Downswing Matters...

Most of you have been following me for long enough to know that I believe the location and orientation of the clubhead in the early downswing are vital to an effective golf swing. The appropriate position and orientation of the clubhead will enable you to rotate freely through impact, controlling the face and compressing the golf ball. The following short video will help you understand the value of clubhead position in the early downswing and why it’s so important in building a sound impact position

Where you position the clubhead in the early downswing is integral to your ability to rotate and manage the club face through the impact interval. Better rotation means less flipping and more accurate shots. This matters - big time.

In the following short video you will learn why, even though you may have been doing a better job with positioning the clubhead (shallowing the shaft), your game has not improved. Improper shallowing can compromise the club face angle in the early downswing and actually promote active hands or flipping through impact. Here’s the remedy…

There you have it. Getting the clubhead deeper (more BEHIND you) in the early downswing without compromising the face will produce incredible results for almost every golfer I teach. I suspect it will help your game too. A good place to start is in front of a mirror - create the proper look, don’t worry about exaggerating things, take the appropriate feel from that look and go out and practice. Keep reinforcing in front of the mirror.

A Young Jack Nicklaus

A Young Jack Nicklaus




You Need More Power

Yes! Don't we all? As with all things in life some things are easier said than done and this is no different, but it IS possible. Have you heard about using the ground to generate more power? This is what I'll be addressing in this article - pushing off the ground in order to generate greater club speeds and longer shots. Take a look...

So here's what we're looking for just prior to starting the downswing:

  • The trail knee maintains its position as the golfer starts the downswing. Just for a little while...
  • The lead side separates as the player glides into their front side. This creates some leg separation.
  • There should be a definite lowering or unweighting in the early downswing.
  • The late downswing should be characterized by an upward thrust away from the ground.

Notice in the image below how in the early downswing my belt buckle is significantly lower than it is half way through the follow through...

Image 11.JPG

This is something that all long drivers take full advantage of - that ability to really thrust up from the ground and in most cases actually push both feet off the ground. It's that push that will help to really get the clubhead moving. 

Thanks for reading/watching and if you have a friend who would really benefit from this information please share it.

Coach Camp London

If you're a coach or a golf professional you may have heard about Coach Camp. If you've been fortunate enough to attend one then you already know what it's about. If you haven't and would like to learn more then this 90 seconds is for you...

When the idea for Coach Camp was hatched I wanted it to be something that made a significant change in the way coaches and professionals helped students improve, operated their business and marketed what they do. It has and always will be "Two days of industry leading coaching information designed to positively enhance the course of your career."

Chuck Cook Teaching at Coach Camp USA

Chuck Cook Teaching at Coach Camp USA

The feature presenters in London will be coaching legend Chuck Cook, putting guru David Orr, biomechanics expert Scott Cowx and myself. We will also have Dr. Scott Lynn share his presentation on ground reaction forces

There will be live lessons, Q&A sessions, putting demonstrations and perhaps best of all - the cocktail party on Monday evening where we can get down to the nitty gritty questions you might have. All so that you can be more successful on the lesson tee!

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

We will be at the Drift Golf Club in East Horsley outside London on September 25 & 26. Our title sponsors: KVEST3DSwing CatalystTrackMan; and True Spec Golf will also have representatives on site. Not only will you be able to see this technology in action, but the company representatives will be able to answer any questions you might have. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to learn from some of the best in our business.

Sponsor-Bar.jpg

Register for Coach Camp London HERE

 

How to Deal with a Headwind

Controlling your golf ball in the wind is one of golf's greatest challenges. For quite a while now I have been asking my junior players to hit a 140 yard approach shot directly into whatever wind might be blowing that day and none of them have ever reached the flag! Now, part of this is ego and another part inexperience, but being a curious coach I wanted to do what I could to help them play these headwind shots effectively. At Savannah Harbor we have a double sided range and in the spring we can experience some strong winds. The double sided range means that I can hit shots into and down the same wind. Having TrackMan is a huge help here as it tracks the ball accurately throughout it's flight. Watch...

