Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is Model Golf by Ralph Mann the Model?

Is “Model Golf” by Ralph Mann “The” Model?
by Chuck Evans and Randy Sparks

At Medicus Golf Institute, we are frequently asked about the viability of the new age golf swings that are being hyped – as well as those which may be from the past. One such email was recently sent to us regarding Model Golf by Ralph Mann. The following is our synopsis of Model Golf by Chuck Evans, Executive Director of Instruction for Medicus Golf.

Indeed, Model Golf was based on top pros – but their models were developed 15-20 years ago. Model Golf also has the "model" moving the club off plane and tilting backwards. When I asked Ralph Mann about this and the differences between Hitters and Swingers, he replied, "I don't believe in Hitting versus Swinging." When I asked about the model being off plane, he replied, "That’s what our research showed the best do." I replied, “Would it not be better, for teaching purposes, to show them a model that IS on plane?” We spent two days together at the PGA Tour Academy where they installed the system. We tested it for two months and threw it out. To give you an example, one of the models they used was Vance Heafner. He hasn't played the tour since the late 80's.

Although brilliant in concept, Model Golf should never be used as a “model” for a number of reasons:

1. The model is based on an accumulation of other golfers and not the golfer that is learning.

2. The model has numerous swing flaws, meaning a player that complies with the model will inherit these flaws.

3. The model does not take into account what the student physically can and cannot do.

According to Model Golf, the pro model slides roughly two inches very early in the backswing. During the transition move, the pro will then use his hips to “bump” his weight forward (for those same two inches) and then stop sliding. The downswing then turns into a rotary motion. Model Golf states that the swing will be a weak, arm-dominated swing if there is no lateral move off of the ball. By sliding away from and then back towards the ball during the transition, the golfer loads (or “stretches”) the muscles that propel the rotary motion to the ball.

Hip Slide is a variation and several players certainly do use. However, for most players – and this applies to tour players as well – Hip Slide can be a dangerous thing. First, timing issues arise since you cannot move in a straight line and a circle at the same time. Personally, I have never seen a player that moves off the ball (to their right) in the backstroke get back to where they started. This now affects the ball location relative to the Low Point. If the Low Point has moved back, the ball location has effectively moved forward. When the ball location moves forward like this, the player ends up hitting fat shots and tries to time impact via a flipping of the hands. Secondly, most players that move off the ball (mainly middle to high handicappers) never get the correct rotational motion in the downstroke. They have plenty of Hip Slide – but no Hip Turn!

Additionally, the golfer need not slide laterally to create the aforementioned “stretch” in Model Golf. Rather, we at Medicus Golf Institute see this “stretch” as being created by simply leaving the hands at the top while moving the Right Shoulder down plane from the top. This move stretches the left arm against the chest and creates what we call "Pivot Lag."

One important key to remember is that even the world's best players make compensations in their golf strokes. Tour players are just better at compensating than the average player and are also experts at hand manipulation. If someone wants to create the perfect Golfing Machine, they need not look further than Iron Byron. Mechanical devices don't need to make last minute adjustments during the stroke. They do, however, require that the ball be placed precisely in the same place each time. If it is not, the ball goes everywhere – just like a human.

Our preference at Medicus Golf Institute is for golfers to move as few things as possible in the smallest amount of space possible – something that will eliminate a lot of “faults.”

Though we do not teach with straitjackets on our students, we prefer a set-up with 60% of weight on the target side. You then leave it there during the backstroke and downstroke. After pre-setting this weight, you then either simply rotate (Swinging) or take the right shoulder and right arm down plane to the inside aft quadrant of the ball (Hitting). By proceeding in this way, a golfer has successfully eliminated one more moving part.

If one does not set-up as prescribed above, there is a minimal “hip bump” to start the downstroke. But even then, this motion is no more than two inches.

For a game-changing experience where you’ll learn more about how to build your golf swing your way, sign up today for a Medicus Institute Golf School near you.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Visit to NZ Golf Academy

October saw Justin Tang make a trip to visit the New Zealand Golf Academy based in Cambridge.

During the visit, he got to share ideas with 3 former National Coaches of New Zealand, Mal Tongue, Shane Scott and Bob McDonald. Also, he got to play around with some cool gadgets at the academy.

Appended are some pictures and a video.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Teaching an Old Man New Tricks...

The senior golfer in the pictures remarked that you can't teach an old man new tricks. Guess he was wrong because by the second lesson, he was putting some serious compression on the ball.

The Incredible Power of Visual Learning

The Incredible Power of Visual Learning
Here is an excerpt from an article that just appeared in Scientific American Mind. It's from the April/May 2006 edition:

"Humans See, Human Do - Brain Cells That Mirror Actions We See Are Key to Learning..."
"[Mirror] neurons are scattered throughout key parts of our brain -- the premotor cortext and centers for language, empathy, and pain -- and fire not only as we perform a certain action but also when we watch someone else perform that action. These neurons have been studied in the past for their roles in movement and other functions. Now, however, researchers are examining them intensely for what seems to be an additional function -- the way they fire in response to something observed. The discovery of this mechanism, made about a decade ago, suggests that everything we watch someone else do, we do as well -- in our minds. At its most basic, this finding means we mentally rehearse or imitate every action we witness, whether it is a somersault or a subtle smile. It explains how we learn to smile, talk, walk, dance, or play tennis."
Scientific American Mind
April/May 2006
P. 23-24

Shaft Flex Point: Myth or Legend?

Golf Shaft Flex Point: Myth or Legend?
By: Mike Tait
President, and Club Designer of SMT Golf

You hear players giving advice all the time on getting the correct flex point on the shaft you are using. Retail store clerks tout the magic of this phenomenon when they have you in front of the display of brightly painted shafts on the wall. Truth be told, while not a myth, it has turned into one of the biggest mysteries in the sport.

Players have been conditioned to believe that the difference between a high flex point and a low flex point can be virtually from just below the grip to right above the ferrule on the clubhead. But the truth is that the distance between High and Low Flex Point is basically 2.5 inches in the middle of the shaft. Arguably hardly worth talking about, but I, of course, find myself unable to stop here.

Flex point is most talked about when discussing a shaft choice to make the golf ball trajectory change, The higher the "flex point", the lower the peak trajectory of the shot for that particular club. The lower the "flex point" the higher the peak trajectory will be for the club used. In reality, I have found that "flex point" is used more like a crutch in the clubfitting process and certainly when diagnosing playing problems. And is all too often used to help "ring the register" because it is something we have all heard of but really know almost nothing about.

Players and clubmakers are quick to want to suggest reshafting to a shaft with a different flex point, but in reality we might want to be looking at it a bit differently, perhaps a bit more logically.

