Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Great Tip from My First Boss!

Just had to share a golf tip from my first boss, Randy Robel.

One day when I was snap-hooking the ball he walked by and I asked him what I should do.

He said, "What's your ball flight look like?"

I said, "Low and left."

He said, "What would you do to hit it high and right?" And then he walked away.

That was a great tip!  It made me think about where the face and path were and what I should do to change it.

Had a left-handed player that was hitting it similarly low and right the other day and asked me what he should do.  I asked him the same question, and he said he would change the path and alter his impact position.

After 5 shots he said, "Why does that work? I didn't keep my head down and I didn't hit down on it."

With a smile I said, "What else do you want to know?"

After a brief 'deer-in-the-headlights' look, a happy look of understanding spread across his face...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Some Golf Instruction is Just Plain Bad

This blog post is biased.  Fair warning.

It is biased against bad golf instruction.

A recent explanation by Michael Breed on the Golf Channel on how to hit a ball below your feet was SO bad I felt I had to address it.

A ball below your feet SHOULD PUSH, FADE, OR SLICE, depending on how severe the slope is.

“But we don’t want a slice!”


“We want to fight the slope!”


“Here’s how you do it. You’re going to grip the club just a little bit shut so that clubface is a little bit closed.  You’re going to take your trail foot and move it up the hill a little bit and that’s going to allow you a little bit more turn.  And then let your forearms feel free to rotate over.  That’s going to keep that clubface in a shut or closed position.  And we’re going to hit a very straight shot with possibly even a little bit of a draw.

“And that’s how you’re going to fight the slope.  That’s how you’re going to get rid of that slice ON A LIE WHERE IT SAYS IT’S GOING RIGHT!




Nothing about what he says is working WITH the slope.  In this case there is no way that the club will present itself to the ball to produce a consistent shot.  Or for that matter, any shot that is PREDICTABLE!


If the lie says it’s going right, it is far more valuable to know where it’s going AND LET IT GO THERE than to try to hit it somewhere else.

Rather, Breed’s instruction is PREDICTABLY UNPREDICTABLE!  At impact the clubhead will be in a very UPRIGHT position in relation to the slope causing a pull, hook, chunk, or bladed shot.  Or even a (GASP!) … SHANK!!


If the lie says the ball should go to the right, AIM LEFT!!!  MATCH THE SLOPE!!!  AND LET IT GO RIGHT!!!




 -- Bob Duncan, PGA

Friday, June 26, 2015

So You Say You Want to Be More Consistent?

After today’s G P S on-course golf lesson, Bob S. ‘gets it’.  

He said he wanted to be more consistent.

But every shot he hit on the golf course did something different than on the range.

We started with the ball below his feet and it went shorter and to the right.

Then we went to a ball above his feet and it went farther and to the left.

But then, we placed it in a ‘flyer’ lie below his feet and it went to the right and farther!

And then we placed the ball a little deeper in the rough above his feet and it went left and shorter!

Then we hit balls from a downhill lie (7 degrees) and it went lower, shorter in the air, but farther on the ground.

And then, we hit balls from an uphill lie and the ball went higher and both farther and shorter.

Then, we placed it in deep rough and it went really low, left, and very short.  So we opened his clubface and the ball went shorter, a little right, and it didn’t curve.  So he changed to a club 2 clubs longer and he hit it a foot from the pin.


He was inconsistent.  Never once did it do what he did on the range.

Now he ‘gets it’.  

That's what G P S does.

Monday, December 1, 2014

ACCELERATE the Learning Process

That IS the goal.

Is that the message you're getting?

Conventional golf theory suggests a step-by-step learning process in which you must master one thing before moving on to the next.  Slow.  And boring.

Mastering every detail takes TIME.  So how do we ACCELERATE THE PROCESS?

We do it by addressing more details at the same time by focusing on a bigger process!

Here's an example:  Greg Norman learned to hit the ball long by swinging hard and worrying about direction later.  He didn't use a step-by-step process adding distance a few yards at a time.

Here's another example:  The game is played on an uneven surface, so why is it taught -- and performance mandated -- on a flat surface?

The Golfer Positioning System (G P S) is a "Macro" system that includes what you face on the golf course.  G P S doesn't isolate performance to an unreachable goal.

The bigger process -- G P S -- involves including different conditions under which the game is played as part of the system from the beginning.  You have to be just as ready to hit a ball on an uneven surface as you do on a flat surface.  This provides great reference for what works on the golf course!  We can then address details as they arise...  And if it works on the golf course, learning is not limited, it is ACCELERATED!!!

Bob Duncan, PGA
Master Clubfitter
G P S Founder

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Magdalena's Were the Best Lessons I Ever Gave

This is a true story...  In 2001 a lady named Magdalena came to me for a lesson.  She was 77 years old, Hispanic, and LOVED golf even though she had never played on a course.

I asked Magdalena to hit some shots while I got some more background on her.  So she proceeded to try to hit an 8-iron even though the clubface was so closed it would not get airborne.  I asked her how many times she had been out to hit some balls and she said about 15 or so.

I couldn't believe that with that kind of performance and no instruction that she would still want to play golf!  I made that one little clubface position change to open it up and she got the ball airborne -- for the first time ever! 