After quite a bit of testing on and off the golf course I have found that this formula produces positive results. Please keep in mind that hitting any shot in the wind is not exact science and there will always be a subjective side to selecting the appropriate club and shot.

  1. Determine how many MPH of wind are blowing in your face
  2. If its 12 MPH then add 12 yards per 100 yards of distance required
  3. Determine what club you would need to hit the ball that distance
  4. Take one additional club and play a knockdown type shot

Example scenario: For a 140 yard shot into a 20 MPH headwind. I would add 28 yards (20 yards per 100) to 140 to get to 168 which is a full 7 iron for me. I would thus take a 6 iron and hit a knockdown for this scenario.

You might wonder how you'd come to recognize the wind speed...? Experience certainly helps, but there's nothing against checking a weather app on your phone prior to going out to play to help you gauge wind speed. And remember - there is no such thing as a one club wind!

Thanks for reading and I hope this information helps you better control your ball in challenging windy conditions.

3 Key Drills for Great Wedge Play

Far too many golfers struggle with their wedge play. I see it all the time! In this article and video I have dug deep and come up with my three favorite drills for you to practice if you'd like to get better from close range. Take a look...

Impact Drag Drill

  • Using an alignment rod in lieu of a club take your normal pitching address position
  • Place the tip of the rod on the ground about 3 feet behind where the ball would be
  • Keeping the arms extended, rotate and elevate the lead shoulder to get the rod through impact

Pitching Draw Drill

  • Tee the ball up and place an alignment rod between the ball and the target
  • The objective is to get the ball to draw around the rod
  • Have the handle traveling up and in while the clubhead travel down and out for draws

9 Ball Trajectory Drill

  • Using nine balls to develop skill and adaptability
  • Hit the first three balls to three different targets with your stock trajectory
  • The second three balls are hit with a slightly higher trajectory to different targets
  • The final three are hit with a lower trajectory to different targets as well

My hope is that these drills will help to upgrade your technique, develop your skill around the greens and ultimately help you become a more well-rounded golfer.

Thanks for reading/watching and if you enjoyed this article please share it with a friend who you feel might benefit.

My 3 Keys to Great Wedge Play

If you dread any form of pitch or chip shot then this article is expressly for you. If you feel like you could save a few more strokes around the greens then this article is for you. Utilizing better technique will literally make these shots easier. Here are a few straightforward improvements that will get the job done. Watch...

Key #1: Set Up

  • Feet should be close together. The most common mistake I see is a stance that's too wide.
  • Alignment should be square. Yes, square.
  • Ball position is centered to slightly forward.
  • Weight distribution is slightly favoring the front foot.
The Proper Set Up...

The Proper Set Up...

Key #2: Wrist Action

  • Wrists should be relatively quiet in the backswing.
  • Avoid excessive cupping in the lead wrist. The left wrist for you righties out there.

Key #3: Body Pivot

  • Keep the chest rotating through the strike in order to shallow the attack angle.
  • Extend the lead side through impact.
  • Avoid thoughts of "stay down", "hit down" or "pinch the ball".

As you work towards better technique be aware that your results are not going to transition from bad to good instantaneously. Taking ownership of the upgrades will take time and patience. Get the set up correct, use the wrists properly and shallow the angle of attack with good chest rotation. Now we're talking!

If you'd like to learn more about improving your wedge play check out the Wedge Project.

 

 

Knowledge to Help You Spin Your Wedges

When it comes to wedge shots, spin has always been somewhat mystical. Why will one shot check like crazy while most shots seem to want to scamper well beyond the pin?

This is a little experiment I do in all my Three Day Golf Schools to illustrate a few of the important factors that influence spin rates...