We have all come to the golf course or driving range with a swing speed. I don't care what yours is, and you don't care what mine is. Each club in our bags really has a maximum speed that we can swing it. After a big bucket of balls, logic might tell us that we are probably swinging it a bit slower than earlier in the bucket due to muscle fatigue. We are not Tour Professionals and only have so many full swings in us before we lose a bit of the edge. As weekend players, we tend to reach that level sooner than your conditioned golf professional will.

That being said, and if you agree with that statement, you can agree that shaft WEIGHT has much more to do with trajectory and certainly has taken much more than its share of the blame, and of course, the glory, for the elusive "flex point" issue. What I mean is, if we all swing at a max speed, and we put a heavier product in out hands, we are certainly going to swing it a bit slower. If we swing it a bit slower, the ball flight laws tell us that the ball will not spin as much and therefore will not rise as high. Of course, if we go to a lighter shaft, we will swing the club just a bit faster, in effect adding spin to the ball causing it to rise quicker and higher. Either way, the blame or kudos are often given to "flex point". The example is really quite simple. Can you throw a bowling ball higher or a baseball higher? Remember, you came to me with a swing speed, and that did not really change within the two throws required to complete this simple test.

Don't get me wrong, flex point is not like the Loch Ness Monster, it can actually be found and identified. But just like the Loch Ness Monster, because we can find it, doesn't mean that we always know what to do with it, or if it has any real value once we have our hands on it.

I contend that shaft WEIGHT or overall weight of the club (not swingweight) has much more to do with the overall trajectory of our shots than "flex point" will ever have.

The answer, as with virtually all of my teachings and theories is really quite simple and basic. If you want to hit the ball higher, you can and should look to a lighter shaft or lighter overall product. If you want to hit the ball lower, you should look to a heavier shaft or heavier product.

Certainly loft and length are an issue, but for the sake of this topic, we will stick with weight and how it gets confused by virtually everyone for "flex point".

In the SMT - RLM shaft lineup, the sales leader Miridio is the lightest weight and produces arguably the highest trajectory of the three shafts available, while the Argent being slightly heavier tends to keep the ball down out of the wind a bit more than the others. The Basalt, is the perfect combination of the two. Experiment to see what works best for you, but take an assessment of your own game by asking yourself how you tend to hit the ball overall..... higher or lower, and how would changing that ball flight alter your game? But don't get bogged down in the marketing hype when looking to buy a new shaft. Close the catalogs and the golf magazines and use some common sense. If the shaft is heavier, the ball will fly lower in the same clubhead and if the shaft is lighter weight it will generally make the ball fly higher. It really is as simple as that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Has Golf Become a Frustrating Form of Recreation?

In an earlier article I spoke about the decline of the game and laid part of the blame at the feet of not only the governing bodies of golf but also at the feet of those who are developing and designing golf courses.

It is my opinion though that the majority of blame is directly on the shoulders of the PGA. It is my opinion that those who are responsible for the education and teaching of how to play the game have and are failing miserably. The fact of the matter is that though equipment has seen improvement beyond what many thought possible, the handicaps and skill set of golf players throughout the industry has improved ZERO. When it comes to true handicaps, way too many golfers do not have nor can they play to a 10 handicap or less.

In the beginning Medicus Golf was a training aid company with a purpose of helping golfers. We have now expanded our mission to include not only that of aids but to also assist golfers to improve through golf swing education. But this is not why I mention this. I mention this due to the fact that on a daily basis we are in contact with hundreds of golfers calling to purchase swing aids. In most cases these golfers are presently working with someone who is providing lessons for them. This does not make logical sense to me though I must admit that for our business this is a good thing. But, why would anyone who is working with a golf teacher/educator ever have a need for a training aid. It is one thing when an instructor would request the student to place an order to assist them with their swing faults but this is seldom the case. The students are the ones who are still searching on their own. The other amazing thing to me is that most students see and view their instructor as the best thing since sliced bread. This makes no sense.

It is my opinion that the students are not improving due to those who are providing the information are teaching a lot of experience and feel, and though in general the information may be good, it is far from being complete. With the information being incomplete the student never gets the correct mechanics for them and then the natural progression into their OWN feel, not the teachers, is never accomplished.

As Homer Kelley stated, “There are a lot of very smart people playing some very poor golf.” Why is this the case? They lack the information to succeed! Period! No ifs, ands or buts.

So until golfers, especially new to the game or those who have left frustrated with the game, can get the correct information, so the game is not a frustrating form of recreation, the game of golf will suffer. This added to the equipment issues, course design and other issues mentioned in the previous article, makes a turnaround for growth quite bleak but…..the fix is NOT that hard to implement, sell or get across to the public. All we need is to implement change with correct educational information of how to play the game and to make the game fun for all.

Randy Sparks

Monday, September 3, 2007

Jim and the Twistdown

Check out how Jim twisted his way to an inside-out clubhead path.


Lady-in-red after her 4th lesson. Her clubhead lag looks almost SERGIOESQUE.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Putt Like The Pros

Golf tip: Putt like the pros

Look at the world's best putters and they all have at least one thing in common: Once they pick the line, they focus on the pace of the putt. They do not "fall in love" with the line. This only leads to putts that are short.

The best putters use different types of strokes and grips. Some of them use a straight back/straight through type of stroke while others use the arc approach.

Let's examine these types of strokes.

1. With the arc approach the club moves back, up, and in during the backstroke, which means it has to move down, out, and forward in the downstroke. Because the player is using this arc approach, ball location is critical. Too far forward and you will pull the putt and too far back and you will push it.

2. The straight back and through method produces a putter face that essentially looks at the ball during the stroke. Since the putter is now moving on a vertical plane there is no inward motion, which means there is no outward motion. Ball location isn't nearly as critical since the face isn't opening or closing.

Players also have a variety of ways they stand at the ball when putting: Some use the so-called square stance, while others use an open one.

Then there is putter and grip styles.

Ken Green uses a putter about 30 inches long while other Bruce Leitzke uses a long putter anchored at the top of his chest. Grip styles range from overlap to reverse overlap, the claw, the saw, cross handed, you name it!

The bottom line is use whatever you want style you want, as long as you're making putts.

Don't be worried about what your playing partners may think or say, you're the one making the putts, not them.

Bernhard Langer has overcome the yips at several times in his career. Do you think he cares what other players think about his putting style?

Whatever you decide to do, stick to it and work on it. Good putting can make up a lot of strokes and bring that handicap down.

Chuck Evans is one of only 31 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering." He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy , and the director of instruction for The Golfing Machine and the United States Golf Institute.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mind Practice

Researchers doing studies on Olympic athletes have found that the brain cannot differentiate between what is really happening and what is imagined.

Tests done on these world-class athletes showed that the brainwaves for the athletes were the same whether they were actually running or simply imagining they were running.

