For quite a while now I have been asked in personal messages and so forth to recommend drills for improving people's golf swings. I've never been much of a "drill guy" except that in the 90's I became fascinated by Paul Bertholy and his static hold drills. I thought Bertholy was a genius. Still do. These were basically like dynamic holds of various positions in the golf swing and I actually pointed to some of those positions and demonstrated them in the original Sevam1 videos on YouTube. If I were to describe Bertholy's approach I would call it a static, macro or whole body approach to positions and drills. These were essentially dynamic tension exercises tailored to Bertholy's informed vision of the golf swing. He was revolutionary and largely ignored. A shame, that is.
Recently, as you know from my last post, I began to prepare for spring by getting out some of my old exercise gear. Peculiar stuff like a 10 pound sledge, a 4 pound two sided hammer, an old Accuform lead swing weight that I extended and mounted off center to more closely simulate the balance of a club head but take it to the extreme and the chunk of broom handle turned into a wrist roller. The 10 pound sledge I use for left arm deltoid lifts and the little hammer for strengthening the left forearm. I will be filming some of these exercises next week and I will also be showing you how to make one of those broom handle wrist rollers for yourself and show you what to do with the remainder of the broom ;-)
The one drawback that always concerned me with the Bertholy positions and the reason that I was hesitant to put people (especially beginners) onto them is that because of the macro nature of the holds, if you got them a little bit wrong you actually risked doing far more harm than good. Effectively you would ingrain a fault if you did not get the position precisely right. Enter Paul Kopp. Paul went the other way. He went micro with the drills. His take...identify each little movement and assign a drill to ingrain it. To me from an improvement without risking going the other way standpoint this represents an incredible approach. When I first was introduced to it I thought...."This is like Bertholy but with very little chance of getting it wrong." They only thing the golfer needs to add is some diligence and perseverance and perseverance is the next thing that I want to talk about.
A little over a week ago Tiger Woods won his first Tour event in one heck of a long time. I just want to point out a few things about that. First, Tiger has made over his swing and won with 3 different instructors. More than 3 actually but we'll just leave it at the 3 recent notables, Harmon, Haney and Foley. What is so impressive to me is how willing Tiger is to make wholesale change in his swing. Faldo did it once with Leadbetter on watch and that took some guts but not the kind of guts that Tiger's moves have required primarily because Faldo was just never under the kind of scrutiny that Woods has had to endure whenever he makes a change. I've never been a big fan of the Leadbetter recipe, but he must be one heck of a motivator and clearly he's got an eye for golf swings. Faldo never got the kind of smash on the thing that I think he could have had but he sure did hit some good positions and played with remarkable control. Perhaps that is what he was shooting for and if so he hit the mark. His record as a player is incredible so you'd have to be crazy to come down hard on any part of his game.
The point here is that Faldo persevered. He saw something that he wanted in terms of his golf swing and he went after it...undeterred. Tiger has done the same thing and under enormous pressure and undue scrutiny. The bottom line is that whether Sean Foley is the next best thing since sliced bread doesn't matter. He might be, he might not. What's important is that Woods was not afraid to go all in with Foley. Sometimes putting the blinders on is what you have to do. Just go whole hog down one road and do not deviate. That is a quality that few people in golf have. That is why the "TIP" is so popular in golf. Tips are for waiters! Forget tips. Find something to shoot for and persevere.
Next week I will begin to film again....The weather is finally good. I may even see if I can get Cameraman to swing round for a visit to man the camera. I'll show you some exercises and I will also show you some of the Bertholy positions that I practiced. I think that this will be a great supplement to the sequence videos that Elk did with Jennifer Klein and Trent Dilfer. I am also hopeful that they will help supplement the efforts that some of you will be making to master The Sequence as outlined in our most recent video release. In any case it is our hope here to help golfers of all levels improve.
I'm not telling you to run out and buy The Sequence, although that would certainly be good both for us and for your golf game, but I am telling you that at a certain point if a golfer wants to get better a golfer has to go ALL IN with something. What I like is the idea of starting with something small that you know is leading somewhere. You do not have to get good in a day and in fact you can't. Give yourself time. Stick with it! Put in the reps and enjoy the journey and someday someone will ask you how you got so good. You can tell them "I believed in something, I got good information and I persevered." You can tell them with pride that you dug it out of the dirt like everyone else who ever got great!!
Hit em straight,