This video clearly illustrates the role of water, grass, a premium golf ball and a clean clubface - the big factors that influence friction between face and ball and ultimately, spin.

As a golfer you are fully responsible for how the sole of the club interacts with the ground while you are only partially responsible for how the face interacts with the golf ball. Understanding factors that serve to decrease friction will only help you from trying to fix a motion that isn't broken.

While it is important to realize that we don't need maximum spin in order to pitch well, we do need ENOUGH spin. To generate more RPM's use a professional grade wedge, replace it as often as needed, keep the face clean and dry and use a premium golf ball. Of course hitting from a tight, dry fairway would be nice too, but we cannot always control that one...

For more on wedge spin and improved wedge play see:

The Wedge Project

Spinning the Wedges - Friction

 

 

24 Hours to Better Golf this Winter

I am very excited to share the Off-Season Project with you! With the help of my good friend and golf fitness expert Derek Lemire we have created a fantastic challenge for you this off-season. Are you prepared to dedicate 24 hours over the next twelve weeks to better golf? Derek and I have built a program for you that will improve your technique, increase your club speed and better your body and all we ask for 2 hours per week. Take a look...

We are challenging you to invest 24 hours towards better golf this winter. I can assure you this video will change the way you view the off-season. Do you accept the challenge?

Check it out HERE


Coach Camp 2016

I am so excited to get the word out about this coaching event! For professional coaches and teachers only, Coach Camp 2016 will take place at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, South Carolina on February 22 and 23, 2016. This will be two days of industry leading coaching information designed to positively enhance the course of your career.

The event is being sponsored by True Spec Golf, an innovative custom club-fitting operation that all golf coaches should know about and SwingCatalyst, the premier balance plate and 3D motion plate company in the game today.

Each presenter will be given an opportunity to discuss a topic of their choosing and there will be "panel" style discussions on wedges, driving, how to grow your business and even a lesson where each featured coach will share their thoughts on improving the same golfer. Something different and interesting!

Dinner on the 22nd is going to be special as Dr. Morris Pickens will share a few of his experiences being with Zach Johnson at the Open Championship at St. Andrews earlier this year.

Please be aware that this event is only open to 55 participants. For full details or if you'd like to register go to www.CoachCamp2016.com.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss sponsorship details please contact us HERE

I'm so looking forward to it and I sincerely hope you can attend!

Surviving the Shanks

This malady has the ability to ruin the game for any golfer. I have seen golfers spend thousands of dollars, seek counseling, sell their clubs and quit playing the game because they could not overcome the dreaded shanks.

Shanks most often occur when the club approaches the ball too far from the outside, but every now and then, particularly with better players, shanks can be due to the club approaching too far from the inside.

This video will help all hosel rocketeers, but mostly those whose club is approaching too far from the outside. Watch...

When you start to hit shanks try to keep your heart/emotions out of the equation and use your head/intellect.

Notes when practicing:

  • DO NOT move further away from the ball as this will often exacerbate the problem
  • Count out 10 balls to do the drill
  • Set up as you normally would with the clubhead centered behind the ball
  • Scrunch your toes towards your heels to keep you from toppling toward the ball
  • Make two practice swings from this start position but swing inside the ball
  • Hit the shot making a strong effort to hit the ball well off the toe of the club
  • Repeat this 10 times without emotion

Notes when playing:

  • After you've hit one shank on the course find an old divot and set up to as you normally would 
  • Scrunch your toes back towards your heels
  • Make four practice swings where the club passes inside the divot
  • The next shot you play do the same thing making sure you emphasize a toe-sided strike

You can do this, but the big challenge is keeping emotion at bay. Keep your head in the equation, use your understanding and you've got a chance.

And while we're on the topic. How about a little shank trivia? Did you know that a shank will often strike the face twice and sometimes even three times, as evidenced here...

The World-Class Triple Hit Shank

The World-Class Triple Hit Shank

NO PENALTY THOUGH! As if hitting that shot was not penalty enough....

