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".

System Upgrade

Justin Tang Golf will be upgrading its teaching software and hardware in the next 2 weeks.

Students can expect to have their swings analyzed in greater detail with a brand new swing analysis software.

They will also be able to see themselves swing in REAL TIME either face-on or down-the-line.
This is truly an industry first and for once you will be able to see what you think you are doing - something very vital in learning!

Also, JTG will be switching to the revolutionary Mac watch this space.

Errors, Extremes and Exclusions

All error is truth taken to extremes or the exclusion of other evidence.

Traditional golf instruction has done just that...

When all you need is a slight weight shift to "ignite" the swing, they prescribe a SWAY.

When all you need is a slight rotation of the left forearm to ensure a proper rate of clubface closing on the follow through, they anoint it as the be-all-and-end-all of the golf swing.

When all you need is to some shoulder turn, they declare you a heretic if you dare turn less than 90 degrees.

Are you guilty of these perversions?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Principle of Exaggeration

The Principle of Exaggeration was used during these 2 lessons to create lag.
Lag is defined as a condition of trailing whereby the clubhead trails the hands.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Over The Top

Chuck Evans - Executive Director of Instruction - Medicus Golf Institute

The dreaded "over-the-top" move. A lot of golfers have this disease and unless they find the cure, they will be doomed in their pursuit of better golfing. I haven't found a single player yet that wants to have this move in their golf stroke!

Over-the-top is ALWAYS a faulty pivot motion. The shoulders turn too early, and off plane, in the start of the downstroke and as a result the arms and hands follow. Now the player is using a bent plane line instead of a straight one! The pivot should never do anything to disrupt the path of the hands!

From the top of the swing the hips MUST slide, very slightly, parallel to the delivery line while holding the shoulders back to start the downstroke. This allows the arms to drop.
Once the clubshaft gets to waist high in the downswing, then the right shoulder can turn along with the hands, arms, and hips. If done in this sequence, YOU CANNOT COME OVER-THE-TOP!

There are three distinctly different "Zones" that have to be trained individually but must work synchronous.
Zone #1 - Body - Provide balance throughout the swing.Zone #2 - Arms - Provide the speed and power of the swing.Zone #3 - Hands - Gives the shot direction.
If you're having balance problems work on your pivot. If you're having distance problems swing the arms faster, (in conjunction with your pivot). If you're having direction problems focus on your hands.

But remember, the hands are NOT educated until they control the pivot!Want more great tips from Chuck Evans? Buy his new book, How To Build Your Golf Swing. Click here to Order a copy of Chuck's New Book