Monday, April 30, 2007

Pro Conversations...

I recently had this conversation with a well-known professional.
He told me that he can't give a NO-RESULTS-MONEY-BACK-GUARANTEE not because he does not know golf swing mechanics.

He said that most of the time, students sabotage their own progress by not listening and observing.

At that point in time, it sounded like a perfectly logical explanation. Shift the blame for lack of results to the student. What he said was in fact true. Most students do not listen when the instructor is explaining and demonstrating.

Upon deeper reflection, I realised that what that pro was saying is this: "I can't communicate well enough to persuade the student to buy proper "lesson-taking" etiquette."

You can be the best in the world at anything, but if you cannot persuade people to buy into your expertise, it is of no use.

Yet another conversation with yet another pro went like this...

I was sharing with him that I strongly encourage students to bring their thumbdrives so that I can record a summary of the lesson for them to bring home and study.

The experienced pro told me that if I were to do this, the student would then know all my "secrets" and never come back!

Wow...was I scared at this revelation? Heaven forbid!

First of all, when I started teaching, my goal was always to teach students to teach themselves.

If we accomplish that together, then the student ought to have a helluva game based on the untenable principles of physics and geometry. When that happens, his playing partners will take notice and ask "What did you do to your golf? It has improved so much."

The power of 3...if that same student told his 3 playing partners who each then told 3 more friends about me, then suddenly, I would have 15 new students. This is the power of word-of-mouth marketing and it is the most credible one there is.

Secondly, I have spent 10 years studying golf swing theory, owning and reading all the golf books worth having. I have spent the last 5 of those 10 years seriously studying The Golfing Machine by Mr. Homer Kelley. I can quote the book chapter and verse - that is how intense my studies were.

Does anyone seriously think:

1) I am able to share all that I know in the span of 3 days (let alone 1 hour!)?
2) They can absorb all that I know in that little "thumbdrive" summary?

Let me put it this way, I can tell you the 45 things that I look for in analyzing a student's swing. I doubt you will even understand what they mean, much less use it. Here they are:

Section 1 - Preliminary Address
1. Stance - Balance
2. Ball Position

Section 2 - Impact Fix
3. Grip - Flying Wedges
4. Clubface Alignment
5. Approach Arc / Angle
6. Right Forearm Position
7. Clubshaft Alignments
8. Extensor Action

Section 3 - Adjusted Address
9. Practice Swing - Rhythm
10. Waggle - Alignments
11. Waggle - Pressure Points
12. Waggle - Hinge Action
13. Forward Press - Clear Right Hip

Section 4/5 - Backstroke
14. Extensor Action
15. Start Up - Line
16. Start Up - L/R Wrist Conditions
17. Right Forearm Takeaway

Section 6 - The Top
18. Extensor Action - Waggle
19. Sweet Spot Loading - Lag
20. Delivery Line Prep
21. Delivery Line Uncocking Prep
23. Right Forearm Position
24. Clear Right Hip

Section 7 - Start Down
25. Extensor Action - Rhythm
26. Aiming Point - Lag
27. Full Lever Assembly Prep
28. Left Wrist Position

Section 8 - Downstroke
29. Extensor Action
30. Aiming Point - Lag
31. Left Wrist Position
32. Delivery Line
33. Right Elbow Position
34. Rhythm

Section 9/10/11 - Impact
35. Right Elbow Position
36. Approach Arc/Angle - Lag
37. On Line Uncocking
38. On Line Release Swivel
40. Extensor Action

Section 12 - Finish
41. Finish Swivel
42. Left Wrist Alignment
43. Hand Location
44. Clubshaft Position
45. Balance - Body Position

Do keep in mind that this process of analysing does not take me more than 30 seconds...yes, these 45 things are in my head. They are what I am looking at in a student's swing, not some silly B.S like a straight / not straight left arm.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Golfing Machine Swing

The simplicity of a golf swing built upon the principles of physics and geometry as outlined by The Golfing Machine.

1) Set your Flying Wedges
2) Take the hands up-and-down the Plane
3) Add a Hinge Action

That is as simple or as difficult as it is.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Instructional Brochure

Kuala Lumpur Golf Fest '07

On the 14th of April '07, Justin Tang conducted an exhibition for Nickent Golf at the KL Golf Fest, renowned to be one of the largest golf equipment exhibitions / demos in the region.

Golf Asia Carnival at Sembawang Country Club

The 6-8th of April marked the official opening of Grand Bigwin at the Sembawang Country Club. Over this 3 days, Justin Tang conducted 9 clinics for junior, beginner and advanced golfers as well as a daily hour long seminar about the principles of The Golfing Machine. Here are some photos of the event.

