Week 12/Day 2 Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

KPJ’s Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

Heading into the last week of the Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program, your focus should continue to be on tightening up all areas of your game so there are no obvious weaknesses and polishing your swing technique so you can concentrate on scoring when you finally get out on the golf course this upcoming season.

During this week, we will focus on refining key scoring skills.

Don’t neglect your golf fitness.  Continue to practice golf-specific stretches and warm up routines.

Monday-Basic Refresher Course

Today-Tuesday-The Swing/Warm Up

Wednesday-The Long Game/Strength Exercise

Thursday-The Short Game/Flexibility Exercise

Friday-Practice/Balance and Endurance Work

Building on the established foundation of a good grip, stance, alignment and posture reacquaint yourself with the correct body motion, arm swing, wrist action and resistance that combine to create a solid and repetitive swing.  Rehearse the key elements of the golf swing so that they blend together to form a free-flowing, continuous motion.

  • Go back through my blog archives and study the parts of the swing that you need to work on
  • Make practice swings without a ball in front of a mirror, focusing on your key checkpoints
  • When you visit the practice range, hit a few balls working on your fundamentals

Note: To get more distance , try hitting the ball straighter instead of harder.  Concentrate on hitting the ball in the sweetspot of the clubface. If you have ever hit the sweetspot, you know that these shots fly farther than the shots you hit off-center in the heel or the toe.  For every quarter inch you hit the ball outside the sweetspot, you lose up to 10 yards of distance. So for maximum power, improve your swing technique to consistently hit the ball in the center of the clubface.

Watch this video to help you understand how to the ball more solid, in the center of the clubface.

Click below to view video

KPJ Golf Tips on YouTube

Colorado downswing

Warm Up 101-

Essentials to Better Play and Minimizing Risk of Injury

Studies show that 53% of amateur golfers and 30% of professional golfers have sustained an injury while playing golf and most of those injuries actually occurred while hitting balls on the golf course and practicing on the driving range.

Professional golfers have more overuse injuries due to hours of practice while weekend golfers are more likely to get injured from lack of conditioning and poor swing mechanics.  While you may not think that the golf course is a hazardous to your health, there is potential risk of suffering serious injuries to the wrists, elbows, lower back, hips and knees.

Warming up is the easiest and most effective way to prevent injuries that can happen during practice and play.

If you have ever participated in a sport or some form of exercise most likely you performed some type of regular warm up and cool down before and after competition.  So why wouldn’t you warm up before a round of golf or a practice session? Swinging a golf club up to 300 times a round including practice swings at speeds upwards of 90 miles per hour stress our muscles, tendons and joints to full capacity. Injury rates for recreational golfers are at an astounding rate of more than 50% – and even higher for golfers over age of 50. Recreational golfers have typically skipped warming up before play and practice because of the misconception that golf is not a strenuous activity or because of time constraints.  We are all so busy, so when we have time to play golf, we are all anxious to get out on the golf course and we end up skipping the warm up. But skipping the warm up may mean that it takes us four or five holes before we loosen up and gain our form and by that time, our score may already be ruined.  If you had only spent a few minutes warming up before the first tee, you could not only avoid those big numbers on your scorecard the first few holes, but also prevent injury.

Professional golfers now know that a proper warm up is essential for peak performance.  Most recreational golfers quite haven’t caught on with the trend, they typically go straight from their car to the first tee and wonder why they don’t hit a solid shot until the 5th or 6th hole. No matter what level of player you are, a proper warm up can help you play your best golf and prevent injuries.

Off-Course Exercise

Complete the Pre-Swing Muscle and Joint Warm Up chapter from the Cardiogolf DVD.  To order your own copy of Cardiogolf visit cardiogolf .

On-Course Exercise-You should incorporate an active warm up before you stretch specifically for golf. Active warm-ups can be general and or golf specific.  A general warm-up incorporates large muscles of the upper and lower body and require you to move at a brisk pace for 5 to 10 minutes so that elevate your heart rate.  For younger players the ideal is to break a sweat: for older golfers, it’s to become slightly winded. Such activities include walking, jogging or jumping jacks or jump rope. Anything that will get your heart rate up.

