Dennis Sales Golf

Informative Golf Information

Tag Archives: golf coaching

TrackMan Golf for Strategy Building

I’ll have students use TrackMan constantly during practice sessions.  What this does for us in my opinion is indispensable.  Rather then giving the committed player ball control drills to work on their own, I have them do their practice regimen  while TrackMan is collecting data.  This forces them to be discover concepts on their own and become self-reliant since I’m not hovering over their shoulder.  Once they are finished with their practice, we can sit down and look over the data.

Because TrackMan measures and records so many parameters, it allows us to become very precise in grading ball control skills.  By measuring what the ball actually does helps us obtain crucial dispersion patterns.  These patterns help us create course management tactics which will help them shoot lower scores on the course.  If the committed players has precise information on their patterns, this in my opinion, provides them a competitive advantage over a golfer who doesn’t have this information.   Watch the below video as I discuss dispersion patters and how it will help you on the golf course.

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TrackMan Golf Approach Practice and Testing

TrackMan is a great way for students to gain a greater understand of their tendencies and strengths.  Being able to constantly use it for practice allows the committed golfer to dial in his accuracy with each club.  What this type of practice does is increase the golfers confidence in his ability to execute shots under some pressure.  Not only that, but it benchmarks the players ability and provides them something specific to improve.

Watch as I go through approach practice and approach test with my game day golf ball.  Learning if your game day golf ball maximizes your accuracy and distance is vital in improving your results on the course.   Maybe changing your current golf ball is all you need?  You won’t know till you test it and compare it to others.

Indoor Golf Training

I was having a discussing with a group of other professionals on indoor training.  Here is my take on the importance of training indoors in the offseason.  The offseason usually takes a few months especially if you live in the cold weather climates.  A few months give you and your coach the time necessary to go through the following steps.  This will help you finally have the golf season you have always dreamed about.

I truly believe it is so much easier to ingrain new movement patterns when the student does not get to
see ball flight.  That is only created when hitting into a net.  Having a student hit into a net forces them to become more focused on improving the current motion.  Here is the catch though, I’ve said it more than once that ball flight is king and is required.  The instructor must have an accurate way of measuring the collision between club and ball.  If that information is not available or potentially incorrect, then indoor training in my opinion can cause serious issues once you get outside.  The whole purpose of trying to improve your swing shouldn’t be about making it look better on video.  It should be about improving your impact alignments.  Impact alignments include but are not limited to club path, and face angle.  All impact alignments govern how the ball will fly!

So to gain control over your impact alignments you have to give some of that control up.  You give up searching for where that ball ended up and focus on what your coach wants you to do.  Let the coach keep track of what is happening at impact and how the ball flies.  If he is keeping data then you’ll be able to see the improvements happen without stressing about the finish product.  Also, to achieve that finish product you need a plan and must have set goals!

Now I’m going to have you think a bit.  When was the last time you entered the 19th hole and didn’t get asked “What did you Shoot?”  Did they first ask you what your swing looked like or how far you hit it?  Doesn’t it take ball control to shoot lower scores?  Tour professionals all have unique swings but possess unmatched ball control skills from tee to green?    I’m sure I’ve got you thinking now about your ball control skills.

Let’s continue looking at ball control.  The more control you have over the ball the greater the chances you’ll score better.  You’ll be able to hit more fairways, greens in regulation, and even make more putts.  Maybe you already have good ball control skills from the tee but suffer controlling the ball coming into the green. I really don’t know and you might not either.  Hiring a golf coach will help you find out exactly what skills you need to improve on.  Golf coaches and golf instructors are completely different which I’ll get into another time.

Lastly, I firmly believe that if everyone was to shoot lower scores their enjoyment of the game would go up.  Don’t know many people who consistently do things they are not good at or don’t even enjoy doing.  Golf is fun!

How important is Off-Season Work

I find that the off-season is the absolute best time to work on improving the mechanics of your swing.  Changing the mechanics of the swing also must coincide with what the student’s goals are and how much time they are willing to put into the equation. Trying to change a technical aspect in somebody’s golf swing during the season on a Wednesday for instance and they are playing golf on Saturday isn’t fair.  It’s not fair for the instructor or for the golfer.  This in my opinion is where golf instruction fails and where coaching thrives.  That I’ll explain another time.

