Category Archives: brilliant ideas

Golf Research

If you start poking around on the Internet, you can find fascinating articles about golf that are not written by golf experts like me, or teaching pros who do the best they can.

I mean articles published in academic journals investigating golf to find out what is really true and what is just inherited wisdom. You might have some fun with this list of articles. I do.

These papers are written in a standard format. I suggest you read the abstract, introduction, discussion, conclusion, and that you browse the references to find articles that might interest you on this subject. The section on methodology is of no concern unless you want to evaluate the study or reproduce it, and the analysis can be quite technical.

Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse?

Work and Power Analysis of the Golf Swing

The lumbar spine and low back pain in golf: a literature review of swing biomechanics and injury prevention

Assessing Golf Performance Using Golfmetrics

Equitable Handicapping in Golf

Training in Timing Improves Accuracy in Golf

(These articles were accessed in August 2017.)

Start poking round yourself. Go here and enter keywords that interest you. You will be amazed at what you find.

Your Golf Scoring Potential

Sometime in August I will be releasing my next golf opus, Bob’s Living Golf Book. It will be posted as a .pdf with links to illustrative videos. Until that happens, I’m going to post a few excerpts from it in this space to generate your enthusiasm. Here’s one about finding out how good you are/could be.

Play a round where you can hit a mulligan whenever you make a seriously bad shot. Pick up your first shot and play your mulligan. By doing this, you get rid of your bad shots and play a round with only the average or better ones. The score you get is an indication of your scoring potential.

You might be surprised at how low a score is within your reach. A round like this makes clear what improvements are needed to shoot a score like that for real.

If a particular mulligan isn’t much better than your first shot, you need to work on that particular shot. If your mulligans are generally much better, you need to learn to hit your second shot first. That is a matter of gaining confidence in what you do.

Note: When I say “seriously bad”, I mean it. The more honest you are with your mulligans the more information this experiment will give you.

A Few Short Golf Quotes

This week’s post is a collection of golf quotes I have lying around. I was trying to think of what to do with them, and I decided I’ll just put them in a post and let them speak for themselves.

—–

“Teeing off with a 3-wood is smart only if it leaves you with a short iron.”
Hank Haney, Golf Digest, August 2009, p. 91.

“Hit the driver the same distance every time, just like you do with the other clubs.” Pia Nilsson, Golf Digest, August 2009, p. 92.

“The shortest route to improvement is to get on the green in fewer strokes.”
Hale Irwin, Golf Digest, January 2010, p. 98.

“There’s one common trait I’ve noticed in the swings of nearly all the great players. The position of the left wrist at the top of the backswing is consistent with its address position.” Jim Flick, Golf Digest, January 2010, p. 30.

“Go to the course and hit irons from the marked sprinkler heads. This will tell you very quickly far you really hit each iron. Take notes.” Bob Jones 2/16/2011

“The one feeling you should have before every shot is athletic confidence in your ability to hit the shot well.” Bob Jones 2/20/2011

“The late Gardner Dickinson, a terrific tour player in the 1950s and ’60s who happened to have a slight build, once asked Ben Hogan what he could do to get longer off the tee. Hogan told Dickinson to stop at the range after every round and hit 30 drivers as hard as he could. He told him not to care where the shots went, but to try to hit the ball on the center of the clubface.

“Hogan emphasized to Dickinson the importance of sheer swing speed. Thirty drives might be a lot for you; 15 might do. But a little violence in the swing is healthy and will help you develop more power. You’ll never hit it far without ripping it.” — Jim McLean, Golf Digest, April 2010, p. 137.

“If you’re mis-hitting chip shots, it’s because your grip pressure is too tight.” Bob Jones 3/13/2011

“Play a practice round where any shot can be repeated, but only once. If your mulligan is more like it, your mind wasn’t ready the first time. If the mulligan is just as bad, this to a shot you need to work on.” Bob Jones 2/17/2011 [Note: You’ll see more on this one next week.]

The Best Posts of 2016

I put up fifty-two posts in 2016. Not counting the four for the major championships previews, I gave you forty-eight ways to improve your game.

Well, maybe not so much as that. Sometimes I know I’ve come across something that truly works and will make a big difference. Other times I look back and say to myself, What was I thinking?

But because it will be very difficult for you to go back and find the good ones, I’ve done it for you. These are the best posts of the year, the ones I think will help you out the most in hitting better shots and lowering your score.

