Today's podcast is the first in our series: GSA Q&A where we take questions from our Golf Strategy Academy members and answer them on the podcast. Today's question is from Josh in Las Vegas about how he can change his habit of spending too much time over the ball.
Hey Golf Strategy School Marty back with you here again and today we're featuring a question from a Golf Strategy Academy member Joshua out of Las Vegas sent an email wondering, and I love this question because Joshua saying he's struggling with too many swing thoughts. He's noticing that he's taking too long over the ball. He mentions that, let's see here. Been playing well recently but run into problems where I stall over the shot. It's gotten to the point where my League members actually give me crap about how long I take over the ball. Any thoughts on how I could help move beyond this mental block?
The reason I chuckle is because I've been there, and I've been there with many other students. And the solution is actually rather easy.
Like you said, you actually just get caught up, for whatever reason just hung up over a shot. For most people it's a thousand different swing thoughts going through their head. You know I've got to keep my right arm tucked in, and my left arm straight, and I've got to go 9 o'clock, and my hips got to turn, and all these different things going on in your head. And because you've got a thousand different swing thoughts happening you don't officially execute any of them.
There's some really cool brain science that's been going on, one of our past guests, he actually went through, he uses a software called Wujitech where it actually measures brain wave, brain activity a lot like some of the other software that are out there during your golf swing. And what we've actually learn from this, and his name is Geoff Greig. What we've learned from this is that in those moments where you have a bunch of different thoughts going on, your brain can't focus on any one of them, and so like I said you end up doing nothing correct. So the cool thing that's been kind of discovered is that this crux of the problem is actually providing you your own solution. So you're trying to do all these different swing thoughts, trying to make that perfect swing, well when in reality you need to get out of your own way. And so it's kind of odd but what we're going to do here is we're going to fight fire with fire. So if you got all these thoughts going through your head and you can't make a good swing what we need to do is occupy your brain. And Geoff Greig like I said he's done a lot of research using Wujitech to find different solutions to this, and one of my personal favorites is his solution and it is to hum while you swing.
So just make a humming noise and from there what your brain has to do is it has to focus on making that noise, and so it gets all those swing thoughts out of your head. Another reason why I like this humming method so much is because it also gives you a really good sense of what type of rhythm you have for that individual swing. So, if you're doing a a nice even-toned hum throughout the swing that means you've got a real smooth pace, that means that you are right on top of where you need to be, you're not over-exerting yourself. If you noticed there is a sharp pitch change in your hum, well that tells me and it should indicate to you that maybe you're trying to put a little too much behind this, trying to hit the ball a little too hard. It's an awesome drill you can take directly onto the course when you play. Maybe you don't want to hum that loud if you're, or your buddies are giving you grief about taking too long with the ball maybe you want to keep your humming down and bit, or maybe you'll get your shot in first before everyone catches up with you. That's one of the things that is, and I hesitate to say revolutionary, but it's a big eye opener for a lot of people.
The other thing that we tend to see a lot of times is for people who struggle with all those different swing thoughts, maybe it's not a swing thought maybe it's an over analysis. You know you get into deciding 6-iron maybe 7-iron, is the wind too much in my face, is it a club worth of elevation, all of these things. These are the things that you should have already decided on and that's a commitment issue which we will talk about in a different episode, but when we get into these situations where our brains kind of overactive again finding another way to occupy it is crucial.
One of the other things I've seen a lot of people do, and this is something that Dave Heinen mentioned in past episodes is to actually give yourself a countdown. If you know exactly what you're pre-shot routine is, like for myself I take a practice swing, then I stand behind the ball, I pick out my target, I then address the ball, put the club-face to that target just directly in front of the ball, one more last look down the target line, and away we go. So I have about five steps in my pre-shot routine. From making that decision in terms of what club I'm going to hit to actually executing the swing, so if that were something I were struggling with I would verbally count it down. 5-4-3-2-1 each time I'm completing a stage of that initial process. That way my brain doesn't have time to leak in all these directions. I got to stick to my routine, and I got to say it out loud. So it really removes any of that extraneous thought. For me 5 is the practice swing, 4 stand behind the ball at the target, 3 addressing the ball, 2 last look down the fairway, 1 is that breath out, and then I swing. So that's another way depending on what your pre-shot routine is. It can be more it can be less. Really want to keep it the shorter the better that way you don't have any of that time to actually drift off into different thought patterns. Again counting down, out loud counting down can be a big benefit to just removing all of that extraneous thought and getting your head clear so you can actually perform up to your capabilities. Because the fact of the matter is Joshua that you've done this before. You know we've talked before about your game. You've got a lot of really good swings and you, you've shot a lot of really good numbers. You already have the proof your body and your brain know how to do this, you just need to get all that extra crap out of the way. And to do this use one of these two techniques. I personally like the hum because it helps me feel a little bit more in tune with my rhythm, but if the hums not working for you right away go to the countdown. Whether it's from 5 whether it's from 3 whatever you want to do go to your countdown with your pre-shot routine say it out loud and that's going to be something that can really, really elevate you're in-the-moment execution.