What every golfer needs to understand is that you are ultimately being judged on your ability to control the flight of the golf ball from tee to green and not the motion of the swing.  If you keep that in mind you are well on your road in starting to shoot lower scores.  If you plan on making any swing changes those changes better be a result of improving a ball flight and not fitting into the method of your instructor.  We all have seen it week in and week out, all touring professional have their own unique style in swinging the club.  They have learned to develop the skills necessary to control their ball and you are no different.

Improving your motion is also best done without you seeing the flight of the golf ball.  The key word is YOU!  The instructor must have a tool to precisely measure your impact alignments because those impact alignments control the flight of the ball.  If you don’t believe me, research the D-Plane yourself.  The D-Plane is ball flight law on center face hits.  Tools that accurately measure impact alignments make working indoors well worth it.

Lastly, using a stat tracking program such as Shot-by-Shot during the season makes figuring out what YOU need in the off-season easy.  These stats help a coach create your program for improvement.  Without stats it’s almost like shooting in the dark!  If you don’t have stats, start researching Shot-by-Shot and get on it.  It will be well worth your time and I’m pretty certain it could open your eyes to what you truly need.  Why do I say this?  I have student’s using Shot-by-Shot now and it has changed what my students now want from me.  That and most students are not honest with what they really need.  I have learned what golfers’ want isn’t exactly what they need.  Now since we are in the off-season and you probably have no stats, so we really don’t know what you need.  This is where getting some type of ball control skills testing is a must!  That test will help direct you in a direction to start your off-season improvement program.

Using K-Vest for Pitch Motion

K-Vest is such a great universal tool in helping golfers improve.   I find it especially helpful in building a consistent set-up while we focus our attention on another task.   Here I’m using it with a junior, what we are trying to focus on is creating a solid pitch motion.  Having K-Vest working in the background allows the student to develop the skill of getting into the same set-up.  That then provides them a greater chance of being able to create a fundamentally sound pitch motion.  What it does between us is it keeps the unnecessary shatter out of the equation.  Now the conversation remains on developing pitch motion as well as keeping his mind focused on the new feelings he’s generating.

I’ve found that multi-tasking this way and keeping the dialogue to what’s necessary really helps the student figure out exactly what they need to do.  Ensuring that they hit the essential skill associated with a pitch motion and allowing them to add their own unique twist to the equation works best.  I have yet to see any two touring professionals create the same motion.  At the same time I have yet to see them not perform some of the essential skills necessary to control the golf ball.

TrackMan Golf Will Help Your Game!

I’m sure by now you have heard about Trackman and how important it’s been to the game of golf.  This isn’t going to be completely about that, but it will be about one of its applications.  Hopefully this will shed some light on those of you who have not used Trackman yet and for those of you who have, excellent, because you already know how great it is.

The application I’m talking about is the approach test.  This is an unbelievable application in determining your average distance from the pin while creating pressure that is found on the golf course.

Basically this is how it works.  I’ll ask the student to grab a scoring club and to give me a carry yardage for it.  I’ve actually already had some of them tell me they are not sure.  That is a problem all in itself.  How do you expect to hit it close if you don’t know how far you actually carry the golf ball?  When I get that response, it becomes an easy fix.  I’ll go through a quick gapping report with them so they can have those numbers.

Now back to the approach test application.  TrackMan will create virtual target circles at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 yards from center pin for the golfer to see on the computer screen.  Golfers then get to hit 10 golf balls to their specific carry yardage.  While the progression of the 10 golf balls is being hit, TrackMan produces a handicap for that distance being tested based on the distance your shot landed from the center pin.  Each golf ball hit is tracked, as well as its data being saved, for a complete PDF summary.  This is great to come back for review to ensure progress is being attained.

By the time the test ends, you will know exactly what your handicap is for that distance along with your average distance away from the pin.  This information obtained during the test is vital in achieving lower golf scores.

Why is this information so vital?  Well how to do expect to consistently shoot lower scores if your average distance from the pin is outside of 30 feet for a scoring club?  In 2010, Paul Stankowski led the PGA Tour by making 2 percent of his 25 attempts from 30-35’.  How many of those putts do you actually expect to make?  Where would you think the personalized plan should start with knowing this information?  To me it would start with the clubs that effect scoring the most, wouldn’t you agree?