If looking silly is your concern, you don’t want people to see you jumping rope or something, then simply walking is a way to get warmed up.  Instead of driving the golf cart to the driving range, send your partner ahead and walk there. A lot of people may have a hard time doing an active warm up because they don’t want to look silly doing jumping jacks or jogging.  My advice is to either do it where no one can see you or get over it.  Who cares what people think if it is going to help your game!!

Off-Course Exercise-Here are a series of stretches that you can do on a daily basis to help your golf swing.

1. Cross Crawl to Warm up Body-Alternate lifting legs for 30 seconds.

2. Shoulder and Tricep Stretch-Interlace fingers and stretch arms in front of body.

3. Chest and Upper Back Stretch-Interlace fingers and stretch arms in back of body.

4. Low Back Stretch-Press hips forward and lean backwards.

5. Modified Low Back Stretch-Bend your knees and you press hips forward and lean backwards.

6. Wrist Flexion-Stretch arms out in front as you flex your wrists.

7. Shoulder Stretch-Raise arms above head.

8. Shoulder Stretch-Swing right arm across chest and repeat with left arm.

9. Balance Exercise-Lift one leg up as you pump arms up and down, repeat on opposite leg.

10. Shoulder and Lat Stretch-Pull right arm across body and repeat with left arm.

Hold each stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.

Email me your questions and comments-kpj@swingbladegolf.com.

Week 12/Day 1 Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

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KPJ’s Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

Heading into the last week of the Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program, your focus should continue to be on tightening up all areas of your game so there are no obvious weaknesses and polishing your swing technique so you can concentrate on scoring when you finally get out on the golf course this upcoming season.

During this week, we will focus on refining key scoring skills.

Don’t neglect your golf fitness.  Continue to practice golf-specific stretches and warm up routines.

Today-Monday-Basic Refresher Course

Tuesday-The Swing/Warm Up

Wednesday-The Long Game/Strength Exercise

Thursday-The Short Game/Flexibility Exercise

Friday-Practice/Balance and Endurance Work

Grip Essentials

Nobody’s hands are the same, so you grip might not be the same as your fellow player’s, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. How you join your hands together is up to you. There are three basic grip choices to find one that best suits you. Use whatever grip feels comfortable to you. Most importantly, use the grip that helps you square the clubface at impact with the least effort. Experiment with your grip by hitting balls with the different grips to see what works best.

Strive to form a neutral grip.

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The Vardon Grip: The most widely used grip by golf professionals is called the Vardon grip, named after the grip’s inventor, Harry Vardon. This is where you piggyback the pinkie finger of your right hand on top of the forefinger of your left hand.
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The Interlocking Grip: The interlocking grip is where you interlock the pinkie finger of the right hand with the forefinger of the left hand.
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Baseball or 10-Finger Grip: This is where all 10 fingers are securely on the shaft, as if you were holding a baseball bat.

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Learn to waggle

It is important to get the correct grip pressure before each swing, to keep your swing consistent.

Place your hands on the club and hold the club head just below waist high. The club head should feel heavy. If it feels light, you are gripping way too tightly and your won’t be able to release the club face and hit a good shot.  Make sure the grip pressure is the same in each hand, not tighter in one than the other. Keep the grip pressure the same throughout your swing. Don’t tighten or loosen your hands at the top of your swing, especially not at impact. Learn to waggle. A waggle is a little motion each golfer does before hitting to ensure proper grip pressure and take tension out of her hands and arms. Hold the club above the ground just below waist high. Now make small, controlled clockwise circles with the club head, making sure that your hands stay securely on the shaft. The club head should feel heavy. If it feels light, you are holding it too tightly.  When you are confident that your grip pressure is just right, you are ready to place the club head behind the ball and swing.

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Posture Essentials

Everything you do before you swing determines how well you strike the ball. With a poor setup, even the best golfers in the world will not hit the ball straight. Take the time to correctly set up each time for a consistent swing.

