GolfTEC Lesson 11

Last winter when I was out here in Phoenix I took 10 lessons from GolfTEC, which improved my golf game a lot. I had a free lesson from a referral and they offered me another free lesson because my coach moved on. So of course I took them up on the offer, especially since I’ve really been struggling with my game this year. The lesson was on Wednesday of this week.

Here’s a video of my swing at the start of the lesson.

Next is the video of a swing at the end of the lesson.

I had two 30 minute lessons, so I booked them together since I didn’t plan on signing up for more lessons. We were able to cover quite a bit in the hour and I’ve already started working on some of this stuff at the range. Here are the notes he wrote for me:

  • Grip: Not quite as much of a long left thumb. Somewhat is okay. Right hand crease in line with left hand crease.
  • Hands slightly ahead at address with your irons and the upper body tilted right.
  • Feel like the hands finish in front of the right hip pocket at the top with extension.
  • Low hands and high club head at the top.
  • Lower body engages earlier to stop your back swing.
  • On the down swing, the head should stay back behind the ball with the weight already back to the left….the left hip will rotate around the pivot point of a posting left leg.

Here is a video with thoughts from the instructor.

Below are a bunch of stills with audio to go with each of them.

I’ve always had a very “armsy” and “handsy” swing, which is inconsistent because it relies so much on timing. I’ve usually hit slices, but there are days when my timing is different and I’ll hit big draws. Other days it’s completely different from shot to shot. It’s a frustrating way to play golf.

While working on some of these changes today at the range a buddy gave me one of the best golf tips I’ve ever heard to fix this problem. I’ve taken lessons from 5 or 6 coaches in the last 12 years and none of them have been able to get me to understand the role the arms play in the golf swing. Today, a golfing buddy made it click for me.

He told me to feel like I’m hooding the face of the club (keeping it closed relative to my path) going back, which will keep my wrists and hands from getting too involved. It also helps my arms and chest move as one piece in the back swing and everything will be more on the target line. It’s one of the most awkward feelings in the world because I’ve been playing with my arms for so long, but it was feeling a bit better by the time I emptied a jumbo bucket of balls.

I’m excited to keep working on that because I think it has the potential to improve my game more than any change I’ve ever made. It also will prevent me from making such a long back swing because it’s impossible if the arms and chest are working together. I can’t wait to be dipping below 80 again because I’ve been getting a lot of 90+ scores so far this year.

GolfTEC Lessons are Worth Every Penny

GolfTECThree months ago I walked into the North Scottsdale Golfsmith and signed up for a lesson plan with GolfTEC. The package I bought included ten 30 minute lessons and 3 months worth of practice time. Each week I summarized the lesson and some of my progress:

Over the years I’ve taken golf lesson a couple of times. Nothing has improved my game like GolfTEC. It three months of work my 18 hole scoring average is two and a half strokes better than it was last year at this time. The results speak for themselves.

There are a few of things that make all of the difference for GolfTEC. Most important is their use of video combined with motion measurement. Feeling a golf swing can tell you a lot, but seeing an instant video playback and getting real numbers about your hip and shoulder positions at the 4 key points in the swing is invaluable.

Tour Averages

The second thing that’s great about GolfTEC is they focus on the fundamentals of a good golf swing. This comes back to the motion measurements. By measuring turn, tilt, and bend of the hips and shoulders at address, top, impact, and finish you can easily see how you compare to the averages of some of the top players in the world. Many other lessons will give you band-aids for your swing, which isn’t a good long-term solution to improving your game. Good fundamentals will create a repeatable and consistent golf swing.

One of the final pieces of the puzzle is that you get an account on the golftec.com where all of your lessons are uploaded and your instructor can share drills. You can review videos of your swing and even a lot of the commentary from the actual lesson. But that’s not all, you can download all of this content to your computer so that you have the media forever.

