Belly Putter Revolution!

My putting has improved significantly since I got a belly putter. Distance control was a bit difficult at first, but with a little practice I am now able to lag puts as good as with any other putter. I am making more long puts and 3 and 4 footers. Below is a good post discussing the belly putter with some positive as well as negative viewpoints.

Belly Putter Revolution!.

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Golf: The Four Most Common Setup and Swing Faults (part 3)

Part 1 of this series introduced the four most common setup and swing faults. It also discussed the importance of having a correct grip and provided a link discussing how to get a proper grip. Part 2 discussed and provided links for posture and alignment.

Part 3 of this series discusses one of the most common swing faults. That is, not staying connected. A connected swing simply means that the hips, torso, shoulders and arms are working in the proper order. See my post on biomechanics for an explanation. Most high handicap golfers get this sequence wrong by letting their arms out pace the rest of their body leading to all kinds of errant shots.

The key to staying connected is to keep the upper left arm close to the chest on the backswing and the downswing, with the right arm reconnecting during the downswing and the follow-through. Here is a link with further explanation and some videos.

Correcting any or all of the setup and swing faults discussed in this series will produce cleaner, crisper shots and contribute to a more consistent and reliable golf swing

Online Self-Publishing Resources

Lately I have been getting a lot of questions regarding how to publish books online. I basically use 3 publishers, 4 if you count both of Amazon.com’s websites. With these 4, you can publish in all formats and distribute worldwide for little or nothing. Royalties can be paid by check, bank transfer or to your PayPal account. Promoting your books will take more effort than writing and publishing them. If I get enough interest I may write some posts on how to get your books discovered and how to increase sales. Finally, if you are at all hesitant about self-publishing, read this.

All the sites below require that you set up an account (free with no obligation). My suggestion is that you use the publishers in the order that I have listed them below. They are listed in order of most sales for my books.

1. Kindle
Publishes for Kindle only (an Amazon.com company). You set your own price. Distributes worldwide for free (you can select where to distribute). I do not advise signing up for KDP Select as you must give Amazon exclusive rights to your book.
Kindle links of interest:
Amazon.com online publishing – Getting Started.

2. Smashwords
Publishes in all electronic formats of your choice including Kindle, but does not distribute to Amazon yet. You set your own price. Distributes worldwide free (you can select where to distribute).
Smashwords links of interest:
Style Guide (free)
Book Marketing Guide (free)
The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (free)

3. Lulu (optional with Smashwords)
Publishes in some electronic formats and in paperback. You set your own price. Distribute worldwide free for electronic formats. There is a distribution fee for paperback books.
Lulu links of interest:
Publishing Information

4. Createspace
Publishes paperbacks only (an Amazon.com company). You set your own price. Distributes worldwide. Amazon.com U. S. distribution is free, but worldwide distribution requires a fee.
Createspace links of interest:
Formatting your Files

Did Tiger Woods Loose His Confidence at the U.S. Open?

After my post The Demeanor of Tiger Woods, Tiger won a stunning victory at the Player’s Championship and after two days seemed to be on his way to another U.S. Open win. His focus, shot making and confidence all seemed to be where it needed to be when he teed-off tied for the lead on Saturday morning. Then something happened. He struggled the first 9 holes having trouble with his distance control and it was obvious that he could not figure out the speed of the greens. On the back 9 it just got worse and when he threw his club after a bad drive it showed that he was loosing what it takes to win. He finished at +5 well behind the leaders.

After Saturdays round several TV commentators made the point that Tiger had never come back to win a major championship pointing out that he is 0 for 48 in that category. I don’t know if watches or listens to comments about himself, but I am sure he is very aware of his record.

As he walked up to the first tee on Sunday one could see that he was in that “trance like” state that he gets in just before starting a round. The difference was that there was not a look of confidence on his face, but rather a look of concern. It was like he was still trying to figure out what had gone wrong the day before. As everyone knows by now, the confusion and lack of confidence showed in the first 6 holes as he had several bogies and one double bogey. After that I think he relaxed knowing that he was not going to win and shot 3 under par for the last 12 holes finishing up at +7.

During the interview after he finished, he stated that there were several positive things that he could take away from the tournament. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what he was talking about. I think he mentioned that he was striking the ball well, but errant drives repeatedly got him into trouble on the last day and distance control was a constant nemesis throughout the tournament. Finally, how does a professional golfer not figure out the speed of the greens after four days? Currently he his playing in streaks as demonstrated by his wins and losses this year. Sometimes he plays brilliantly and other time miserably. He seems to be on his way back to playing at the level required to win regularly on the PGA tour, but it is still questionable whether he can win another major tournament. Peak performance and winning time runs out for all professional golfers. Is his time starting to run out?

Golf: The 4 Most Common Setup and Swing Faults (part 2)

In part 1 of this series I discussed the grip as being one of the 3 most common setup faults. In this post I am going to talk about the other two. That is, posture and alignment.

Fault 2 – Posture
Proper posture is important because it ensures good balance throughout the swing and allows one to achieve maximum power during the downswing. The most common fault that I see with posture is when the hands are set too far away from the body with the arms extending out from the shoulders at an angle other than vertical. With the arms in this position it is difficult to create and maintain a proper swing plane which may cause the arms to reroute on the downswing. Secondly, if the arms are not allowed to hang down naturally then one must make an effort (tension) to hold them up. This can lead to tension buildup throughout the entire swing.

It has been written that the spine angle at address should be between 30 and 45 degrees from vertical. That is a substantial difference and is probably because golfers come in all different heights. Nevertheless, getting into the proper posture with the arms hanging vertically and the spine at the proper angle is not all that difficult to do. Learn how here. After learning how to obtain the proper posture and what it feels like, check it every time you make a swing.

Fault 3 – Alignment
Alignment is simply the process of making sure the feet, knees, hips, shoulders and eyes are parallel to each other and to the target line. Average golfers usually get their feet, knees and hips aligned parallel, but fail to get them to align parallel to the target line. The tendency is to align everything towards the target line. At the same time, the shoulders tend not to be aligned with the rest of the body, but rather in an open position . This can cause a shot to go left or right off the club face or cause an otherwise good shot to go right of the target. Learn how to achieve the proper alignment here.

Obtaining the proper grip, posture and alignment before every shot will contribute to better performance on the golf course. Check them often as you work them into your pre-shot routine.

In part 3 of this series I will discuss a swing key that you must get correct to execute a good golf shot.