*A quality set up is completely relaxed and tension free.

*The stance is about shoulder width, providing a stable base from which to swing.

*Bending from the hip sockets as opposed to the waist will allow you to make a powerful body coil.

*Flex the knees only slightly.

*Let your arms hang naturally, not too close or too far from the body.

*Your back hand (the right hand for right-handed golfers, the left hand for left-handers) is lower on the club than the front hand. Hence, your back arm, shoulder, and hip will be slightly lower than than the front side.

*Bend from the hip sockets, not your waist.

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Ball position and weight distribution are closely, related. The distribution of your weight at address can affect your swing significantly. In fact, weight distribution should change to match the shot you are playing.

With short irons, there is slightly more weight on the lead leg and the ball position is in the middle of your stance. With the rest of the irons and fairways woods, the weight distribution is about even. When driving, there is slightly more weight on the back leg than the front leg.

Ball position for short irons is just to the right of center for right-handed golfers and just to the left of center for the left-hander golfer. As you progress to longer clubs, move the ball a half of a rotation toward the target. The ball position for the driver will then end up opposite of the front heel. With a driver, the ball should fall underneath your front ear, making your head start behind the ball.

Ball Position for an Iron
Ball Position for an Iron
Ball Position for Driver
Ball Position for Driver

Trouble-Shooting

The “slicer” tends to keep too much weight on the front leg at address for all shots, which restricts the shoulder turn and encourages a steep out-to-in swing.

Someone that tends to “hook” the ball too much will have too much weight on the back leg and play the ball too far back in the stance. Adjust your weight distribution to correct your swing flaw.

Slicer's Position-too much weight on front side
Slicer’s Position-too much weight on front side

Alignment Tips

Alignment is the easiest fundamental to work on, and probably one of the most neglected principles of golf. A good shot is useless unless it is going toward your intended target.

First, you align the clubface square to your target line, and then you align your body. One of the biggest mistakes I see as a teacher is when people line up their body to the target first, then set the clubface down. This sequence usually makes people misalign their bodies, causing them to twist and turn inappropriately to get the ball to the target. Do not make the mistake that 90 percent of higher-handicappers do by not taking the time to align the body correctly.

The easiest and most effective way to align correctly is to set-up in an alignment station. Place a club down on the ground, pointing parallel to your target. With a secure grip and stepping forward with your back foot, set the clubface down behind the ball with the leading edge perpendicular to your target line. Then set your front foot into position and adjust your back foot into place so that both are parallel to your target line. Your feet, hips, knees, shoulders and even eye line should be parallel to your target line.

Avoid aiming your body at the target. This closes you off and promotes an inside-out swing or makes you hook the ball excessively. Practice hitting to targets with clubs so you can teach yourself to aim correctly.

On-Course Exercise

Practice your posture with each club. Although clubs are different lengths, the basic golf posture remains the same. One key point to remember is to try to keep your spine in a neutral position, not too straight or not slumped over.  The purpose of the golf posture is to create a position from which you can make an athletic swing.

Ball Position for an Iron
Ball Position for an Iron

Off-Course Exercise

Check your set-up and posture in front of a mirror and compare it to a photo of a professional golfer from a golf magazine, make sure your model is similar to your build and stature .

On-Course Exercise

Practice hitting shots with correct alignment: aim the clubface is the first and most important part of correct alignment. Use a club on the ground as a reference point around which you can position your feet and body correctly. Remember also that while the clubface aims at your intended target, the rest of your body aims parallel to the target line.

Off-Course Exercise

Complete the Pre-Swing Muscle and Joint Warm Up chapter from the Cardiogolf DVD.  To order your own copy of Cardiogolf visit cardiogolf .

Preview Cardiogolf

Send me your questions and comments to KPJ@swingbladegolf.com


Week 11/Day 5 Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

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KPJ’s Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

Heading into the last couple of weeks of the Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program, your focus should be on tightening up all areas of your game so there are no obvious weaknesses and polishing your swing technique so you can concentrate on scoring when you finally get out on the golf course this upcoming season.