This free website's biggest source of support is when you have simply seen enough and decide to call to book a lesson or golf school. You can contact me HERE. If you live in another state or country please consider making a purchase HERE or HERE. It will help your game and it will help me to keep adding to this free website. Thanks again for your support! Andrew.



Divot Patterns

It has often amazed me how a golfer's personality tends to shine through in the manner in which they practice. Some are neat and tidy while others seem to be all over the map! Good golfers however, always seem to manage their practice sessions and the turf they have at their disposal. Creating good divot patterns when you practice might not be the key to you shooting under par, but you'll look good and might even make a few friends while you're at it...

The Excavator

The Excavator

The excavator tends to:

  • be a more experienced and often, better player
  • clear cut any and all life forms from the rectangle where they've been hitting irons
  • make it very difficult for the turf they use to grow back in a timely fashion
  • cause the practice tee to be uneven and wavy
The Roamer

The Roamer

The roamer tends to:

  • use up as much space on the practice tee as is humanly possible
  • be a type AA personality
  • not be too bad for turf growth and management
  • makes it very difficult for the golfer using the space behind them
The Striper

The Striper

The striper tends to:

  • be an experienced, better golfer
  • is efficient with turf usage - they get the most out of the space they use
  • make it easy for the turf to recover and fill in
  • use an alignment aid to help both their golf and divot patterns
  • is a friend to superintendents everywhere

This video with Chris Young, head superintendent at Berkeley Hall, will help you get the picture...

If you feel this article and video could be a help to golfers and superintendents where you play and practice please share it with them. This is a must share for all excavators and roamers you know.

Thanks for tuning in.

Controlling Wedge Shots

Here is a video I did with the help of TrackMan and a student of mine James Willis. This was actually the first time I had seen James pitch the ball and it was nice to see how quickly he hit better shots and improved the flight and spin rate of these important shots.

From 60 yards and in I like to see a dynamic loft of 40 degrees, a launch angle of less than 30 degrees, a spin rate higher than 6500 rpm and a slight draw shape.

Take a look to see how it's done...

For a deeper understanding of this shot and all wedge shots around the green you need to go HERE

An Interview with Yours Truly

I was recently interviewed by social media guru, Ricky Lee Potts.  Ricky really did his research and asked some interesting and different questions. I thought you may want to give it a read:

He lives down in South Carolina, and teaches at the Berkeley Hall Golf Club. Oh, and he went to Harvard. (He didn’t go to Harvard… but we will get to that later.) Did I mention he drinks wine? Anyway, I met this guy on Twitter and we have stayed in touch ever since. I love working with the PGA teaching professionals because they all teach folks how to play golf… but they all have their own approach. Did I forget to mention he is from South Africa? There are some pretty big PGA TOUR players from South Africa including Ernie Els. He has actually played with Ernie… but we will get to that later. I am pretty excited to be sitting with Andrew Rice. He is all about impact… and in the game of golf, impact is pretty important!

Here is an excerpt....

A lot of guys are getting away from teaching, and bridging the gap to coaching. Is there a difference to you personally? If so, what do you think the difference is?

I too am trying to become more of a coach and less of a teacher/instructor. In my opinion, a coach is there for the long haul – they cover all the bases from swing to fitness to nutrition to equipment, the mental side and even scheduling. Coaching is so much more than golf instruction.

What’s in your golf bag?

I’m a Titleist guy and use all Titleist clubs except my 10 year old 36” Odyssey 2-ball putter. I love the Titleist D3 driver…

Do you ever do playing lessons with your students?

All the time! There is so much that golfers can learn in a playing lesson that saves strokes automatically. Course management (or lack of) is a big reason why many golfers have the handicap they do.

You went to Harvard. Tell me about that experience… that’s not an easy school.