Friday, April 27, 2007

6 Things for Golfing Consistency

There are three things that you have to have in a golf swing if you want to be a consistent player. We call these the Essentials...There are another three things you have to do if you want to be a consistently GOOD player. These are the Imperatives.

These things DO NOT include:

- Keeping the left arm straight - great move for hitting it shorter and reverse pivoting

- "Releasing" - release what and how?

- Keeping the head down - David Duval and Annika Sorenstam swivel their heads at impact

- Keeping the eyes on the ball - again David Duval and Annika Sorenstam do not look at the ball at impact

- Weight transfer - transfer via which mechanism?

- Swinging "down the line" - down which line?

- "Coiling" the upper body against the lower body on the backstroke - no wonder so many golfers have bad backs

- Leading the downstroke with the lower body - a cause of fat shots

- Using the "big muscles" of the body - how do you define "big muscles"? The gluteas are a pretty big group - they are your ass muscles.

- Not using the "big muscles" of the body

- Using the hands

- Not using the hands - how do you not use your hands in the golf swing when they are the very things that hold onto the golf club?

- Staying behind the ball - good news for you, when you setup to the driver, you are already BEHIND the ball.

- Using a "relaxed swing" - define "relaxed"? Number of muscle fibers recruited?

- Play by "feel" - playing by feel without understanding the correct mechanical motion that produced that feel will lead to inconsistency

- Play by being "mechanical" - being mechanically minded on the course gives you "paralysis by analysis"

- "Neutral" grip - a grip is "neutral" only if it hits the ball straight. David Duval, Fred Couples, Corey Pavin and Paul Azinger all have their own "neutral" grips. All are Major winners

- Stance - Lee Trevino stood "open" to the target while Arnold Palmer stood "closed". Both are multiple Major winners.

- Address and Posture - all the pros cited above all have vastly different looking setups

There is a saying, ask 10 golf pros about the golf swing and you will get 15 answers. Surely there must be a universally correct answer isn't there? The good news is that there is and that answer is found in science.

Collectively, these 6 things can be found in all of the great golfers, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus et al. All of them utilize different grips, swinging procedures, address positions, postures, plane angles, yet they do these 6 things over and over again.

What are these 6 things?

These 6 things are the TRUE fundamentals of golf.

What I have learnt in 2 years of teaching

Manage the student's expectations - Underpromising what they can achieve and helping them overachieve will lead to many a happy student.

The right concepts will breed the right action - Take time out to explain to students simply the rationale for what you are teaching. Right thoughts - right words - right actions - right habits - right (golfing) destiny.

Always be accessible - My personal service standards is to return every call and text message by 2 hours and every email by 24 hours. If you do not have time for your students - trust me - someone else will.

Expain what they feel and what they actually do is different - This is an illusion in learning that must be recognized early on to prevent time wasting and frustration. Do not overexplain the obvious (what they are doing wrong) and underexplain what they should be doing and how to do it.

Use feedback - As a corollary to the above, you need to use mirrors, training aids, cameras etc to show student where they have gone wrong. Simply telling them what they are doing wrong will not allow it to be REGISTERED in their minds.

If they cannot walk, they most certainly cannot run - If they cannot chip, they will have no chance at pitching and full swings. A 20 yard chip is simply a 20 yard drive. The underlying fundamentals are the same - impact position, on plane ness etc. The only reason they look different is due to shaft length, ball position etc.

The difference between learning and mastery - on the practice tee, they will learn something from the instructor but whether they can master and make it their own is entirely up to them.

Learning golf is a process, not a miracle - The instructor will teach them what ought to happen in a golf stroke. For what is in the head to manifest in action will take some time. That is where drills will come in handy.

Keep statistics and teach students how to - Keeping track of stats will allow you and your student to pinpoint what is wrong with their game. Simply saying: "I want to be better" is too vague. Statistics will tell you for example that it is their drives that are putting them where their second shots are too difficult to get on in regulation and not actually their iron game.

The learning / teaching dynamic - The instructor informs and explains, the student absorbs and applies. If the student is not improving from lesson to lesson then it can be one of the below:

1. You are giving the wrong information.
2. You are giving the right information, but the student misinterpreted.
3. The student can't be bothered.

Learning never stops - You must always seek to learn more. Since you call yourself a professional, then you must embody that position by seeking to add more and more to your existing body of knowledge. Read, watch tapes, visit the GREATS etc...don't despise the information that 'unknowns' offer to you. Somewhere down the road, one of your students may need that information.

Be people conscious - You need to distinguish from prospects, suspects and clients. The client is the one who puts the butter on your bread, so always keep that in mind and treat them as such. A "thank you for coming" doesn't cost you anything and will earn you referrals. Spend some time on prospects so that they can go through the experience. Then word of mouth will happen. Beware of suspects who just want to take up your time for free. You tend to them only when free. Remember - you have to pay the bills too.