During this week, we will focus on refining key scoring areas especially around the green and approach shots.

Don’t neglect your golf fitness.  Continue to practice golf-specific stretches and warm up routines.

Monday-Chipping Practice

Pitching and Sand Practice

Wednesday-Putting Practice

Thursday-Approach Iron Practice

Today-Friday-Practicing from within 100 yards

Pitching Workout

When I talk about practicing within 100 yards, I am referring to any pitch shot  from about 30 to 100 yards that requires less than a full swing with a wedge or sand wedge.

The first thing is that we should we the very basics about Pitching.  Here are some Key Thoughts:

  1. The length of your shot determines the length of the swing.  This is where feel is very important.
  2. Narrow stance to stabilize lower body.  You don’t want a lot of weight shift on the backswing.  Think of a pitch as a one axis swing.
  3. You can open your stance, but keep your shoulders square, you still want to hit the inside of the ball.
  4. Wrist Action is Key…The club must work up, so you need to hinge your wrists as you start the backswing.
  5. Hands ahead at impact.
  6. Even though this is no weight shift on backswing you need a little on the downswing and follow-through.
  7. Your backswing and downswing will not necessarily be the same length.
  8. Experiment with ball position and clubface angle.  Different ball position, different trajectory.
  9. Think Ernie Els rhythm when you pitch.
  10. You can’t practice this enough!

Practice Workout-

30-40 minutes( alternate sand wedge, pitching wedge, fairway wedge)

  1. Basic Pitch over a bunker.  Start in the rough and hit a few pitches over a bunker to the green.  Work on rhythm and wrist hinge.  5 to 10 minutes.
  2. 10 pitches 20 yards on a good spongy fairway lie.  Step off 20 yards and experiment with ball position and landing ball.
  3. 10 pitches 40 yards.  Once again on a good lie, hit 10 pitches and focus where your want to land the ball.
  4. 10 pitches 60 yards on a good lie.  Focus on the length of the swing that you need for this shot.
  5. 10 shots alternating 20, 40, 60 yards.
  6. Throw 10 balls down, don’t fix the lies and hit pitches.
  7. 10 pitches 40 yards hitting to front pin then back pin.  Practice high shots, low shots.
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    On-Course Exercise- One of the greatest challenges in pitching is being able to control the distance that you hit the ball.  Practice hitting shots to different distances.  Practice hitting shots taking the club back hip high, then waist high, then shoulder high.  Measure how far each shot goes and take some notes.  This will give you an idea of how far you can hit shots with your different swings.
    Off-Course Exercise-Complete the Pre-Swing Muscle and Joint Warm Up chapter from the Cardiogolf DVD.  To order your own copy of Cardiogolf visit cardiogolf .

    Email me your thoughts and comments to KPJ@swingbladegolf.com.

Week 11/Day 4 Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

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KPJ’s Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

Heading into the last couple of weeks of the Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program, your focus should be on tightening up all areas of your game so there are no obvious weaknesses and polishing your swing technique so you can concentrate on scoring when you finally get out on the golf course this upcoming season.

During this week, we will focus on refining key scoring areas especially around the green and approach shots.

Don’t neglect your golf fitness.  Continue to practice golf-specific stretches and warm up routines.

Monday-Chipping Practice

Pitching and Sand Practice

Wednesday-Putting Practice

Today-Thursday-Approach Iron Practice

Friday-Practicing from within 100 yards

Approach Irons

Capitalizing on par-3 holes is one of the keys to having a good round. Most par-3 holes are set up for you to use short or medium irons. If you can par all the par-3 holes during the round, which is well within most golfer’s capabilities, you set yourself up for a low score.

Par-3 Basics-

  • Don’t assume that you are going to make a par on a short par-3 hole. Concentrate just like you would on difficult holes.
  • Par-3 holes usually have smaller or more difficult greens than other holes, so accuracy is a must.
  • Par-3 holes are usually guarded more by water hazards, bunkers and rough, with sloping greens, so spend more time thinking about club selection and strategy.