February 7
A Basic Golf Skills Inventory

February 14
What Made Me a Good Golfer

March 6
The Way You Take Your Grip

March 27

The Best Posts of 2015

Last year fifty-two posts were put up in this space, dedicated to helping you play better golf. Well, may be less than that, because of the major championship previews and a few editorials. But there was a lot.

Today I want to remind you of the posts that did the best at getting to the heart of the game, and the core of your learning to become a better golfer. They’re not the Ten Best, or the Twelve Best, just the Best.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

January 5
Ernie Els, You’re Not – swing the club at your tempo, not even Ernie’s.

February 22
To Sink Putts, Practice Sinking Putts – the more putts you put in the hole, the easier you’ll think it is to do.

March 29
Swing Through to the Finish – the swing is not over when you’ve hit the ball.

May 3
Good Golf Takes Dedication – this means lots of practice.

July 5
How Far Do You Hit Your Irons? – here’s a way to find out.

September 13
Break-Even Putting – lag putting begins from a closer distance than you might think.

October 11
Stop Chunking Chip Shots – it’s easy, once you know the secret.

November 15
The Short Game in One Rule – a rule that will save you shots you didn’t realize you were losing.

There’s enough material in there for a winter’s worth of work. Any one of them will cut a stroke or two off you score.

What if you try all of them?

Your buddies will say, “You look like the guy we played with last year, but you sure don’t play like him!”

How to make a golf instructional video

If you go to YouTube and search the golf videos, you find more people than you can shake a stick at have put one up. Why not you? Go ahead, but just make sure it’s worth your name. The actual content, that’s up to you. It is a piece of film-making, though, so follow these tips to upload something that is watchable.

As for your filming equipment, there are too many hardware options for me to discuss, so let me just say this one thing. Mount your camera/iPhone/whatever so the image stays still. You don’t want people getting seasick when they watch your video. Sound must be spot on. The microphone built into your camera is not good enough. A remote mike is critical. An Audio-Technica Pro 88W/R is inexpensive and works great.

You also need film editing software. Mac users have iMovie built in. Windows users can use Movie Maker.

Now to the video.

One video, one subject. If you have two ideas, make two videos.

Write a shooting script. Define each (camera) shot and write down what you’re going to say. Get the dialog tight and don’t repeat yourself. Less talk, more action. Then rehearse.

Get to the point right away; that is, start by showing the viewer, within the opening 15 seconds, what they are there to learn. If a minute has gone by and you still haven’t gotten to the good stuff, odds are the viewer will click off and try someone else’s video.

Say you’re teaching a greenside chip. If you follow this outline, you can’t go wrong:
1. Title (5 seconds)
2. Greet the viewer and introduce yourself. (5 seconds)
3. Say what shot you’re going to teach and demonstrate it. (10 seconds)
4. Now talk about how to hit the shot. (40 seconds)
5. Hit the shot. (5 seconds)
6. Hit the shot again. (5 seconds)
7. Summarize the key points. (15 seconds)
8. Sign off. (5 seconds)

This all adds up to about a minute and a half, and that is all the time you need to make your point. If the viewers didn’t get it the first time, they will watch again because it’s short. Do not build that repetition into your video!

When you film, set yourself up in front of a neutral background that will not compete with you for your viewer’s attention. Get the camera close enough so necessary detail can be seen. For example, if you’re discussing the grip, get a shot from waist to head so you can see the hands clearly.

Vary the point of view. Try to take a few shots from the golfer’s point of view if necessary. Say you’re taking about a shot that has a setup with an open clubface. Get a shot looking down as the golfer would see it of what an open face looks like, and how much you’re saying to open it.

Remember, keep it short and to the point, and your videos will be quite popular.

Here’s one of my early videos that nonetheless gets going right from the start, varies the point of view, and has solid content through to the finish.

My new book, The Golfing Self, is now available at www.therecreationalgolfer.com. It will change everything about the way you play.

Bonus Post: TRG’s Facebook Page

Now that summer is over and the golf season is winding down, I have gone to posting twice a week instead of three times. You can, however, get a daily dose of The Recreational Golfer at my new Facebook page.

Every day, at Facebook’s The Recreational Golfer page, you’ll get a tip, or a comment on the current golfing scene, in 50 words or less.

I know you wait on pins and needles for my posts in this space, but now you can start off every day with a visit to the TRG world.

So pay a visit and let’s start building a recreational golf community on Facebook. While you’re there, do me a big favor and click the Like button.

The Recreational Golfer’s Newsletter

I’m interrupting the Friday Rules series so I can present you with this great news. Beginning August 1, I’ll be sending a monthly newsletter to everyone who signs up on my website at:

http://www.therecreationalgolfer.com/registerb.html

The newsletter will have original material, which will not be posted on this blog or on my website. There will be tips, commentary, and a little more fun. No, a lot more fun. Not that you don’t have fun here already.