What this means to golfers is if you can imagine yourself making that move your pro taught you, its the same as you pounding bucket after bucket of balls at the range. The advantage you have with visualisation is that you can corroborate easily the changes by visualising and then practicing in front of a mirror. Try it and see how you fare.

If you can conceive the image of you swinging in a proper fashion then you can achieve it.

The Back Stroke

By: Chuck Evans

Once address is completed we can start the backstroke which involves two separate movements. These movements are controlled from the waist up. The lower body should be moved by the upper body if the player is flexible enough, if not, then allow it to move freely in both directions.

The hands and arms … the vertical plane
The shoulders … the horizontal or inclined plane

At this point we would like to remind you that Address and Impact are NOT THE SAME! The only thing that has not changed is the ball position.

You may use any backstroke procedure you choose and there are basically three to choose from.

A one piece takeaway…Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods
A two piece takeaway…Ernie Els, David Duval, Karrie Webb, Anika Sorenstam
A three piece takeaway…Raymond Floyd, Nancy Lopez

Choose anyone you wish that feels comfortable and natural. What initiates the backstroke? Ask ten different instructors and you will get ten different answers. Some player's feel it starts with turning the shoulders, some feel it may be the hips, and still others think and feel it's the hands. We believe it is a combination of the hands, trailing forearm, AND shoulder turn that starts the backstroke. Earlier we talked about the role of the hands, arms, and shoulders during the backstroke. They absolutely must work together and synchronous if the club is to stay on plane!

As the club starts back the clubhead must point at the base of the plane line until the clubshaft reaches parallel to the plane line and horizontal to the ground. As the club starts upward then the butt of the club must point at an extension of the base of the plane until it reaches the top of the swing. If you can't get the clubshaft to parallel, then the butt of the club MUST point to the base of the plane line. If you are one of the few that can get the shaft to parallel, then it should be parallel to the base of the plane line.

The hip sequence (how the hips move) for full swing shots is always the same. They Turn, Slide, Turn. A great majority of players think the hips slide in the backstroke (shifting weight). While this certainly is an option it eliminates creating any rotating force of the body. A better procedure would be the one described above and is the option that the majority of the world's best players use.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Mind Thinks in Pictures

Does your golf instructor paint pictures for you during lessons?

When the mind really thinks, it
thinks in pictures. If your pro is not creating mental images to
get his point across, you're missing out big time.

You need to be involved and visualizing instead of just hearing to what you are being instructed. Is he able to make you 'see' your mistakes and the requisite corrections?

One of the keys to creating mental imagery is using
action words.

Analogy is another powerful tool for creating mental images.
When I am getting my point across, so my student
can understand what needs to be done, and be in a position
to take action, I use word pictures with
something that's already familiar.

Still skeptical? Read the following phrase and see what comes to your mind.

"Pizza with Golf Balls on top."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Power of Pronation

Pronating helped Howard change his downstroke from outside-in to inside-out.
The question is what did he pronate?

Having Some Fun...

Was having some fun at the range with the driver...not too bad eh the load on the shaft.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Jerry Barber - The Orignal Stack and Tilt?

With all the buzz about PGA Tour coaches Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer of late, Golf Digest thought it was appropriate to bring up the late Jerry Barber, a thinking man's golfer who presented a then novel way of swinging the club.

Barber is quoted as saying that he does not like to transfer his weight to the right side of the body. Well, it certainly goes against the grain of traditional teaching. However, I am reminded that in every revolution, some 'disturbance' to the status quo might happen. Will this be the next great thing in golf? Only time will tell.

If you would like to experience the Stack and Tilt swing for yourself in Singapore, remember that Justin Tang is the only who is ABLE and QUALIFIED to teach you by virtue of his experience in The Golfing Machine and being under the tutelage of expert practitioners of the system.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Which is more important, the Clubhead or the Shaft?

Which is more important, the clubhead or the shaft?
by: Mike Tait
President & Clubmaker of SMT GOLF

We might as well start talking about the chicken or the egg or creation vs. evolution. But I would like to share my thoughts on the matter, and of course they are only my thoughts and opinions, and as you are trapped into reading this, at least I can wax eloquent without fear of immediate rebuttal.

Again, the following comments are my own, derived from 30 years as a PGA Professional, and knowing what I know about the field of golf club design, manufacture and teaching theories. While I am certain to have many that disagree with me, my goal is to simply give an educated opinion to those that are searching for a theory to grab hold of and to begin formulating their own thoughts. If this helps some folks, then I will consider it a huge success.

Among the three most ridiculous things I have heard in this great game of golf are

1. Keep your head down.

2. Keep your left arm straight.

3. The shaft is the engine of the golf club!

All three comments are worthless and one is simply just plain, mathematically incorrect. Care to guess which one?

The golf shaft simply cannot or DOES NOT generate its own power. So the "engine" comment is completely without merit! At best, to stay with the automotive metaphors, the shaft can, and I believe is, the "transmission" of the golf club. Its sole purpose is to transmit or deliver the power that we have generated, through the golf club head to the golf ball.

Taking it one step further….the shaft is absolutely NOT the most important part of the golf club either!

If we were to really believe that comment, could it be said by the same believers in that statement that "the shoes are the most important part of the tuxedo"? Or how about, "The carrots are the most important part of the chicken soup"? How about "The white keys are more important than the black keys on the piano"?

I ask you this, "shaft is the most important" believers.

How can a golf shaft that weighs roughly 70 grams on average, have so much influence on spin profile, launch characteristics, trajectory , etc. etc. etc. when the clubhead weighs in at roughly 200 grams?

It is really like trying to make the argument that "the tail wags the dog".

As there are really only three pieces to any golf club, and all three perform their own important function and each need to work with each other and the individual player to create the best chance for success. A competent clubmaker, clubfitter or golf professional will be able to make sure that, "your shoes do in fact, match your belt".

Because being wrong on either of them will make you look bad, if you know what I mean.

Ball Position

I often talk about the effects of ball position. Most players assume that to draw the ball you move it back and to fade it you move it forward. That is true for players who push the golf club - but for players who pull the club it's a disaster!

Players who pull the club are using an effect very similar to that of a door opening and closing. So the farther forward you position the ball, the more it will draw. But there are several other factors you must consider in positioning the ball:

Golf-club design: Every club has only one straight-away flight position, and it's up to the player to find out where that is.

Hand speed: Players with fast hands should position the ball farther back, those with slow hands more forward.

Downstroke plane angle: Flatter angle, move the ball back. More upright, move the ball forward.

Forget your feet: The ball must be placed in relationship to the upper body, not the feet. The precise low point of the stroke is the outside edge of the target-side shoulder, so the shoulder should be the reference point for all ball placements.

The space between your feet can change in the course of a round, but your shoulder span will never change.

If you position the ball "off the left heel" but the feet are in a narrow position, the impact point of the ball is effectively moved toward the left side of the chest. If the stance is wider than the shoulders, the impact point is outside the low point.