Give all you got - I never withold information from students. I want them to leave the nest so to speak. If they can learn all that you have to teach, great. Because it means that if they apply the information correctly, they will be a heck of a good player and they will not be able to help but preach how good an instructor you are. Clients don't care how much you know, they want to know how much you care about helping them improve. Then the money will flow in.

Share with others - The more you share the knowledge that someone else imparted to you, the more knowledge will come back to you.

Credit where it is due - Give recognition to those who imparted to you. Never forget where you came from.

Practice Makes Perfect

Golfers understand that practice makes perfect and that is only telling half the story.
Practice makes perfect whatever you are practicing, good or bad.

Your mind has no way of knowing whether what you are doing is right or wrong unless you have the correct technical information and have some sort of feedback mechanism to show you what you are exactly doing. What you feel and what you do is VERY VERY different.

A lot of people get worse with more practice because they are practicing everything that is wrong! You can say that their mistakes are getting better with each practice session. Therefore a caveat should always be attached to 'practice makes perfect'.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Crocodile Stuff...

You can purchase Crocodile apparel at:

#01-00, Crocodile House, 3 Ubi Ave 3, Singapore 408857Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9am - 7pm, Sat: 9am - 2pm, Sun/PH: Closed Tel/Fax: 6840-2181

#02-237/238 pt Vivocity ,1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585Opening hours: Mon-: 11am - 9pm Tel: 6376-9068 Fax: 6376-9068 #01-153/155, Suntec City Mall, 5 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983Opening hours: 11am - 9pm Tel/Fax: 6337-1980

#02-35, Centrepoint Shopping Centre, 176 Orchard Road, Singapore 238843Opening hours: 11am - 9pm Tel/Fax: 6235-6939

#01-71/72, Parkway Parade, 80 Marine Parade Road, Singapore 449269Opening hours: 11am - 9pm Tel/Fax: 6348-2820

#02-01, Jurong Point Shopping Centre,1 Jurong West Central 2, Singapore 648886Opening hours: 11am - 9pm Tel/Fax: 6862-0834

#01-29, West Mall Shopping Center, No 1 Bukit Batok Central Link, Singapore 658713Opening hours: 11am - 9pm Tel/Fax: 6794-2960

#01-07/08 Tekka Mall, 2 Serangoon Road Singapore 218227Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 11.30am - 9.30pm, Fri-Sun: 11am - 10pm Tel/Fax: 6297-3370
...and at Leading Departmental Stores
Takashimaya Departmental Store, Robinsons, Robinsons Raffles City and Isetan Scotts.

The 4 Stages Of Learning Golf

Everyone knows that before one can run, one must first be able to crawl and walk. So why is it that people leave that logic behind when it comes to golf?

Just go to any range in Singapore or around the world for that matter. You will be hard pressed not to find a poor soul practicing his full swing in the mistaken notion that his blood, sweat and tears will lead him to the holy grail of golfing consistency.

The biggest myth in golf is that practice leads to perfection. Practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent your motion – whether good or bad. You keep doing what you always did; you will keep getting what you always got.

If you can’t control the club over 4 feet in a chip shot, you will have no chance with a driver swing that travels over 22 feet. As a blind mouse gets some cheese occasionally, so will you get that rare “pro style” drive. Your consistency is your inconsistency.

The next time you get your ass to the range, remember that there are 4 stages to learning a golf stroke and they cannot be done out of sequence.

1) Chip
2) Pitch
3) Pitch with a finish
4) Full Swing

Asia's First and Only No-Results-Money-Back-Guarantee

We are so confident about our system that we back it with Asia's FIRST and ONLY No-Results-Money-Back-Guarantee.

What does that mean to you?

If you do not:

1) Hit the ball better;
2) Gain a better understanding of your golf swing;
3) Improve from lesson to lesson...

We will refund you your lesson fees with no hard feelings - hey, we will still be friends.
The day we stop giving students the results they crave for is the day we stop teaching golf.
Just do as you are taught according to scientifically verified principles and results will be forthcoming.

We won't give you any B.S reason for why you are not improving. Some B.S reasons are:

1) Your head is moving;
2) Your left arm is not straight;
3) You have no coordination...

Cop-outs in my opinion. A nice and seemingly logical shift of responsibility for the instructor's ineptitude. I have been playing golf for 20 years now, and I have heard enough B.S to fill up a book! This has to stop!

If you absorb and apply what is being taught and do not get results, we will not hesitate to refund you your fees. That's about as strong a statement as we can make.

Think about it this way, when you go to the supermarket and buy some apples only to realise that they are infested with worms, do you not take them back to the store for an exchange or refund? We believe the same thing should happen with golfing instruction.

