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Putting – Club Face Alignment

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By Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org There are many important aspects to be a good putter, confidence, focus, set-up/address position, grip, green reading, club face alignment, constant tempo, feel, visualization, and speed control.One important factor that should be near the top of the list is club face alignment at address. Club face alignment is important, because the golf ball needs to role end over end at the target. If the club face is not aligned properly at address there is good chance the club face will not come back square to the target line. A player has an instinct about where the ... Read More »

It’s all in the Wrists

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org In the last year I have changed my thinking on how the amateur golfer should chip and pitch the ball on the green. Previously I taught students to rotate their body through the ball and get the club handle to “zip” through impact. In most golf shots the hands should be slightly ahead of the golfer’s center. I still believe this is a successful way to hit short shots. However, for most golfers this takes a lot of practice to develop the skill to time this correctly. What happens to many golfers is they “drag” ... Read More »

Practice…We Are Talking About Practice!

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org There are many ways to succeed in the game of golf. Since I have been in the business, I have improved my own game. Many PGA golf professionals played in college and/or professional golf. I, on the other hand, entered the golf business after a short stint in the financial world. I have worked hard on my game since I started in the golf business. Truth be told, my game was not up to par with other PGA Professionals. I realized this early in my career, and I started practicing every day. I was single, ... Read More »

Goal Setting

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org The game of golf in the year of 2014 was exciting. Rory McIlroy became an even bigger superstar. Tiger Woods battled injuries. Rickie Fowler shined in the majors. Patrick Reed made a stir as the USA lost another Ryder Cup, and President Barack Obama made news by playing a lot of golf. How was your 2014 golf year? Did you meet your goals? Did you have golf goals? I challenge all golfers who want to get better in 2015 to set golf goals. A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the ... Read More »

Club Face Awareness

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org Anyone who reads my articles understands that I believe in the body-swing connection. To constantly keep improving over time, a golfer must strive to improve the body and the golf swing. My experience of doing physical evaluations of students has made it clear to me that the club path is heavily affected by how the body functions. The club path is the path the club head travels to make impact to the golf ball relative to the target. With that being said, the club face angle at impact is king. The club face is especially ... Read More »

The Body, the Body, the Body

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org When I started teaching the game of golf, it never crossed my mind that I would be studying biomechanics, 6D video and physics, but this is the high level of education available to instructors. I am just a novice at these subjects compared to the top teachers in the world. However, my expertise is helping a student make a golf swing that is functional for their body. A new buzz word in the golf instructional world is biomechanics. Many biomechanics are discovering that that the biomechanical study of the golf swing is complex and right ... Read More »

It’s All in the Hips

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org It’s all in the hips” is a funny line from the movie “Happy Gilmore.” Happy’s teacher, Chubbs, tells him this line while helping with his golf swing. The line has some truth to it. The hip movement is important for many reasons. The number one reason is that hip rotation affects pelvic rotation and footwork. If a golfer’s hips move properly, the correct balance and footwork can be achieved. Many of us have limitation in our hip rotation. When the hips are limited in the golf swing, compensations are made with other body movements. Compensation ... Read More »

Chip to Lower Your Scores

A Tiger Woods chip shot. SUBMITTED PHOTO

GOLF TIPS Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org All golfers miss greens with approach shots. Jim Furyk had a scrambling percentage of 80 percent on the PGA Tour in 2014. Scrambling is the percentage of times a player gets the ball up and in from around the green. Furyk’s percentage was the best on the PGA Tour in 2014. This is why he is the best player in the world that is not in the top 50 in driving distance. Most golfers can relate with Furyk’s game. We do not hit 300 yards drives of the tee, and most of us have an ... Read More »

Tennis Update

Mary Husted and Carrie Masci

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Island Club’s outstanding tennis director, Rick Calton, ran another successful event this past weekend and here are the winners: 3.5 Men’s Division: Corky Trebilcock and Anthony Tarakdjian defeated Monson Douglas and Lou DeMattheis, 6-2,6-0. 3.5 Ladies Division: Jackie Heise and Ramsay Erickson won the round robin with a perfect record of 2-0. 4.0 Men’s Division: Rick Eichman and Ken Baker defeated Walt Lasik and Trig Kuhn, 7-5, 7-5 4.0 Ladies Division: Carrie Masci and Mary Husted defeated Stacy Fromouth and Sara McGuinn, 7-6, 3-6, 10-4 Islanders have many more big events to get excited ... Read More »

Maximum Distance

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org In 1997, world-renowned golf instructor Jim McLean published a book called, “X–Factor and Other Secrets of Power and Distance.” McLean has always been on the forefront of golf instruction. The X–Factor is a concept based on a golfer turning their hips to start the downswing without moving the shoulders (as seen in the picture). The greater degree of separation between the hip turn and the shoulder turn the farther the golf ball will travel. McLean has studies with stats to prove the theory, and also discusses in the book other factors involved in achieving distance. ... Read More »

