvement process and players continue to come back to monitor and track their progress over time. I can automatically email swing summaries to students or upload online with voiceover analysis for student review.
In the exercise mode, when a player is in the desired position, they will see their 3D animation turn green while music plays in the background. As soon as they move out of the desired settings, the animation will turn red and the music will stop, this training provides the golfer with instant, real-time feedback and accelerates motor learning. An untouchable positive for using this system is that it eliminates communication barriers between the instructor and the golfer.
To accompany K-Vest and complete the training process comes K-Trainer. K-Trainer allows me to select from set of exercises and assessments that can be instantly loaded into a client’s golf exercise training program. I can customize and select the optimal number of repetitions and duration time each client requires to accurately maintain a posture or perform a motion. K-Trainer monitors every motion and records each time a repetition is completed successfully. Exercises and routines are customizable to meet player goals. Check out the links below with Mark Wilson & Yani Tseng working with K-Vest and K-Trainer.
The cornerstone of my teaching philosophy consists of impact and ball flight, the following explains ball flights to help players identify what type ball flight they have and why.
The ideal path of the club head is an in-to-in path in relation to the target line. Two other paths the club may take are an out-to-in path and an in-to-out path. An in-to-in path will produce a neutral impact, an out-to-in path tends to produce a steep impact, and an in-to-out path tends to produce a shallow impact. Looking at the direction and the depth of divot made through impact, along with ball flight will help diagnose path problems in a swing. Where the clubface is throughout impact in relationship to the direction of the swing completes what is needed for ball flight. Here are a few examples of ball flights and how they occur, if you fall into one of these flights you now know what is causing it and be on the right track to improving your ball flight.
The HOOK is a ball that starts right of the intended target line and curves left. The hook is caused by the club swinging on an in-to-out path while the clubface is closed or closing in relationship to the direction of the swing (in-to-out), the face will contact the back or the outside of the ball imparting right-to-left hook spin.
The PUSH is a ball that flies straight but to the right. The push has the same in-to-out path as the hook but the club face is square to direction of the swinging club head producing a straight shot to the right.
The PULL is a ball that flies on a straight line but to the left of your target. The club head is traveling across the intended target line from out-to-in through impact. The club face is square to the direction of the swing but not to the target line thus producing a pull. Pulled shots often feel solid due to the fact that the clubface matched the direction that the chub head was moving.
The SLICE is a ball that starts to the left of the intended target line then curves right. The club head is traveling across the intended target line from out-to-in through impact. The clubface is open in relation to the direction of the swinging club head creating a ball that curves to the right. The more the clubface is aimed to the right and the more the club head is swinging on a out-to-in path the more curve and the bigger the slice.
The STRAIGHT shot is a ball that starts straight and flies straight towards the intended target. The club head is traveling on an in-to-in path in relation to the target line through impact. The clubface is square to both the path and the direction of the swinging club head causing a ball that flies straight.
As you may see in the ball flight descriptions above there are ball flights that go together due to a common trait in the direction of the swing or clubface through impact. The hook and the push pair up because they both have an in-to-out path but different clubface positions. The slice and the pull pair up because they both have the same direction of swing but different clubface positions. This may confuse many players due to the fact that their shots are ending up on two completely opposite sides of the fairway. A hooker who also pushes the ball will have two misses, both left and right. The common denominator in both shots is the direction of the swinging club head through impact; they both have an in-to-out path.
When is the last time you have done an audit of your equipment?
I don’t just mean when you bought that new driver. I am referring to the last time you sat down with your instructor and decided if you had the correct clubs (drivers, wedges, putter) and if they truly fit your game.
Having an equipment audit is one of the most important and easy things you can do to drop some strokes from your round.
Here are some common areas that can lead to the fastest improvement:
- Does your driver have the correct loft, shaft flex, length and weighting?
- Do you have the correct wedge gaps. Maybe you need to add or remove a wedge?
- Do you still carry a 3 iron? Take that out, and put a hybrid in there.
- Have the lie and lofts of your irons checked. This should be done twice a year if you average 2 rounds per week.
- Change your grips. This should be done when your lie and lofts are being adjusted.
These are just a few smart ways to improve your game by putting time into areas that count and spending your dollars on instant results.
Please contact me if you would like to set-up a custom club fitting sessions today!