How do you determine the low point? Hold a club by the grip end and let it hang straight down vertically. That's the low point.

While holding the end, move the clubhead to the right (if you're right-handed). This is prior to the low point, so the club is moving downward. Now move the clubhead to the left, past vertical. This is after the low point and the club is now moving upward.

Remember, you can have perfect mechanics but poor ball position, in which case you won't be able to control your ball.

Chuck Evans is one of only 31 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering." He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy , and the director of instruction for The Golfing Machine and the United States Golf Institute.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

TaylorMade-Adidas Golf

Justin Tang Golf is pleased to announce a partnership with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf.

All existing and new students of Justin Tang Golf will be entitled to special discounts on TaylorMade and Adidas merchandise. Please note that students must be accompanied by authorised members of Justin Tang Golf during their purchase and the usual terms and conditions apply.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Howard's Before and After

Check out Howard's Before and After Impact Alignments.
The Before reeks of a dipping head as well as a chicken wing - common consequences of a faulty setup as well as trying to "keep the head down."

The After resembles a more professional impact position. Left wrist is slightly arching with the left arm and clubshaft in a convex shape.

Body is taller at impact indicating a stationary head and spine position throughout the swing.

Pivot rhythm is maintained as well which is evidenced by the lack of space between the left arm and the torso.

Good stuff mate!

Verify Impact Alignments for A Good Golf Swing

Verify impact alignments for a good golf swing

In previous articles I have discussed the importance of "alignments."
Let me clarify this a little further by saying that body alignments to the target are only a very small piece of the equation. Before every shot is played we must check and verify "impact alignments," which are:

Clubface to target line
Grip to Clubface
Hands to the ball
Plane Angle
Pressure Points
Right Forearm Position

The clubface to the target line is absolutely critical and changes depending on what motion you are making with the clubface. For instance, if you are moving the clubface like a door opening and closing then the clubface alignment at impact would be slightly open to allow for the natural closing. If the clubface was square at impact using this procedure then the ball will always start left -- a clubface pull.

Your grip in relation to the clubface dictates how the clubface will operate - wherever your target side hand goes the clubface follows.

At impact the hands should always be -- for a normal shot -- in front of the clubface and never behind it.

The plane angle is the angle you have chosen to come into the ball at. This could vary depending upon your choice. It could be like Ben Hogan or Colin Montgomerie -- your choice.

Pressure points are simply what part(s) of your hands and arms are creating the pressure on the club. You always want these behind the shaft so that Impact has support.

The right forearm in all great golf strokes always points at the base of the plane -- target line -- and is inline with the clubshaft, again, giving support through impact.

Balance, grip and plane line must be verified before every shot!

Chuck Evans is one of only 31 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering." He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and the director of instruction for The Golfing Machine and the United States Golf Institute.

Sammy Says..

In this video clip, Sam Snead talks about hitting the ball on the downswing from driver through to pitching wedge...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The 10 Positions to Golfing Success

If you knew what these 10 crucial positions are and where your clubshaft, clubface, hands and body ought to be, you would:

1) Be able to practice with a purpose. Most people today are not practicing correctly at driving ranges around the world. They are simply exercising and really swinging a golf club is not bad medium intensity exercise. After all, the whole body does get involved doesnt it? But are you at the driving range to exercise or to lower your scores?

2) Lower your strokes significantly. If you knew the 10 Ps, you would have a reference point of what is correct and what is wrong. If you didnt know that you made a mistake, then how can you correct it? If you start correcting even only one position, then your entire golf swing would benefit. The sum of the parts is truly greater than the whole. A more efficient stroke will lead to greater control over the golf ball and as a corollary lower scores.

3) Drive the ball longer. By correcting your swing in accordance to the 10 Ps, the delivery of your clubhead into the ball would be more efficient translating into greater energy transfer to the ball and hence more distance.

4) Be consistent. If you know what alignments to comply with at each of these 10 crucial positions, don't you think that that will lead to consistency? Its like Warren Buffett telling you his investment secrets!

5) Have an aesthetic swing. For once in your life, your peers will comment: "What a beautifully natural swing you have. I wish I swung the club like you did."

The 10 positions are:

1) Address
2) Startup
3) Backstroke
4) Top
5) Downstroke
6) Release
7) Impact
8) Followthrough
9) Reswivel
10) Finish

The Correct Aiming Point Will Have Your Golf Swing on Target

The "Aiming Point" completely replaces the golf ball and it is a spot where you direct your hands.

An example of an "Aiming Point" would be in a greenside bunker. The player is trying to hit a spot behind the ball instead of the ball. This is an "Aiming Point."

You can also use "Impact Hand Location" but whichever you choose the spot is always along the base of the plane. Players with faster hands need to play the ball farther back then do players with slower hands - so this would indeed change their "Aiming Point."

But a general rule of thumb is with a wedge the "Aiming Point" is in front of the ball, with a 5 iron it's at the ball and with a driver it is slightly behind the ball.

Now behind the ball doesn't mean you "swing up" it simply means from your perspective when you look down. If your hands are over the left foot at Impact with all three of these clubs and the only thing that has changed is the ball position then you'll see what I mean.

Visually the right forefinger - which is what you monitor both aiming and the sweetspot with - has not changed but will appear to have moved because of the ball location changes.

Chuck Evans is one of only 31 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering." He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy , and the director of instruction for The Golfing Machine and the United States Golf Institute.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Control Your Wrist, Control Your Slice

You're standing on the tee with water right and think, boy I don't want to hit it right. What usually happens next? The ball doesn't go into the water because it wants to. It goes in the water because it has to!

You did everything absolutely perfect to produce this slice and send your golf ball to a watery grave. So how do you fix this abomination of a shot? First, you will need to know what a slice is and what some of its causes are.

A slice can start anywhere but then curves back to the right - for a right-handed player. The amount of this curvature can be small or great depending on the clubface angle when the ball leaves the clubface.

If you are slicing here's a quick check list to narrow down why.

1. Ball location - having the ball too far back in the stance will not allow the clubface to close properly. A player's hand speed also affects ball location. Fast hands need to play the ball back and slow hands more forward.

2. Hinge action (the control of the clubface transmitted through the left hand) - Faulty hinge action can lead to slices, hooks, pushes, and fades. But properly educated hands can even compensate for off plane motions.

3. Right arm action - Not straightening the right arm through impact allows the clubface to remain open. These three are the basic reasons for slices, but there could be more depending on the player.

Some misnomers about slices

1. Clubhead path controls initial ball direction.

This is one of the worst pieces of advice ever given. Why? The ball will always leave the clubface, at a right angle to the clubface, regardless of the path the club is swung on unless there is enough time and force to alter what's known as the Venturi Effect.