(Laughs) You must have been on my personal Facebook page. I went to Central Florida, but with Facebook I can be a graduate of any school in the world in less than a minute! I have had some fun with my friends with that one…

What’s the best round you have ever shot?

I have shot 63 on numerous occasions, but the problem was that it was always in the pro-am before the real event!

Who is in your dream foursome?

I’ve thought about this many times – Seve Ballesteros (my favorite player), Bobby Jones (IMO the best of all time) and Arnold Palmer. I think my Dad would understand…

I am Tiger’s biggest fan. Honestly, do you think he will break Jack’s record?

I like to say this concerning Tiger, “The genie has left the lamp!” I think Tiger will win another major or two, but will ultimately fall short of Jack’s record. His greatest challenge is that he, and all the other players, realize he is fallible. When he dominated in the past, both parties thought he was indestructible.

There are a lot of young guys out there giving Tiger a run for his money. Who are some of your favorite players to watch?

You’ve got to love Rory and his wholesome vibe – just a good, talented, hardworking kid whose making the most of his opportunity.  I also like Charl Schwartzel. He performed the best in the majors last year and I look forward to seeing how he handles things at Augusta in a couple of weeks.

I read Golf DigestGlobal Golf PostGolf Magazine… they all promise to help “fix my slice” in 5 minutes or less! Do tips like that help or hurt an average player? Do you read any of those golf publications?

I do and I believe the quality of information they provide to their readers has improved dramatically in the past few years. The world has changed and many people no longer have the time to spend 15 minutes reading an in depth article to help them improve. Quick tips like that, while not optimal, work for more people than not. We’re all looking for something to give us a little hope for this weekend’s upcoming round…

You use TrackMan?

Yes, and it is worth every penny!

When I play, I play by “winter rules”. If we played 18 together, would you let me roll the ball or would we stick to the USGA rules of golf?

We’re out there having fun, Ricky – whatever your pleasure! My father emigrated to the U.S. a few years ago and was taken back with the way many Americans played the game – they didn’t know the rules and seemed to not even try to follow them. It took him a while, but now he loves it. People are out there just having fun. That’s the way it should be, shouldn’t it?

Speaking of the rules, there have been some changes to the rules of golf lately. What are your thoughts with all the recent changes?

The powers that be are doing all they (legally) can to protect the game. I would like for the powers that be to consider changing the rule that eliminated Brian Davis from the playoff at HarbourTown in 2010.

What are you doing when you are not playing or teaching?

I have two fantastic young sons (11 and 13) who play baseball. I coach a team and most of my evenings are spent at a ball field somewhere in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Read more....

Impact Bonus

Okay seriously - I now realize I have printed way too many books and it's time to get them out of the house. In order to maintain the festive cheer in the Rice house over the holidays I have agreed (with much persuasion from my agent/wife) to sell them on clearance. If you buy one hard cover copy for $26.95 I will send you four signed books. Shipping for all four books is $12 which means you receive four copies delivered to your doorstep for under $40 (US orders only). You now have a tremendous resource to aid in your off season improvement and a gift for each member of your Saturday morning foursome. This way life is good for you....and for me! Please help. If you have enjoyed this blog over the years and still have not broken down and purchased your hardcover version your patience has finally paid off.

In case you hadn't heard about It's All About Impact read on...

This book will help you:

  • Take care of the fundamentals
  • Get your body in position for a world-class impact
  • Take the correct divot (and plenty of them!)
  • Regain control of your golf ball
  • Create bite with your wedges
  • Control distance on your putts (yes, that too!)
  • Practice to actually get better
  • Review and analyze your swing just like the pros do

With this book I have worked to separate modern day style from some all-important substance in the golf swing.  We are all different physically - there is no way we can all use the same swing. You will learn how to get the most out of your swing.

Make your purchase HERE

The eBook is also now available on eReaders (iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, iTouch) for only $10 (and sometimes less!) at the following outlets:

Amazon Kindle

Download iBooks (You must first download the free iBook app to your Apple device and then go to the store to purchase the book)

Barnes & Noble Nook

Sony eReader

And please remember to rate or review the book if you have already read it.

