We might sound like a broken record but if you have old equipment in your bag, that right there could be the very reason why your game isn’t living up to its full potential. We’ve shared different types of tests to show the difference between modern clubs and their predecessors and we’re back with another one, but this is a rather extreme example.
In the video above, Director of Teaching Quality, Patrick Nuber has two drivers on the tee box- a modern driver and one a real GOLFTEC Student brought into a club fitting. The face of this funky looking driver isn’t much bigger than a golf ball, so any mishit would be catastrophic. Now, we understand the vast majority of golfers aren’t going to have antiques like this on hand but the fact that one GOLFTEC Student did, probably means they’re not alone.
Obviously, this extraordinary driver is an extreme example and of course, when put head-to-head against a modern driver, the outcome should come as no surprise to anyone. But even if you’re playing with equipment that’s 5-10 years old, there’s room for improvement.
So when Patrick actually put the clubs to the test, he saw huge increases in ball speed and carry distance. Like I said earlier, no one should be shocked by these results. However, these types of gains aren’t unique to really old clubs. Students who come in for a driver fitting with a club that’s only a few years old can see similar numbers.
It’s not necessarily the advancements in the technology that’s responsible for all of the gains alone, but fine-tuning the equipment is extremely important as well.
The bottom line, if you’re playing with anything remotely close to that odd-looking driver in the video above, you need to find a GOLFTEC ASAP and get fit for a driver that will help you on the golf course. But it any case, if your driver is just a couple years old, it never hurts to come in and make sure you’re not leaving any distance on the table due to your old or ill-fit equipment.
Sean Denning is a current Student at GOLFTEC Omaha and is the author of a blog called Par Machine. He has been playing golf for 20 years and began the 2020 season with a 3.3 handicap, and his goal is to become a scratch as he continues to work with his Coach, Jamie.
By Sean Denning
My 2019 season was a frustrating one. My handicap got as high as 4.2, and I had very little control of the golf ball. I tried making adjustments on my own to no avail. Sometimes I thought I had found a solution, only to lose it the next round. So as planned, I took five lessons from GOLFTEC in December.
This would actually be my third set of lessons from GOLFTEC. My first GOLFTEC lesson was in 2007, and what initially drew me to them was in their name – the technology. Lessons I had taken before then mostly consisted of standing on the range, hitting a few balls, listening to the instructor’s assessment, and attempting to make whatever change he suggested. But since I couldn’t see the problem I was trying to fix, making improvements was difficult.
Using a simulator was a pretty new experience to me in 2007. I had used them when trying out new clubs at golf shops, but those machines seemed wildly inaccurate in a lot of cases. Although it seems pretty common for instructors to use simulators now, my initial lessons at GOLFTEC were my first exposure to accurate shot data. The information about my swing path, clubface angle, and shot patterns was enlightening. But that was just the beginning of the data.
GOLFTEC makes extensive use of video. Not just occasionally, but for every swing during a lesson or practice session, both face-on and down-the-line. I could see the problems with my swing, pause the video, click forward and backward frame-by-frame, and draw lines to evaluate each swing against the positions my coach was having me work on.
I could even see a side-by side comparison of my swing to a PGA tour pro when my coach wanted to better illustrate how to execute a move. Video and notes from each lesson are saved to an online account for easy review later. I still have access to records from most of my lessons, and an image from one of my 2013 videos is below.
You can see the body position sensors in that photo. It’s a pretty simple setup: straps that go around the waist and chest with a monitor on a tripod. But I had no idea what the numbers for hip sway, shoulder tilt, hip turn, shoulder tilt, and shoulder bend were about. My coach told me how my positions compared to better amateur and professional golfers and used them to help decide what I needed to work on.
GOLFTEC has even more of this data now. Here’s what their website has to say about their motion study and how they use it:
“We sampled 48 different body motions from over 13,000 golfers of all abilities to create the GOLFTEC SwingTRU Motion Study. Through our findings we have identified key body positions within the swing that directly correlate to a player’s handicap – conclusive evidence providing further insight into the golf swing and a golfer’s most efficient methods to improve.”
This technology made GOLFTEC different from lessons I had taken in the past, and it produced results for me where the other lessons had fallen short.
I wasn’t tracking my handicap before my GOLFTEC lessons in 2007, but it was probably around 5. After those lessons, I had the best summer of golf that I can remember playing up to that point. I was regularly shooting in the mid-70s and even posted a 71 on a course with a 71.2/123 rating. I also started keeping a handicap, which got down to 3.
Unfortunately, despite my progress, I didn’t play much from 2008-2012. I kept busy with my engineering studies and student organizations, working part-time during school, then transitioning to a full-time career, getting married, etc. But when I decided I wanted to get back into golf, I knew exactly how to get my game in shape: GOLFTEC.
I had two pretty ambitious goals when I took my second set of lessons from GOLFTEC in 2013: I wanted to be a scratch golfer, and I wanted to play well in competitions.
After spending the 2013-2014 off-season working on my swing, I started playing in competitions in 2014. As the swing changes started taking effect, my handicap began dropping slowly. But the difference in my tournament performance was much more dramatic.
Before, I could play well during casual rounds, but my scores skyrocketed under pressure. This problem was particularly frustrating when I played high school golf. I posted good scores in practice, but my tournament scores were almost always disappointing.