Now that I’m heading home to Michigan, I’m done with GolfTEC lessons for a while and it’s up to me to keep working on the changes. Overall my swing feels better than ever. I have better fundamentals, which makes for a more consistent swing. My misses are a lot better than they ever have been, allowing me to recover from a bad shot. I still need a lot of practice though. My short game has the most room for improvement and I’m confident I’ll be able to drop a couple more shots when I put in the practice.

GolfTEC may not be right for you, but I highly recommend them. If you’re going to take any lessons, make sure you can put in a significant amount of practice time in order to make changes. If you don’t have the time to work on your game, don’t waste your money on lessons, because you can’t change your golf swing in an hour a week.

If you decide to take golf lessons somewhere other than with GolfTEC, never take lessons that don’t include some type of video. A golf instructor can tell you all day long what your problems are, but until you see them for yourself, you probably won’t believe the instructor 100%. Complete belief in a the changes you’re trying to make is crucial, because we all know doubt is not good in the game of golf.

Good luck with your game! Leave a comment if you have any questions.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.

GolfTEC Lesson 10

My game feels better and better each week. Since lesson 9 I’ve been to the course for a few practice sessions working on my short game. Chipping and pitching still need a lot of work and I’ll need to put in some solid time to get more comfortable with the putting changes. Baby steps.

A lot of the changes to my swing have become natural. I no longer need to think about limiting my hip and shoulder turn on the back swing, which is something I’ve always struggled with. I could limit my shoulder turn even more, but it’s not too much of a turn to be a big concern when I have other pieces to work on.

Yesterday I had my 10th and final lesson inside GolfTEC. Below is my first swing during the lesson.

Here’s my swing at the end of the lesson.

My coach went over a couple of review points and some final keys to work on.

  • Imagine a box starting at the ankles and going straight up. At address the lower body should be relatively centered and the upper body tilted to the right. My lower body was leaning to the right with the upper body.
  • I started to sway to the right with my knees on the back swing again. Keep a stable lower body.
  • In order to keep from missing iron shots off the toe, get the hands ahead of the club more at impact. Make sure to rotate the wrists here to square the club face otherwise the ball can only go to the right. Short game work on keeping the hands ahead should help this.
  • Watch out for the cupped left wrist at the top of the back swing. This can lead to the slices with the driver.





In addition to yesterday’s lesson I went out and played 9 holes with my coach this morning. It was a casual round and not an official playing lesson or anything, but I was able to get some tips out on the course. It was the first time he was able to see my ball flight, so it was a great opportunity to learn even more. I had to wake up for a 6:45 tee time but it was well worth it.

  • With the driver I have a tendency to have my shoulders open at address. I can also have my feet aligned more to the right of where I think I’m aiming. These two things can lead to a slice or a double cross.
  • Make sure not to get flippy on chip and pitch shots.
  • Square the club face with shorter full shots like the wedges. I had short shot usually means the club face was open at impact.
  • When the ball is below the feet tendency is to have an open club face at impact. Closed club face when ball is above the feet. This is more the cause for hitting left or right than a slice/hook in those lies.

I really wish there was a GolfTEC in the Saginaw area so I could continue working with them this summer. It’s been great taking the lessons and now it’s up to me to put in the practice time when I get home.

Read my full review of GolfTEC lessons.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.

GolfTEC Lesson 9

My swing has been feeling good since lesson 8 and getting better each time I play or practice. I’ve been to the driving range a few times and it is really helping. I’ve also had a couple of hour practice sessions at GolfTEC. It’s still a work in progress, but I broke 80 twice in the last week so I must be doing something right.

On Tuesday I went to a free GolfTEC wedge clinic where they reinforced the fundamentals of chip and pitch shots. It was perfect timing and a nice refresher because yesterday I had an hour-long outdoor lesson in the short game area at a local course. We worked on chipping, pitching, finesse wedges, bunker shots, and putting. It was a packed hour! Here are some notes I took from the clinic and lesson.