It flew about 35 yards in the air.  Magdalena covered her mouth with her hand, stunned at what had happened.  She looked back at me and I smiled and said, "That was great -- do it again!" 

So she did -- 3 more times.  And with each she had the same response - complete and utter joy.  So much so that she began to cry.  I gave her a hug and said let's see if we can do even better! 

She shook her head no and said "No, the lesson is over because I just achieved what I set out to do!"

I said no, that she now had to go with my goal, which was to get her to play golf.  So that day we played 3 holes with all shots off a tee and by the end she was speechless!

Over the next 2 years I saw Magdalena about a dozen more times.  I never changed her golf swing -- we would just work on a few positions.  Then we would go to the golf course and play 2 or 3 holes.  She even bought 5 custom fitted clubs from me and played golf with her husband.  I moved away then, but I never forgot about Magdalena.

You see, she said she had such a hard life that she wouldn't tell me about it.  "I don't want you to cry too!" she said.  All I know is that she was an alcoholic who had been sober for about 6 years when we met.

Magdalena told me that I had helped her live the remainder of her life to its fullest because she got to play and succeed at golf.

You just never know who might show up for lessons, and you never know just how big your impact can be.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where Technology Fails: On the Golf Course

Where Technology Fails:  On the Golf Course


Launch monitors.

3-D Swing Analysis.

None of these are available where it counts:  On the Golf Course.

To PLAY THE GAME the PLAYER must use his/her strengths, abilities, skills, and most importantly – WITS to PLAY the golf ball around the COURSE.

The COURSE is not flat.  It is not artificial turf.  Golf is not PLAYED into a net in a studio. 

The PLAY of the GAME is never the same.  It is not consistent, especially over the course of 4 rounds.
PLAYERS don’t PLAY the same shot to a hole every time.  Because of CONDITIONS, they CAN’T.

A PLAY in the GAME is a tactic used to NEGOTIATE THE COURSE CONDITIONS.  The course conditions are never the same, which means the same PLAY won’t work every time.   

Which is… the point.

Suppose you just want to hit it straight.  The course designer has thought of this tactic, and has conspired to design the course NOT to be 18 driving ranges. 

There is fairway.  There is rough.  There are straight holes.  And doglegs.  There are slopes.  Nothing is flat.

The wind swirls.  Or it’s dead calm.

The landing zone is NEVER flat.

And just when there’s that one day that you’re proud of the way you PLAYED, the next day is different with different hole locations.

Or, you’re playing a completely different golf course altogether!

Everyone fails at some point in golf.  We’ve been taught that everything depends on having a consistent swing, yet just when we think we’ve got it, it doesn’t work.

Yet we PLAY golf because it is not the same.  It is never the same.
If it were meant to be played on flat, artificial turf, then we wouldn’t have COURSES.  It would be too easy.  Would you want to play on a flat surface that is completely covered in artificial turf?

Yet, that’s where the LAUNCH MONITORS, 3-D SWING ANALYSIS, and VIDEO are used.

A GAME OF GOLF consists of different conditions, different distances, and different swings.  A full swing with a driver is not the same as that used for such as a 6-iron, a wedge, a pitch, a chip, a sand shot, a putt…

Yet the technology is devised to make the swings THE SAME.  Consistency.

But what we should strive for is not consistency, because consistency fails when you least expect it to ON THE COURSE.

What we should strive for is… wait for it…  PROFICIENCY.

We should strive to know when the conditions say that our consistent swing will FAIL.

We should strive to know our ON-COURSE GAME, and base our performance on what happens ON THE COURSE AND NOT ON THE RANGE.

On the range we strive to be consistent and learn to hit the ball straight.  But the COURSE is designed to screw that up. 

Ball above feet?  It SHOULD hook or pull.

Ball below feet?  It SHOULD push or slice.

The ball should not always go straight, yet we’ve been taught that what we do on the range is what should happen on the COURSE! 

And it doesn’t.  And it shouldn’t.

But we love the GAME OF GOLF because it is NOT the driving range.

Humbling?  No kidding.  Fun?  ABSOLUTELY!

-- Bob Duncan, PGA Golf Professional

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weaker or Stronger? Distance Control from Bunkers!

G P S - The Golfer Positioning System - is all about effective performance.  Sometimes that means learning from different positions to produce different performances.

With that in mind, two different methods to hit a sand shot produce 2 different distances -- and they might just be easier than your regular method!

Traditionally a sand shot is hit with an open face about 2 inches behind the ball, creating an 'explosion'.  But utilizing the explosion with 2 different techniques you can produce the different distances.

Using the sand wedge, the first method is 'toe-down and open', in which the shaft is nearly vertical and the face open.  The swing is then vertical and the clubface touches even less sand than the traditional method.  The ball comes out shorter and 'dead', which is great for a short-sided sand shot with little green to work with...

The second method is the opposite:  heel-down and open with the hands low and the shaft more horizontal.  The swing is then flatter, around the back, producing a shot longer than the traditional method.  This shot produces a great deal of backspin and sidespin.

Combine these methods with changing clubs and you'll have multiple distances that you can hit sand shots.  These methods can even be used down to a 7- or 8-iron for sand shots of up to 45 yards!

Try these out and you may find one of the 2 will become your 'stock' or preferred technique.

Bob Duncan, PGA
Master Clubfitter
web:   golfecoach.com
email:  golfsavvy@msn.com