2. A strong grip eliminates a slice.

Yeah right. We've all heard this and I bet you've even tried it. You probably took a lesson - or two - from the local pro and have spent a few dollars (or even a few hundred) to get rid of that nasty slice.

Heck, you might have even tried to fix that nasty thing yourself! But you quickly realized after hundreds of golf did not work. You heard me. It didn't work, never has, and never will.

If you want to eliminate a slice, or a hook, you MUST learn how to control the clubface through the proper use of the left wrist. That's all there is to it.

Chuck Evans is one of only 31 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering." He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy , and the director of instruction for The Golfing Machine and the United States Golf Institute.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mr. Emaad

Despite being only 6 weeks old in golf, Emaad shows great form on his startdown with a classic squat look while dragging his Tiger Woods like load down plane.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Truth About A Straight Left Arm

One of the "absolutes" in golf - and what is taught - is a straight left arm (Or right arm if you are a lefty like Phil Mickelson). First let's define what a straight left arm is and isn't.

For the majority of people a left arm that hangs downward has an elbow joint. This joint has between three and five degrees of bend in it. This is what a straight left arm is.

Stretching - hyper extending - and locking the elbow is not a straight left arm! All the golfer has done successfully is to increase the radius from the left shoulder to the ground. This is a major cause of "fat shots!" This is what a straight left arm is not!

Harry Vardon won the British Open six times playing with a "bent" left arm.

Calvin Peete won the Players Championship and is the most accurate driver of the golf ball ever! In 26-plus years of playing professional golf he hit one ball out of bounds! Calvin's left arm was severely bent as a result of an accident as a young child which shattered his left elbow. Surgeons repaired the elbow, but it remained permanently fused so that Calvin could never fully straighten his arm. Calvin won 11 times on Tour in a five-year span - 12 events total - plus his Players Championship victory. He led the Tour in driving accuracy for 10 straight years and led the Tour in "greens in regulation" three times.

Another player that had huge success on the PGA Tour is Curtis Strange. Curtis won 17 times on Tour including winning the U.S. Open back to back in 1988 and 1989. Others include Jay Haas and Kenny Perry.

Swing "Gurus" referred to Curtis' left arm as "soft."

Think of it this way, if you were to swing a piece of rope is it "locked" and taunt in the backstroke? Of course not! But what happens when you swing it to the ball - it becomes a straight line!

Now I'm not advocating that you intentionally bend your left arm but I am saying not to lock it thinking that is what straight is. The arms must feel like dangling ropes - loose. This will give you more power with less effort.

Remember, whatever angle your left arm hangs - loosely - just maintain it during the backstroke and let it come out by itself in the downstroke.

Chuck Evans is one of only 31 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering." He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and the director of instruction for The Golfing Machine and the United States Golf Institute.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Do Less and Get Better

As I stand out on the tee line it always amazes me to watch people "practicing." One might take the club to the top, stop and look at it, and say, "Yeah this is what I want, this is great." Then they get settled into their address position heave the club back, not even getting close to their practice stroke, have almost uncontrollable amounts of motion, swaying, bobbing, etc., and still hit the ball.

I truly admire players like this. It takes a tremendous amount of athletic ability to strike a golf ball with some of the motions and positions I see everyday.

So athleticism, or lack of it, is not what hurts golfers and their games. What hurts is their perception of what they need to do and all of the gyrations that are going on. I've seen more Elvis impersonators on the tee than on stage in Las Vegas.

As I tell the players I work with, "It's always harder to do less." What I mean by that is if someone has a lot of body motion, twisting and turning in their stroke it is extremely difficult to not have any un-golflike motions.

There are so many things going on in a golf stroke that we need to move as few a pieces as possible and in the smallest amount of space. Watch figure skaters at the end of their routines. They start with their arms out and away from their bodies but as they pull their arms inward and closer to them they start speeding up until finally their arms are crossed against their chest they are whirling so fast are sometimes just a blur.

Address positioning is the one time that anyone can look as good as any PGA Tour player … unfortunately it's usually all downhill after that.

As players we really need to do only three things to dramatically improve our ball striking.

1. Set our "Alignments" - the left arm and clubshaft angle and the right forearm and clubshaft angle.

2. Take these alignments up a Plane and down a Plane.

3. Add clubface control

While these three items are simplistic there is a lot that go into them and these also must be learned. At our Medicus Golf Institute "GeoMetrics" Golf Schools players learn and come away with a complete understanding of their games, how to apply the above three items to their games and more importantly how to own these three items for the rest of their golf lives.

Try doing less in your stroke, you will get better!

Chuck Evans is one of only 31 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Doctorate in Golf Stroke Engineering."

He is Executive Director of Instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as Director of Schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy and the Director of Instruction for the United States Golf Institute and The Golfing Machine.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Jim Furyk does it "His Way", not "The Way."

In a golf world full of cookie cutter swings, it is good to see someone like a Jim Furyk who has done it “his way”. Though this is not a newsflash topic that has not been bantered on the internet and in golf “fish wrapper” circles, it does bear mentioning again for those whose swing may be unorthodox by today’s standards.

But seriously, “How does Jim Furyk do it?”

The thing that should stand out to those who critique golf swings is the fact that some very key and pivotal alignments are achieved at the point which controls the golf ball. This is precisely what we teach and preach at the Medicus Golf Institute. We do not care about position golf for one can put their knee in a certain position and still miss the ball. It is all about alignments and the training of the hands and Furyk is a perfect example of this.

In Furyk’s swing please note the off plane motions at certain locations but when it comes to the key alignments from release through impact, Furyk accomplishes his goal and thus he gets the result he desires, within a very tight margin of error.

These key alignments include the on plane right forearm and a flat left wrist to name just two of these alignment keys. Furyk accomplishes what Homer Kelley, author of The Golfing Machine, spoke about when he stated, “I do not care what you do as long as you know what you are doing”. In the golf swing there is only one truth serum and that is the golf ball itself. The ball simply cannot tell a lie. The ball goes into a hazard, misses greens and fairways not because it is mad at you or does not like you. It goes there for it has no other choice.

So Furyk should be an example for all golfers to learn alignments and to also incorporate those swing components into their motion which match. By doing so, you will and can control your golf ball and we know for certain, that when you control the golf ball you can control the game.

Thanks Jim for being a shining light in a golf world where “The Way” seems to be the call of the day. Also, congratulations on winning the Canadian Open.

Randy Sparks

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Indo Golf Magazine

Justin Tang Golf was recently featured in the July edition of Indo Golf Magazine (, a widely circulating golf publication in Indonesia.

Christophe Starts with the End

With Christophe, we used our "Start with the End" concept to create this INSTANT change in impact alignments.