Chipping

  • 0-20 yards to the pin.
  • Rolls more than it flies.
  • Ball back in stance, weight on left leg, shaft tilted to target so that hands are ahead of the club.
  • Match back swing and forward swing in speed and length.
  • Swing more in to out to help the ball pop up.
  • Only have the toe part of the sole on the ground (the point of the toe will work to part the turf which can come in handy with thicker grass), shaft more upright (still tilted forward though), and stand closer to the ball so it can be like a putting stroke.
  • Can hit off the toe of the club if need to deaden the shot and less roll out.
  • Can also play ball forward to get a higher shot, instead of back in the stance and produce less roll.
  • Try to take a divot right under the ball, sweeping through at a shallow angle instead of steep, but still have hands forward.
  • Determine % carry and % roll for each wedge and a basic length shot for each.
  • Ladder drill with clubs spaced out a yard or two apart. Land the ball between each one going out and then coming back to create feel for distances.
  • Put a poker chip or something similar on the green and try to land balls on it.

Pitching

  • 20-40 yards to pin.
  • Ball flies more than it rolls.
  • Use more body and some rotation compared to chipping.
  • Ball in the center of the stance.
  • Don’t have to open the stance to see more of the target like a lot of people like to, it’s a preference if you want to.
  • Determine % carry and % roll for each wedge for pitch shots of a basic length.
  • Ladder drill.
  • Phil’s “hinge and hold” method.
  • Always follow through longer than back swing was so that you don’t decel and come up short.

Finesse Wedge

  • 40-80 yards.
  • 1/2 and 3/4 swings with each wedge.
  • Similar fundamentals as pitch.
  • More body rotation.
  • Nice and smooth, don’t need to focus on power

Bunker Shots

  • Hit 2 inches behind the ball.
  • Club should travel 8 inches in the sand.
  • Don’t try to hit closer to the ball to change length of shot. Very difficult to do.
  • Don’t focus on the ball. Focus on the entry point in the sand.
  • 2 line drill. Make 2 lines 8 inches apart in the sand. Club should enter sand on back line and leave on front line. Don’t need to use a ball all the time with this drill.
  • Only use LW, SW, and GW/AW for green side bunker shots.
  • Can adjust length of shot by changing the wedge and length of the swing.

Putting

  • Stand closer to ball so that dropping a ball from eyes is on the putting line.
  • Shaft of putter more upright so that the toe of the putter isn’t off the ground. Shaft should be in line with forearms.
  • Put a CD on the ground and putt off of it so you can see if eyes are on the line.
  • Putt a poker chip to make sure the sole is going across ground and the toe isn’t pointing up in the air. If putter isn’t soled correctly, won’t be able to hit the poker chip with a solid hit.

One of my goals this year is to put in significant short game practice time and I have plenty of things here to work on. Determining carry/roll percentages and distances for my wedges with chips and putts will make a huge difference in my ability to get up and down. Right now I play the guessing game and am so inconsistent around the green because of it. With a couple of small changes to my putting technique I should be able to make more putts inside 15 feet.

Check out my 10th and final lesson.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.

GolfTEC Lesson 8

Yesterday was my eighth golf lesson. I had an hour-long practice session last Thursday to work on things from lesson 7 which went ok. I was able to get out for some golf on Saturday and Sunday but struggled with my contact. I kept hitting drives right into the ground. Here’s a video of my swing at the start of the lesson.

Next is a video of my swing at the end of the lesson.

While warming up I wasn’t making any swings similar to those on the course to show hitting the ball down into the ground, but I was hitting a lot of shots off the heel of the club. My instructor said if it was really off the heel, this could definitel cause the shots I had been hitting. During the lesson we worked on:

  • Choking up on the driver.
  • Lining up with the middle of the driver at the inside of the ball. At impact, the driver is off the ground, so the middle of the club has a different position.
  • Sweeping the ball off the tee with the driver instead of a steep angle of attack.
  • A drill of putting the club head cover next to the ball where the club shouldn’t hit it.