Here is what Nick Price had to say about the book:

I have known Andrew Rice since he was a young man growing up in Southern Africa. I have always been thoroughly impressed with Andrew’s dedication and passion to play, teach, and constantly discover the intricacies of our great game. I know you will benefit from his diligent pursuit of finding the most efficient manner in which to play the game and produce results. The quest for improvement at every level of golf is never ending, but I am sure you will find Andrew’s thoughts to be an efficient way for you to achieve your potential.

Nick Price Three-Time Major Winner and Hall of Fame Member

I hope you have had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the Christmas season. I have big plans for all my students getting better in 2012 - watch this space.

TrackMan at Berkeley Hall

Berkeley Hall and Andrew Rice Golf are proud to announce the acquisition of a TrackMan radar unit.  TrackMan is golf’s leading instructional analysis and club fitting application and offers golf professionals and their clients exciting and innovative solutions to game and equipment improvement.
Facilities that currently utilize a TrackMan include Baltusrol, Islesworth and Augusta National.  Touring professional owners include British Open Champion Darren Clarke, Lucas Glover, Martin Kaymer and Dustin Johnson.  While all of golf's greatest instructors consult TrackMan in their teaching - they include Butch Harmon, David Leadbetter, Jim McLean and Sean Foley.
 
Here's how you too can benefit from this technology:
 
Thursday October 20th will be TrackMan Day at Berkeley Hall.  Starting at 9AM Andrew will offer a "Gain Ten Yards or It's Free" promotion.  Each session will be 20 minutes and the cost is $50.  Bring a seven iron and a driver to your session to start seeing what this new technology can do for your game. Oh yes, and if you don't gain 10 yards with your driver the session is free...! Call Andrew at (843)247-4688 to reserve your spot.
 
Ever wondered how far you should hit your driver?  Each week on Tuesdays and Fridays from 12-2PM Andrew will be offering club fitting on the TrackMan.  Each fitting session will last approximately an hour and you will leave knowing your equipment is taylor-made for you and your needs.  Fitting are billed at the same rate as lessons. 
Of course TrackMan will also be utilized in all lessons.  If you would like to understand and "quantify" your shots like never before come out to Berkeley Hall and get together with Andrew.
 To learn more about TrackMan please either go to their website or read this earlier article from my website... 
Wouldn't you like to hit the driver 25 yards longer? Don't you want to get back to enjoying the game?  Call today and book yourself a session on TrackMan to discover why golf’s leading authorities and professionals all choose this leading technology for swing and ball flight analysis.

Free "It's All About Impact" Golf Seminar

Impact Book Cover

On Monday, April 19th I will be offering a free Golf Seminar to anybody who has purchased or purchases "It's All About Impact" - my recent golf instruction book.  The seminar will take place at the Learning Center at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, SC from 10AM-12PM.

For the cost of a book you get a two hour seminar included? That is correct!

Topics that will be covered include:

  • The 84 degree secret and why it matters
  • The correct shoulder pivot
  • Fundamentals for the Impact Driven golf swing
  • Impact Position basics
  • Take home exercises and drills for long game and short game

Phil Mickelson and the 84 Degree Secret

As an added incentive to attend, and of course purchase the book, all attendees who purchase additional books will receive a voucher for a $75 golf lesson (one hour) with Andrew Rice - that is 50% off the regular rate of $150!

In order to purchase your copy to ensure your place in this insightful golf seminar please go to www.itsallaboutimpact.com and make your purchase today. If you have already purchased the book and plan on attending please let me know by emailing me at andrew@andrewricegolf.com.

Please be sure to bring your copy of "It's All About Impact" to the seminar so I can personalize it for you. I hope to see you all next Monday and "GET YOUR PLAID ON" this week!