That's what we have for you today Golf Strategy School. Thank you so much for listening. Again, we're moving more towards these individual, I guess it's not truly a Q&A necessarily, but these user-submitted questions from the golf strategy academy, and we're making sure we get these answers out there to everybody. You can see what kind of treatment all our members get inside the Golf Strategy Academy. That's something you're looking to do if you really want to take your game seriously, and really get up to snuff this year you can always get more information by going to golfstrategyschool.com/membership-info. You can learn all about the Golf Strategy Academy there I've got a nice short video for you otherwise I encourage you to get out there, get whatever kind of practice you can, but make sure it's focused, make sure it's randomized, and make sure you're actually getting better. So if any of you have any questions members always come first, but feel free to shoot an email my way firstname.lastname@example.org and I will catch everybody out there in the short grass. Cheers.
Happy new year everyone! Hopefully you've had a good holiday and are ready to kick off your season right.
Today I wanted to talk about the three most impactful episodes of the podcast and how you can use them to maximize your off-season.
When most people think about the off-season their mind immediately goes to fitness. Mike and Kyle from super speed golf shared some incredible information about how to physically train for a more powerful swing. (Full episode here)
I know a lot of people don't like going to the gym (frankly, neither do I!). The coolest thing about the workout technique Mike & Kyle have developed is that it A) draws on proven science used in other sports and B) doesn't require you to go to the gym and lift heavy things!
They use a process called over speed training to help golfers build their swing speed. It borrows from a technique in baseball where pitchers use balls that are different weights to not only build their muscles, but to train their brain and body to throw faster.
They have three weighted golf clubs, 2 lighter than a driver, 1 heavier, that you swing in order then finish with your actual driver. The brain science here is really cool. They've found that your brain will only let you swing the club as fast as you can safely STOP it. So by using the lighter clubs your brain learns that it actually swing fans stop faster. By swinging the heavier club your body gets used to moving a heavy more difficult object and when you switch back to your driver, the combination of the two lets you swing quicker. They've seen immediate gains of 5-7% swing speed just from the mental component.
This has been so successful for them that they have several PGA & LPGA pros using them. Here's a video from twitter of Billy Horschel getting his work in with super speed golf! I even use super speed as part of my training. If you want to get your own you can get a 10% discount using our code: golfstrategy (all one word). As always I want to be totally transparent, I do receive an affiliate commission, but this is something that is a literal game changer, and it’s in my bag too!
The second most impactful podcast is that of Greg Liberto, the Head Coach. I use a lot of the things that Greg share in my mental game coaching. There are some truly foundational things that are extremely easy to do but for whatever reason, we neglect them. The biggest in my opinion is to have a POSTgame routine. (Full episode)
Greg’s big three questions are:
The first question gets you to think positively about your game. Too many people neglect to do positive reflection about their abilities. This can be a huge step to building confidence!
Question two gets into the self analysis part that people tend to either skip or not take seriously. This isn't something to get down on yourself about, rather use it to prepare for your next practice session.
Question three gets us right to the point of what’s next on the agenda. Pick the low hanging fruit and get it fixed pronto!
If you make this part of your golf routine you start to manage your time better and you get to the things that need fixing quicker. This will help you stack your success and become a better golfer.
Our third impactful podcast is the first interview with George Roy who not only shared some awesome practice routines but also taught us an all time great lesson in how to set goals. (Full episode)
George’s strategy is to not set a goal of a score, but rather a series of small achievements that will add up to that score. If we wanted to shoot 79 we wouldn’t try to go 40-39 because if we get off to a bad start we could get discouraged and shoot 95! On the flip side, if we were really setting the course on fire and went out in 35, it would be really easy to take our foot off the gas because we only need to shoot 44 on the back nine to meet our goal. Be honest, would you be happy with a 79 is it was 35-44? NO! You probably would’ve wanted to stay at or below par. So instead we would set our goal as a specific number of fairways, greens in regulation, and two putts. When we follow George’s method of goal setting helps remove self these self limiting beliefs.
So if you’re new to the show or just feeling like taking golf more seriously this year those are the podcasts that I would review to really help get you going on the right foot. Stay tuned for upcoming podcasts where I’ll be answering questions submitted by our Golf Strategy Academy members. And hey, if you really want take your game seriously this year you can join me in the Golf Strategy Academy Membership