Here’s a bunch of other stuff from the lesson.

Look ahead to lesson 9.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.

GolfTEC Lesson 7

Yesterday was my seventh golf lesson. I had two good hour-long practice session on Thursday and Saturday to work on things from lesson 6 and was able to get out for some golf on Friday and Saturday. Here’s a video of my swing at the start of the lesson.

Next is a video of my swing at the end of the lesson.

I was disappointed to see that when we started the lesson on irons my hip tilt was still a little low. I had been doing great during my practice sessions, but I guess the pressure of doing it in front of my instructor gets to me a little. During the lesson we worked on:

  • More of the same from last week, but moved on to the driver, where my hip tilt really suffers. I need to create more hip tilt at impact.
  • More of a sweeping action at impart with the driver instead of coming down at the ball with a steep angle.
  • When my right foot comes off the ground before impact it decreases some of the hip tilt I’ve created by bumping my hips. I need to figure out how to keep that right foot down longer. I have no problems keeping it down while swinging very slow as practice, but can’t do it in a full speed swing.

Here’s a bunch of other stuff from the lesson.

Look ahead to lesson 8.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.

GolfTEC Lesson 6

Today was my sixth golf lesson. I had a good hour-long practice session on Thursday  to work on things from lesson 5 and was able to get out for a bunch of golf Saturday through today. Here’s a video of my swing at the start of the lesson.

Next is a video of my swing at the end of the lesson.

During the lesson we worked on:

  • Going back to keeping the upper body behind the ball in the back swing and through impact.
  • Create hip tilt at impart.

We’ve worked on the first thing before, so I just had to get back to doing what I had been for that. For the hip tilt, the focus was from the following drill.

Here’s a bunch of other stuff from the lesson.

Jump ahead to lesson 7 to see how things continued.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.

GolfTEC Lesson 5

Today was my fifth golf lesson. I had a couple of great hour-long practice sessions on Thursday and Saturday to work on things from lesson 4 and was able to get out for 36 holes of golf over the weekend. Last week’s changes developed a hook on about 30% of my iron shots, so fixing that was the focus of this week’s lesson. Here’s a video of my swing at the start of the lesson.

Next is a video of my swing at the end of the lesson.

During the lesson we worked on:

  • Extending my swing down the target line.
  • Exaggerate hands leading the club at impart; keep the club back.









Look ahead to lesson 6.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.

GolfTEC Tour Averages

A big part of lessons or a swing evaluation from GolfTEC is based on tour averages of measurements they’ve taken from over 150 players on the PGA, LPGA, and Senior PGA tours to find out what an ideal golf swing looks like. Here are the numbers the came up with for turn, tilt, and bend of the shoulders and hips at address, top of the swing, impact, and the finish position.

Tour Averages

Pretty interesting stuff and I think the numbers speak for themselves. If you can get your swing to a point where you are consistently recreating the positions of the best players in the world, you’ll play better golf.

GolfTEC Lesson 4

Today was my fourth golf lesson. I had a couple of great hour-long practice sessions on Thursday and Saturday to work on things from lesson 3 and was able to get out for 27 holes of golf over the weekend. Here’s a video of my swing at the start of the lesson.

Next is a video of my swing at the end of the lesson.

This video has a bit of commentary from my instructor.

In the lesson we worked on:

  • Standing further away from the ball.
  • Keeping my left wrist flat at the top of the back swing.
  • Not letting the hands get too close to the body at impact.

I’m still feeling really good about all of the changes. As you can see in these videos and pictures, my shoulders are still rotating too much on the back swing. I think this weeks changes will be the toughest to get used to out of everything we’ve been working on so far. Keeping my left wrist flat at the top of the swing feels really weird now, but I should be able to get the hang of it after a couple of practice sessions.

Look ahead to see lesson 5.

If this info was helpful to you and you end up working with GolfTEC, give them my name and I’ll receive a free lesson.