After the GOLFTEC lessons, I was still as nervous as ever playing in tournaments, but somehow my swing seemed to hold up better. I could actually play to my handicap in competition! In fact, some of my best rounds in 2014-2017 came during tournaments. This experience was totally new to me. I didn’t understand until after I had improved that although my previous swing flaws were manageable during casual play, my swing would break down under pressure.
My handicap didn’t make it down to scratch though. It almost got there in 2016 when it hit a low of 0.3, but then it bounced up again and has hung around 3 since 2017.
So I’m back for another attempt at my goal of playing scratch golf. And my first lesson back at GOLFTEC in December of 2019 was as eye-opening as ever. I came into the lesson frustrated with my game and completely baffled about what was causing my scores to rise.
It only took my coach a couple of minutes to diagnose the main issue. I probably spent more than a whole season trying to figure it out myself, and just like that, I had an answer (which is not to say that I was instantly able to implement the solution, but at least I knew what it was). I should have gone in sooner.
There area lot of things the PGA Tour pros do that have us weekend warriors watching in pure envy. Like laser-accurate approach shots and finding the bottom of the cup from 10-feet away with ease. But maybe one of the things we’re the most jealous of comes from their tee shots. The amount of power these guys generate with their drivers is absolutely insane but not impossible for amateurs to achieve.
If there are two Tour players we could look to for advice on hitting the ball a million miles, it’d be Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy. They are are some of the longest hitters on Tour and it’s not by chance. Each do very unique things throughout their swings to create power and obliterate the ball.
Looking at DJ, in the backswing, he has a pretty dramatic change in knee flex to help increase his hip and shoulder turn. This will generate a lot of power into the downswing. Switching gears and looking at Rory, he produces a massive amount of power after he hits the ball. This happens in the follow-through, he’ll straighten his knees as much as he can and begin to bend himself backward. This aids Rory in his swing speed and momentum.
Both of these moves separately will create a great amount of power and will help increase distance off of the tee but combining them will generate the kind of speed and power you’ve been missing. Of course, integrating anything new into your swing will feel odd at first but after a little time and practice, you’ll be smashing your driver just like DJ and Rory.
We all know that stinging gut feeling when your ball finds the sand instead of the wide-open green. But what’s even worse is when you walk up and see your ball dug into the sand resembling a breakfast item, the horrid fried egg.
If you’ve ever experienced this, you know all of the thoughts that come rushing into your brain after seeing your ball- ‘well there goes my shot at par,’ ‘I hope I can manage a bogey out of this,’ ‘please only take one try to get out.’
However, discovering your ball plugged in the sand isn’t an automatic death sentence to your round. There are ways to successfully escape the bunker and still have a shot at par. Director of Teaching Quality, Patrick Nuber is sharing those tips with us.
Obviously, the last thing you’re going to want to do is to walk up to your ball and just start whacking at it. That’s how the big numbers start. Instead, you’ll need to observe the area just like you would on any other shot. In the example Nuber shows in the video above, the landing area towards the pin is limited. So rather than going for the flag, aiming for the middle of the green is the smartest choice.
Now that we have an exit strategy, executing the shot is next. Since a plugged lie deals with much more sand than a traditional bunker shot, you’ll have to dig a little bit.
Take your normal bunker address position and then open up the clubface of your wedge quite a bit. This is going to give you the best chance at getting a hold of the entire ball and hopefully gives the ball a shot at stopping quickly once it’s out of the sand and on the green.
The final part of the execution of a plugged lie comes from the swing itself. This shot requires a steep angle of attack and a pretty big swing. Even if you have a short distance to carry, you want to take a big backswing and then on the downswing, imagine digging the leading edge of your wedge into the sand behind the ball. You’ll want to continue with the same speed and power as you follow through, that’ll help pop the ball up and out.
No one likes discovering their ball buried in the sand but with the help of these tips, you should be able to easily escape any plugged lie with confidence.
By CJ Perry
The dreaded bunkers, also known as sand traps, can be very challenging. But if you know how to play these shots using the proper clubs and techniques, it can make them much easier to attack and get the ball out on the first attempt. As a former GOLFTEC Coach, I would frequently help my Students with both fairway and greenside bunker shots. Each is very different and utilizes different clubs and skills. Understanding how to play these shots can make bunkers much easier and less intimidating.
Below are several drills and tips we’ve featured on the Golf Channel that’ll help you understand the proper strategy to get out of the bunkers so you don’t have to waste several shots on the beach.
If you want to check out some more great tips like these, click here to watch all of our Golf Channel segments.
By CJ Perry
Hip and shoulder turn throughout the golf swing has been a debated topic among golf instructors and coaches for a long time. At GOLFTEC, we’ve been able to gather data from thousands of golfers to help us become more knowledgeable about what better players are doing in their turns versus higher handicap golfers. As a former GOLFTEC Coach, I’ve seen how important the hip and shoulder turns are for the swing path, swing speed, and ball striking. As we all know, these elements are pretty crucial to be able to develop a better player.
Below are several tips and drills we’ve featured on the Golf Channel that’ll help you understand how the hips and shoulders should be turning throughout the golf swing.
If you want to check out some more great tips like these, click here to watch all of our Golf Channel segments.