Our "under-shafted" drill helped Anne get her optimum impact alignments back after a long layoff. This drill is part of our "Negative Feedback" and "Mental Imagery" learning concept that is taking the local golf scene by storm and giving golfers hope that they too can play the best golf of their lives CONSISTENTLY.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Congratulations - HSBC Golf Challenge 2007 Champion

Justin Tang Golf wishes to extend a hearty congratulation to one of its students, Lim Chee Chein.

The 51 year young systems engineer who plays off 12.2 bested a stellar field at the HSBC Golf Challenge 2007 with a gross score of 3-over par 75 under the Stableford Individual Double Perioa system.

Said the champion: "I blew my first hole when I drove into the trees on the right and three-putted for a triple bogey, I thought it was all over."

Besides winning an all-expenses-paid trip for two to watch golfing superstars such as Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia et al at the HSBC Champions Tournament in Shanghai from 8 to 11 Nov, he also wins a special lesson package from Justin Tang Golf.

In the run-up to his victory, Lim had been working on his impact alignments and the plane of his swing. His success proves that age is not a barrier in a sport where it is widely held that age is a hurdle.

Next on his list of improvements to make is his putting despite having 5 birdies in a round where his putter "caught fire". It is this dedication to improvement that duly netted Lim the title of HSBC Golf Challenge Champion 2007.

Monday, July 9, 2007

How Long Does It Take You To Learn How To Kick A Ball?

As you may have noticed, we took a well deserved break from golf instruction for about 7 days.
In this period of time, we learnt some GROUND BREAKING instructional stuff that produced the following swing in 2 sessions.

Yes, I can hear the sarcasm, disbelief etc..."No, you made that up," "That can't be true, golf is too difficult."

If that is what you are saying, then

1) I don't have the time to make up these stories and neither am I the lying sort.

2) You will always get what you say, so if you are saying that golf is difficult then it will always be difficult. Think about it, how difficult can the game be if the ball is not moving??

3) The student is not 'smart' enough to reason with me about the golf swing etc...hey, the kid does not even know who the heck Ernie Els is nor read a golf magazine in his life.

4) It takes a heck lot of talent to produce such dramatic results in 2 sessions and of course the simplicity of The Golfing Machine.

5) To find out what technology was used to create such mind blowing results, call or email me. Afterall, how long did it take you to learn how to kick a ball?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nickent wins US OPEN


When students increase the amount of effort put into the swing, there is only marginal increase in distance but an exponential increase in error.

Students get a shock of their lives when they see the distance difference between their 70% and 100% swings. The average distance increase done across 34 students was a mere 6.7 yards.
Many students thought that a proportional increase in their perceived increase in effort did not garner an expected proportional increase in distance.

However, what they neglected was that this perceived increase in effort actually brought about an exponential increase in error or dispersion!

What this means for us is that we should just swing easy at 70% instead of 100% because the returns are too marginal.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Golfing Machine and Stack & Tilt

June's issue of Golf Digest presented the "hottest new swing on Tour" pioneered by one Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett who in their own words follow the teachings of
Mac O'Grady who created MORAD (Mac O'Grady's Research & Development) as well as The Golfing Machine.

The essence of Stack & Tilt is what The Golfing Machine calls its first Essential, the Stationary Head - one which produced the change for Mr. Wong.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

3 Things

The Simplicity of The Golfing Machine

1. Set your Flying Wedges
2. Take the club up and down the Plane
3. Add a Hinge Action

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Striking Distance - The Powerful Swing of Sergio Garcia

By Gregg McHatton and Andy Brumer

The year 1999 was a banner year for the then nineteen-year-old Spaniard Sergio Garcia. He not only won the British Amateur championship but was the first reigning British Amateur champ to win low amateur honors in the Masters. He turned pro soon after Augusta and quickly revealed his spirited personality and bold style of play with his now legendary shot hit from behind a tree with his eyes closed during the PGA Championship. Garcia finished second to Tiger Woods in that event, his first major as a pro,and it seemed that these two gifted young players might forge the kind of rivalry absent from the game since the days of Nicklaus and Palmer.

While his record hasn’t yet challenged that of Tiger, Garcia’s ball-striking prowess certainly has. Many Tour players, golf writers and commentators consider him to be the finest striker in the game today. Of course, that talent cannot be separated from his swing. In that respect, I do believe Garcia comes closer to Ben Hogan than any golfer since Hogan stopped competing in the early 1970s. It is far from a coincidence that Hogan, even today, is thought of as the greatest ball-striker ever.

It is also interesting to note that while golf pundits admired the tremendous amount of lag in Ben Hogan’s swing, this very same quality in Garcia’s has provoked the most controversy and criticism. Lag simply describes the condition of the clubhead trailing the clubshaft, as well as the angle created between the leading arm and the clubshaft throughout the entire downswing motion. How people can credit lag as the secret of Ben Hogan’s success and simultaneously identify it as the problem area Sergio Garcia has to weed out of his swing is a paradox to me. More times than not, golf teachers or swing theorists explain it by saying that Hogan had an "old-fashioned" swing. Perhaps, but a golf swing is basically physics in motion, and I’m not aware of any major changes in the laws of physics since Hogan’s time.

I am a strong believer that it is impossible to have too much lag in the golf swing as long as the wrists remain supple and soft, the arms hang and swing freely from their shoulder sockets, and the head remains behind the ball through impact. Can you have too much of a good thing? I don’t think so.

The downstroke lag of Justin Tang & Sergio Garcia

Garcia creates his lag in part through a remarkable "downcocking" motion from the top of his swing. Not only has he cocked or set his wrists normally as all golfers do to one degree or another by the time they reach the top, but he also adds more wrist cock and load to the swing as he begins his downswing. It is this downcocking action that gives Garcia’s swing its rhythmic yet powerful whiplash look. But far from being solely cosmetic, it generates both tremendous energy and clubhead speed, and stores it until the last instant when he delivers it into the ball.

I have been told that the young Sergio developed his lag thanks to a couple of drills his father, Victor, a teaching professional at The Club de Golf de Mediterraneo in Valencia, had him practice. The rumor suggests that Victor had Sergio swinging full-sized clubs at a very young age. With the supervision of his father, Sergio used these otherwise too heavy and too long clubs to develop his now incredibly dynamic and efficient golf swing. That is because it is easier for a child to initiate the downswing with heavy clubs by dragging or pulling the butt or grip end of the club lengthwise down toward the ball in a motion resembling the action of pulling an arrow, feather end first, lengthwise out of a quiver attached behind the archer’s shoulder. We call that "accelerating the club lengthwise." Another drill his father used with Sergio featured elastic tubing wedged between the top of a door and the doorframe. Once the tubing was attached, Victor had Sergio grip the end of the tube nearest the ground and make a pulling action to simulate a downstroke with a club. This drill produces the feeling of maximum downcocking.