The reason that bad golfing instruction is being perpetuated is because YOU, the consumer feeds it! How do you know you are getting bad golf instruction?

When your pro cannot give you a valid reason for what he is asking you to do.

"Just do as I say" simply doesn't cut it...its insulting your intelligence and covering up their ignorance. You are better off saving that money and staying at home to watch grass grow...

Student Testimonials

These are just some of the many unsolicited emails from the students who have worked with Justin and / or participated in the clinics he has conducted. Yes, we actually get results.

"I was struggling with my lack of distance off the tee. I worked with Justin for 2 weeks solid in California doing nothing but pitching and working on alignments. The first drive I hit after 2 weeks, it went 25 yards past my usual weak shots. Thanks!"

John Rios,
Mission Viejo, California

"...Spent a day at Eagle Glen Golf Club down in Corona, California with Justin "Little Chuck" Tang. In 5 minutes, he explained what I was doing wrong and corrected it. My next round, I played 3 strokes less than my average!"

John Miramontes,
Menifee, California

After receiving 2 Simple and Scientific way of chipping lessons within two weeks from Justin. My scores dropped from 90 to 86. It further dropped to 84 after a third lesson. I have determined and hope to drop my handicap to below 10 with further lessons from Justin. Scored 86 on Bukit Course and 84 on New Course

Thank you.
Yours Sincerely
Aaron Chiang

“You did a great job teaching this left handed beginner. I understand what I need to do now and look forward to seeing you the next time you return to California.”

Phil Jones,
Bake, California

“Hi Justin, just wanted to let you know that I got my first eagle this morning. Now my friends want to learn from you as well.”

Sam Tso

“You make learning the golf swing easy. Instead of bad shots, now I hit them straighter and further after learning the proper impact alignments.”

James Hawkins,
Garden Grove, California

“My 9 iron is now going where my 7 iron used to go. Not bad for a 54 year old.”

John Smithson,
Trabuco, California

“One “secret” tip from Justin was all it took. Now my shots resemble F-14s taking off!”

Jason Fermo,
San Diego, California

“If the idea of adding 15-20 yards on your drives appeals to you, then Justin is the man you should see.”

Adrien Malamitsas,
Mesa, Arizona

“Shot a personal best of 38- 2 over par for nine holes at Seletar!”

Greg Choong

“Can I exchange my certificate for yours??”

Denny Alberts, Class ‘A’ USPGA Professional,
Tucson, Arizona

“Justin is clear in explaining why certain things workand why others don't. His teaching methods includecolourful analogies and visuals - the key to impartinga lasting impression when we are talking about acomplex motion like the golf swing. They help me toremember certain important positions when I practice. His instruction is predicated on science, nothingwill go wrong if you execute accordingly, in factyou'll end up playing like a machine and enjoying thegame more than you do now. I know I am. “

Alex Yeoh

“I am now hitting my driver 50-80 yards further than before. From a fader to a consistent draw, and we have not even worked on the full swing!”

Anthony Antakusuma
Jakarta, Indonesia

“I was greatly impressed by Justin’s knowledge and understanding of the golf swing. What I have learnt from him is still so clear as a picture in mind. Thanks Justin for all that you shared with me. It was invaluable and has been proved in my performance so far.”

Chiragh Kumar
New Delhi, India

2006 South Indian Amateur Open Champion
2006 Malaysian Amateur Open Runner-Up
2006 Singapore Amateur Open Champion

“…things are very much clearer and the fog is far lesser than before. The 7th of Oct was a wonderful day for me and it was so nice to have the opportunity to discuss things in the book and actually see how they are applied. I hope I can now get my students improve better and quicker.”

Vikram Sethi
New Delhi, India
GSEB, Class ‘A’ Indian PGA, Coach of the 2006 Indian Asian Games Squad

“Played yesterday. Drove the ball very well using the “Hello” drill. Irons, I am beginning to compress the ball by leaning the shaft forward at impact. Is there anything else or drill that I can use?”

Andrew Kwong
Hong Kong

“Dear Justin

Want to relate my weekend game last sat... After practicing the on plane pitching action with only sand wedge, I proceeded with caution to my regular sat foursome.

But no need to fear. Awesome results! Shot an easy 80 at Kranji. Never have I been able to hit a 3 wood off the turf so consistently and accurately. And my pitched 3 wood went further than “normal” due to flushed contact with clubhead lag! The sound coming off some of my irons were pure. Also the in to out path stroke makes ‘over the top’ impossible to achieve.

Now if I can only get to the full swing!. Golf nirvana beckons haha”

Patrick Seow

“Hi coach, just want to share that I won the monthly medal with a score of 48 Stableford points, 8 pars and 2 birdies – its nuts for a 24 handicap. Score was 85, I could do no wrong! You are instrumental for this, thanks.”

Lionel Ho