When you register, you will also be sent, free, an extract from my book, Better Recreational Golf, on the Four Basic Shots of the Short Game. These shots cover about 90 percent of your short game and make this confusing part of golf easy and more productive.

Click the link, get your free book extract, and look for the inaugural newsletter next Wednesday.

Thanks for your support.

The 20-Hole Golf Course

This morning my wife and I talked about going up to Portland so she could go shopping. Fortunately for me, there’s a golf course less than a half mile from the mall, so I said Sure, you shop and I’ll hit balls. She said, Can you hit balls for two hours, and I said, I can do that.

Spending two hours at the range is pretty easy for me. I can spend about 45 minutes hitting a bucket, then the rest of the time around the green. But what about this?

I practice for about an hour and a half, then play two holes. Wouldn’t that be great? The first tee, seventh green, eighth tee, and ninth green at this course are all in a line right by the clubhouse. I could go over to the eighth tee, play away, then play back on the ninth hole. A little practice, a little play. What could be better?

Except that I can’t do that. There are people playing their round, and you can’t squeeze the odd single in the middle of the groups going nine or eighteen. Then the brainstorm hit me. Build a 20-hole golf course. Eighteen holes for play, two holes for practice.

After you practice something, you want to try it out. Why not? That validates it, or tells you it works on the range, but not in play, so back to the drawing board. And not even that. We practice to play golf, we don’t just practice golf. So why not cap off a practice session with a few holes? It would make practicing a lot more fun.

Another reason you would want to have practice holes is that golf is not about hitting shots. It’s a game you play. I don’t know how many times I could have broken 80 if I had thought better about hitting four or five shots. Not hit better shots, but hit the right shot or used the right club. Part of getting better is learning how to play, how to think your way around the course. Why not make that part of your practice?

All we have to do now is convince a designer to build two extra holes. I think it would be a big hit. One, it would make a great practice ground, like I said. Two, it would be great for playing lessons. (Have you ever had a playing lesson, by the way? They are the best lessons I have ever had.) Three, if you didn’t have time for nine, you could warm up and play these two. I can’t but imagine those two holes would booked up solid, generate a lot of revenue for the course operators, and get lots of people interested in the game.

What do you think?

USGA: Rate the Red Tees For Men!

Earlier this year, the USGA and the PGA of America had a campaign to encourage golfers to play from the set of tees that are appropriate to their level of skill. I hope it went well, because the whole point was to make golf more fun and easier to play. What few male golfers know is that the right tees might be the red ones.

For years, the red tees have been called the Ladies’ Tees. They’re for short-hitting women. This needs to stop, or rather, become more inclusive. There are some short-hitting men out there, too. In general, if you can’t drive the ball more than 200 yards, you should be playing from the reds. The other tees present a course that is too long for you.

Even if you can hit the ball farther than 200 yards with a driver, but are pretty wild with it, you can play from the shorter tees, hit something off the tee that will keep the ball in play, shoot a better score, and . . . have more fun.

But some (actually, many) men feel that their manhood would come into question if they played from the red tees, even if they are hacks from the next set longer. Their loss, I’m afraid.

There is another reason why men won’t play from the red tees, and that is there is no course rating for men, at least as far as I have ever seen. Look at the scorecards of the courses you play. There will be an M and L rating for the white tees, maybe the blues, but the reds only have an L rating. That means if a man plays from them, his score can’t be turned in for handicap purposes.

It’s not that playing from the red tees will make a 90-shooter a scratch golfer, either. It might lower their score by four strokes. You might get the ball up the green quicker, but you still have to get the ball in the hole. The red tees make the game easier, but not that much easier. I know. I play from the red tees with my grandson, and I shoot only two strokes better for nine holes than I normally do.

And, having only an L rating perpetuates the myth that the reds are “Ladies'” tees. Look right there on the scorecard — L for ladies. What could be plainer?

So I’m calling on the USGA to encourage local rating organizations to establish course ratings for men at the red tees. If this body wants people to play from the right tees, then all barriers need to be removed, and this one is in the USGA’s purview. I’m even thinking of forming a committee to rate the red tees for men as soon as I can think of a title that lends itself to a catchy acronym.

In the meantime, if you want to have some fun, play a round from the red tees. You’ll hit different clubs, see a different course, and shoot a lower score, which is always good for the ego.

Visit www.therecreationalgolfer.com.