Once Sergio developed lag this way, he went on to learn the most difficult thing of all—how to let the club "freewheel" through impact. The great Bobby Jones often spoke and wrote about this sensation, reporting that the club swung so freely it was as if the clubhead were fastened to a string.

I frequently hear people saying that the Garcia lag will lead to an inconsistent swing because his timing has to be flawless and his hand action aggressive in order to "square the clubface" into the ball. But I think these experts are missing something. If Garcia needed to provide such a minutely timed and clever wrist action to square up the clubhead and clubface, I am certain we would never have heard of him in the first place. The fact is, inertia makes the clubshaft want to seek or line-up with the lead arm automatically and all on its own. Once this lining-up action begins, it completes itself almost instantaneously and, best of all, requires no voluntary or extra muscular involvement. This is what Bobby Jones meant when he talked about the club freewheeling into the ball.

Because Garcia has all but perfected this whiplashing action, he actually uses his hands less than other players do through the impact zone. Far from needing super-skilled timing, Garcia’s swing, powered by centrifugal force, times itself.

It’s true that Garcia has made a well-publicized swing change over the last couple of years. He has reduced some of his wrist cock at the very top of his swing, giving his backswing motion a shorter and more compact look. What this has done for him, in my opinion, is smooth out his transition from the top of his backswing position into his downswing. It still displays that same wonderful downcocking action that it had before, but it is a bit more difficult to detect with the naked eye now (though slow-motion video certainly bears it out) because it is encased, so to speak, well within his entire downswing motion.

This adjustment has not altered the essential nature of Garcia's swing. It remains very much like that of Hogan. And remember as Hogan worked tirelessly to improve and upgrade the element of lag in his swing, his ball striking skills got better and better. I have a feeling we will see this same pattern emerge in Sergio Garcia as his career progresses.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hit Down on the Driver Damnit...

Every time I walk past instructors who tell their students to hit up or sweep their driver, fairway woods and long irons, my hair stands and I feel like throwing up.

1. A golf swing is a circle...there are no flat spots for you to 'sweep'. This leaves us the option of only hitting down or up.

2. Newton's 3rd Law states that for every action that is a reaction that is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

This means that if you hit up, the ball stays down. You hit down, the ball goes up.
This stuff is so simple that you would need a golf pro to help you screw up and misunderstand it.

As ardent readers of this blog will know, Justin Tang comes across as a brash and cocky guy (which those who know me know I am not) and teaches very differently.

I seem cocky because I have conviction that what I do WILL help change your golf swing and your life. Few if any people in general have my conviction. I am sold out.
Secondly, I am extremely PASSIONATE about improving your game!!! I have spent 3 hours with students who paid for only 1 lesson because they were so keen!

I teach differently because traditional instruction is extremely flawed.
It doesnt consider learning psychology and for the most part its based mainly on what someone thinks the golf is.

If you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same results. I want you to ask yourself this...if hitting up on the driver works then why do your drives suck?

Thinking something is so doesnt make it so. The first three emails to will get a free Video Swing Analysis. Finally, you will know what on earth is going on!

Anyway...look at all these videos. Even a blind man can see that these real PGA pros are hitting down on both driver and fairway woods.

Right Arm or Left Arm Power

The next time you take golf lessons, this is what I want you to do.
I want you to ask your instructor: "Why do you say this, what is the basis, can you prove it?"

One of the most damning pieces of instruction has to be: "swing with your left arm."
Oh really? Most pros say this because:

1. They heard someone else teach it and just accepted it at face value without QUESTIONING the source and validity of that information.

2. Its logical because the left arm for right handed golfers is facing the target and therefore it seems reasonable to use it for power.

3. Using the right arm will cause the ball to hook.

Well, the truth to the above 3 points is this.

1. Although some big golf magazine says this is true doesn't make it true. I can say that the moon is square till the cows come home does not make it so. Having alphabets behind a golfer's name doesnt make him or make him not an authority of the golf swing.

2. Kinesiologically speaking, the left arm is in a more biomechanically disadvantaged position than the right arm in a right handed golf swing. This is not a matter of whether you are right handed or not. Try setting up to the golf ball lefthanded and throw balls with the left hand and the will find that the trailing arm produces more power.

3. Using the left arm exlusively will cause the ball to hook as well. The back of the left wrist is the component responsible for clubface control. As well, the hooks are cause by an over-the-top swing, a move which most amateurs have. Therefore don't malign the right arm. It could be your key to LONGER DRIVES.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fixing Dr. Yeoh

Dr. Yeoh came frustrated. Frustrated with the fact that he did not understand what he was doing whether he played good or bad. We shared with him some psychology on how humans learn and science as relates to the golf swing.

He left saying that he would refer his friends to us. That pretty much says it all.

Joyful Jois

Jois came to me after being referred by another student. She was a little skeptical about our 'claims'...but look at her improvement.

This is her before and after impact photos.

By altering her hand paths on the backstroke and downstroke, we managed to keep her in the safe zone.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Keeping Nick in the Safe Zone

Nick was out of the safe zone before...we put him right back inside with our 'hello' drill.

Ramesh Mashes...

Check out Ramesh's before where he completely hit the shot fat...and his after when he absolutely mashed it - evidenced by the bend in the shaft. Good stuff.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sheng - On Plane and On Song

This is what Sheng wrote in an email after his lesson...
"I played yesterday and while it's taking a bit for me
to get used to it i'm really enjoying the game a lot
more now! Just gotta get used to the driver.

I'll try and come back down to singapore for another
lesson when i get the hang of this."

Thanks again!


The new impact position.
Head and torso centered over the ball with left wrist flat and shaft leaning forward.

By applying Extensor Action and the Principle of Exaggeration, we changed Sheng's shaft from across the line to on plane at the top.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ben Doyle - First Authorised Instructor of The Golfing Machine

The following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal's weekend edition, February 17 - 18, 2007.
By John Paul Newport

A 'Machine' to Fix Your Game

Swing coach Ben Doyle's odd but effective method has fans world-wide

Justin Tang with Ben Doyle circa June, 2005
When I was on the Monterey Peninsula last week I booked a lesson with Ben Doyle. Mr. Doyle, 74, is a cult figure among golf teachers, the leading advocate of a fiendishly complex system called the Golfing Machine. I didn't particularly need a lesson, I thought, but I had heard about the Golfing Machine for years and was curious to see how a man who breaks the swing down into 24 basic components, 12 sections and three zones would go about teaching an innocent.

One of the great things about golf is that it allows for so many approaches. I nominate "stop thinking and hit the damn ball" as the best single piece of golf advice ever, but for anyone with even the vaguest nerd-like tendency, burrowing deep into mechanics can be irresistible -- and even occasionally helpful. Just ask Tiger Woods.