Practice-

To be a consistent approach shot player, it is important keep your swing tight and tidy at the top.  The ideal position at the top of the swing is where your hands stop at the side of your head just short of parallel.  It is not necessary to get the club parallel at the top.  Practice getting your club in the same position at the top of your swing.

Keep your hands to the side of your head with short irons
Keep your hands to the side of your head with short irons

On-Course Exercise

Commit to warming up before play or practice. Throughout this program, I have given you several warm up routines to help you prepare for your round and help you prevent injury. Watch this short video to see how you can incorporate Pilates into your game. Click here to watch a short video

Off-Course Exercise

Complete the Pre-Swing Muscle and Joint Warm Up chapter from the Cardiogolf DVD.  To order your own copy of Cardiogolf visit cardiogolf .

Send me your comments and questions KPJ@swingbladegolf.com.

Week 11/Day 3 Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

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KPJ’s Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

Heading into the last couple of weeks of the Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program, your focus should be on tightening up all areas of your game so there are no obvious weaknesses and polishing your swing technique so you can concentrate on scoring when you finally get out on the golf course this upcoming season.

During this week, we will focus on refining key scoring areas especially around the green and approach shots.

Don’t neglect your golf fitness.  Continue to practice golf-specific stretches and warm up routines.

Monday-Chipping Practice

Pitching and Sand Practice

Today-Wednesday-Putting Practice

Thursday-Short Irons Practice

Friday-Practicing from within 100 yards

Putting Review: The putting stroke is made by the shoulders controlling the movement of the arms and hands.  The shoulders, arms and hands move back and through in unison, so that the angle in the right wrist remains constant throughout the stroke.  This movement ensures that the putter stays on the correct path, which is just inside the target line as the length of the putt increases and goes straight through towards the hole on the follow-though.

Putting Practice:

Here are a few drills to help with putting:

The Carpet/Cup Drill :You can do this at home on the carpet with a cup True there is no break, which makes this the ideal drill to practice aim and distance. Start with three balls about 2 feet from the cup. Move back 5 feet each round until you’ve maxed the distance your room can accomodate. Take a rest and then repeat the drill only starting with the further distances first.

The Stop Putt: Take your normal putting swing. After you make contact with the ball immediately stop your swing. This is going to focus in on your aim and accuracy. After trying a bunch of putts this way, add back in your follow through and you should notice how your follow through really helps guide the clubface and ultimately the ball towards your target.

The Eyes Closed Test: Take 3 putts from the same location at the same target. Next try the putt three more times only with your eyes closed this time. Were the second three balls close to the first three? If so then you have good tempo, balance, and your backswing and follow through are coming through along the same line. If you are off on your second three, you may be naturally taking your backswing along an arced path instead of straight back.

Fringe Putting: I think one of the most over-looked putts is the fringe putt. Putting from the fringe or just outside the green is definitely different than putting on the actual green surface. More often than not putts are not hit with enough force and end up getting bogged down in the longer fringe grass. Practice putting from the fringe the next time you practice.

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On-Course Exercise

To practice a square clubface position, imagine the palm of the right hand is like the face of your putter. Find a tennis racquet and hold it in your right hand as if it were a putter.  Place your left hand on your shoulder to remind yourself  to rock the shoulders and make practice strokes. Concentrate on keeping the face of the racquet and your palm square to the hole throughout the stroke.  Notice how the angle in the right wrist almost increases in attempt to keep the clubface square.  Hit putts with your right hand only to help create clubface awareness.  When you place both hands on the putter, you will have a better sense of the path and clubface position.

Off-Course Exercise

Complete the Pre-Swing Muscle and Joint Warm Up chapter from the Cardiogolf DVD.  To order your own copy of Cardiogolf visit cardiogolf .

Send me your questions and comments to KPJ@swingbladegolf.com

I teach Golf and Pilates. I am a LPGA Master Professional and Certified Personal and Pilates Trainer