Realistic Expectations

Golf

Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org Golf is not an easy game. I find that beginning golfers struggle with limiting their expectation. They see the person next to them on the range hitting the golf ball high and far. They want to make the ball fly far as well, and they expect to produce something similar. When I stand next to a basketball player dunking the basketball into the hoop, I do not change my own expectation of my own game. I simply do not have the physical capability to dunk the basketball. I would have to train for years, and ... Read More »

The Body-Swing Connection

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org The past few days, I was in Phoenix, Arizona, attending the TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Level 2 Golf Mechanics Seminar. TPI co-founder, Dave Phillips, and Mark Blackburn, a top 100 instructor, hosted the golf mechanics seminar. TPI is the world leader in education concerning golf instruction. Titleist Performance Institute has certified instructors in 58 countries around the world. TPI takes a team approach to help golfers reach their golf goals, including a golf instructor, fitness instructor and medical professional on the team. The TPI golf instructor leads the team, communicating the student’s golf goals and ... Read More »

What Golf Ball Fits Your Game?

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org I have been told many times by my students that they are not good enough golfers to play a premium golf ball. Believe or not, playing the correct golf ball can take strokes off your game instantly, even for the higher handicapper. Many of the companies do a great job marketing there lower priced golf balls. However, these marketing techniques lead to myths about how the golf ball performs and what leads to lower scores. The one marketing technique that comes to mind is a golf ball company that markets a golf ball that supposedly ... Read More »

Instructor or No Instructor?

Tiger and Sean Foley

Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org Tiger Woods announced this week that he would be parting ways with swing coach, Sean Foley. Anytime Tiger hires or fires any one on his team, there is a serious amount of attention. The talking heads of The Golf Channel, NBC and other networks have all chimed in on this topic. They have compared his records during his time with the three teachers he has had as a professional, Butch Harmon, Hank Haney and Foley. The talking heads and two of Tiger’s former instructors have stated that Tiger would be better off without a golf ... Read More »

Solid Contact = Better Golf

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org In the past decade, golf instruction has evolved, mostly due to the TrackMan Radar System. TrackMan analyzes the entire ball flight and the club head from waist high to waist high. Trackman measures 26 different data points and parameters based on these analysis. Technology has had an impact on many businesses, but Trackman has been revolutionary for golf instruction because it has helped disprove previous ball flight theories. Theodore P. Jorgensen wrote “The Physics of Golf” in 1994. This book changed my teaching beliefs and has helped me become a successful teacher. There is no ... Read More »

The Secret

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org There is no better title to reel a golfer into an article. Every golfer is looking for the “secret” in an effort to improve. Golfers are looking for that one swing thought or one tip that takes their game to the next level. I believe there is a so-called “secret,” but just because there is a secret does not mean you will be on tour next week. With golf, nothing is that simple. I do not know if “secret” is the right word. However, all professional golfers have only one thing in common. The PGA ... Read More »

Pre-Swing Fundamentals Part 4: Ball Position

A (left) and B. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers every to live, wrote a book called, “Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” in 1957. This book is relevant to this day. The golf industry of today has radar systems, launch monitors, high speed cameras, balance boards and many other technological devises that confirms Hogan knew what he was talking about. As most good players in Hogan’s area, he grew up working at a golf course as an Assistant Golf Professional and caddie. The good players were students of the game, and gave lesson at the local country club to make a ... Read More »

Pre-Swing Fundamentals Part 3: Alignment

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org Part 1 and 2 covered the grip and set-up position. Now, we move on to Part 3: alignment. This is the simplest fundamental of the four pre-swing fundamentals. Golfers can fix many problems by aiming a different direction. If a golfer always slices the ball to the right 30 yards, they will aim 30 yards left to get the ball to land at the target. This is a reasonable solution while playing golf. However, in the long run, aiming 30 yards left will lead to more problems. Golfers always tell me one thing: I want ... Read More »

Pre-swing Fundamentals Part 2: Address Position

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org Now that we’ve developed a solid grip in Part One it is time to address the ball with the correct posture. People are made in different shapes and sizes. There is no one perfect posture in golf. Depending on height, arm length, leg length and torso length an athletic golf posture will look different. However, there are fundamentals of setting up to a golf ball that are absolute. The picture provided shows three different address position. N stands for neutral spine, which is desirable. C stands for a C curve in the back/spine at address, ... Read More »

The Four Pre-Swing Fundamentals: Part 1 of 4

Exhibit B. 3 most widely used ways to grip a golf= club. Left to right: 10 Finger, Over Lap, Inter Lock.

Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org The four pre-swing fundamentals of the golf swing are grip, stance, alignment and ball position. The pre-swing fundamentals are the most important elements to becoming a better golfer. There are a million different ways to swing the club and make the golf ball go towards the target, however correct pre-swing fundamentals are universal. Bad fundamentals lead to bad habits in the golf swing. I teach golfers who aim 30 yards right of their target. The student will hit the first shot 30 yards right of their target, turn to me and say, “See, I told ... Read More »