I had met Mr. Doyle for the first time a year ago -- at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of all places. He was throwing sand around on a classroom stage as part of his presentation at a golf and technology conference. Back home, he gives most of his lessons in a sand trap, and when he's not in the bunker he primarily uses a 6-by- 10-foot vinyl tarp -- "Ben's Facts & Illusions Mat," he calls it -- imprinted from stem to stern with swing diagrams, master lists and aphorisms such as "complexity is better than mystery." For the MIT presentation he had imported both the tarp and several bottles of sand, which he gripped (mouth down) and swung like golf clubs to demonstrate how in certain phases of a proper swing the sand stays in the bottle and in other phases it flies out.

The day before my lesson last week I ran into him again on a practice range at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He has gray locks, a voice so quiet that sometimes only dogs can hear it and rheumy eyes that regard students with a mix of patience and amusement. Before I could stop him, he started teaching me.

"Is this straight up and down? Or is this?" he asked, demonstrating two possible club positions using the shaft of his spectator seat as a proxy. "It's this way, right?" he said, answering his own question and proving the point by loudly whacking the stick flush against the vertical side of a fence.

I was a bit concerned that Mr. Doyle's passion to teach was creating a commotion, but I shouldn't have been. Several pros squeezing past us said, "Excuse me, Ben," and "Good to see you, Ben." Laird Small, the director of instruction at Pebble Beach, came over to give Mr. Doyle a hug.

Mr. Doyle was waiting for one of his students, former PGA champion Steve Elkington, to emerge from an equipment trailer. When he did, Mr. Elkington launched into a spirited defense of the reputed complexity of the Golfing Machine, which is based on a dense 245-page book (of the same name) written primarily for instructors in 1969, after 40 years of research, by a retired Boeing engineer named Homer Kelley. (Mr. Doyle wrote the foreword.) Today there are roughly 150 teachers world-wide actively teaching the book's G.O.L.F. (for Geometrically Oriented Linear Force) curriculum, most of them trained at least in part by Mr. Doyle.

Said Mr. Elkington, "If someone gave you a textbook on oncology, would you expect to understand it right off? Of course not. But you'd better hope your oncologist does. The Machine is the essence of golf, nothing less."

Mr. Doyle likens the 24 basic components of the swing (starting with the grip and concluding with "power package release") to an alphabet. "To spell you have to know your letters. But if you only know four of them, you won't have much of a vocabulary," he said.

The biggest misconception about the Golfing Machine is that it preaches one swing type. In fact, the system is more descriptive than prescriptive. Each swing component has three to 15 variations -- "I like 'em all," Mr. Doyle said -- leading to an almost limitless number of viable swing combinations.

But there are three imperatives: a good swing plane (the path along which the clubshaft travels), clubhead lag and a flat left wrist at impact.

The first thing that Mr. Doyle demonstrates on his mat for new students, including me, is golf's most-damaging illusion, namely that what appears to the eyes (positioned slightly behind the ball) to be a straight up-and-down clubshaft is actually leaning backward, away from the target. To compensate Mr. Doyle insists that all of his students briefly press their hands forward before beginning their takeaway, to visually pre-set the impact position. He says that driving the hands through this aiming point correctly while sustaining clubhead lag as long as possible is "the secret of golf."

I spent more than three-fourths of my lesson in the sand making tiny, maddeningly difficult chipping, pitching and punch swings. The goal was for the clubhead to smack the lines he drew in the sand just so, in good rhythm and with the hands and arms following the lead of the lower body. The cardinal swing sin for Mr. Doyle is overaccelerating the hands and arms. In demonstrating, he clipped the mark in the sand perfectly every time. I -- a single-digit handicapper, by the way -- made only four or five successful swings and a handful of barely decent ones that he praised as "negotiable."

This sandwork was accompanied by a patter of injunctions, explanations and references to sections of the "Golfing Machine" gospel. His purpose, he said, was not to make changes in my swing so much as to upgrade a few of its components.

My first lesson lasted more than two hours and cost $200. I say "first" because my inability to strike the sand properly so agitated me that the next day I returned to spend 90 minutes in the bunker on my own, and then persuaded Mr. Doyle to give me a second lesson (one hour, $100) on the morning I left. I also bought a desk-sized version of his "Facts & Illusions" mat for $100.

Am I nuts? Diseased is more like it. But when I finally hit some balls on an actual course that afternoon, I felt a precision in some of my swings that I had never felt before, and an inkling of how, with work, that precision might become consistent. A lot more work, presumably. In Mr. Doyle's alphabet, I'm probably not even finished yet with the letter "A."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Master Lui

Student used Extensor Action to shorten his backstroke...

Check out the new and improved impact position...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Backstroke Alteration

Student's backstroke was altered by altering his waggle.

The before picture has the clubhead too far under the plane while the after picture has the clubhead in the 'safety zone'.

The result of staying in the safety zone puts the student more on plane at the top i.e. shaft is parallel to the target line.

Ben's Lag and Impact

Kid's are naturals when it comes to lag...check out young Malcolm and Ben

Malcolm's Lag and Impact

Jois and Her Impact

Here is Jois and her new impact alignments...thanks to the 10-2-D grip.

Rafin's tilt and impact

Another matured player...check out Rafin's more centered backstroke and impact position.

The Beginner and 10-2-D

We used the 10-2-D grip on this beginner to help him achieve optimal impact alignments.

Matured Player

Here is the before and after impact picture of a Matured Player.
Who says you can't teach an older, more experienced player new tricks?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Y Factor

This lady is a Tour player.
She says to turn the left shoulder behind the ball so that your Y Factor increases.
She says also that lateral movement from the ball is perfectly ok, so long as it is a feature of turning and coiling the upper body behind the ball.

Sounds perfectly logical...except that by doing so she has managed to move her head back past the centre of her body. Now to hit the ball she must sway back the EXACT amount she did on the backstroke.

The head that moves all over the place is akin to having a car with an axle not bolted on tight, wobbling beneath the undercarriage.

What does this mean to us? That tour players are humans with extreme athletic ability able to make swing compensations at the same time all the time.

I have no doubt that if she were to keep her head centered between her feet at all times (see below), she would have won more tournaments.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Inside Out

This student exchanged his Over The Top move on the downstroke to an Inside Out move with the use of the principle of Negative Feedback.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Head Centered Tripod

1-L #1 The Stationary Post (player's head) accurately returns the Clubhead through the ball (Centered Arc)

1-L #2 The Post may turn (Pivot) but does not "sway" or "bob"

In the before picture, the student has swayed (horizontal motion) past his center. He now has to move back the same amount if he were to hit the ball effectively thereby adding an additional compensation to his downstroke.

In the after picture, we have kept the student centered. Here all he needs to do is to bring initiate the downstroke by bringing his hands down plane which will bring the clubhead back to the ball.

Again, the Principle of Exaggeration was used to help the student stay centered. And no, I did not tell the student "don't move your head".