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Andrew Rice Golf Blog

  • A Look into a Lesson
    by Andrew Rice on September 1, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you to all of you who have reached out to let me know how much you’ve gained from the insights I’ve been sharing with my students lately. It truly does make me happy to know how many people can benefit from someone else’s golf lesson. With that in mind, here’s another! I recently got together with Scott who I started teaching 18 months ago. As a relative beginner when we first met, Scott has really worked hard and made tremendous strides - firing an all time best score of 82 recently. At the onset of our most recent lesson I could see that he had continued to make progress. In an effort to keep my information simple, accurate and actionable I summarized the talking points for our time together into: Alignment was too far right which led to misses that finished well right of target 2. Driver was crashing into the ground which led to pop-ups off the tee 3. Arm structure was a little soft through impact which didn’t bode well for repeatable, quality strikes I’ve always found that too much information can often overwhelm a golfer and as a result I strive to keep it as simple as I can. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be simple - just as simple as possible while making sound upgrades. I hope this look behind the curtain to see how I run my lessons somehow influences the way you look at your golf progress moving forward. My advice would be to itemize the important stuff and set a time frame to help you stay focused solely on those items. And of course - work hard!

  • A Lesson to Learn From...
    by Andrew Rice on August 3, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    I recently gave an old friend a lesson. Having not taught him for a few years I had an inkling as to what to expect, but things came together so well I thought the information might be beneficial to more than just one student. This is why looking at still frames of an athletic motion can be deceiving. There are six different images/videos here that we will go through in a specific order. To get the most out of this post please make sure you go through this it slowly. Be sure you comprehend each image before moving to the next… (The original/before is always on the right in all of the images/videos) Image 1: Notice how these two images appear to be somewhat similar. I think many of us would give them both a thumbs up! They might be somewhat similar, but the outcomes are very different due to the unseen forces being applied to the club. Do not be deceived! Image 2: The player at the top of the backswing. The yellow line indicates where the sweet spot is relative to the feet and the golf ball. Notice that in the ‘after’ version the club head is significantly further to the inside than the original. This is shown by the distance between the line and the golf ball. Image 3: At approximately lead arm parallel to the ground notice how the golfer has had to force the club head to lay down on the before side. This is indicated by the difference in gap between the yellow and blue lines. Not much difference here, but the force the player is exerting on the club is very different here. Image 4: This is where the difference starts to show. On the right side you’ll notice that the excessive, yet necessary, lay down force has bled over and now has the club head in a position where the path will be too far out to the right, strike quality will be compromised and the player is dealing with blocks and hooks. Notice how the gap between blue and red line on the left is greater on the left side. That’s due to the fact that the golfer is free to rotate instead of having to force the club head to the inside in the downswing. Who wouldn’t want to turn hard and fire in the downswing? Image 5: The original downswing! With this move the golfer gets the club head too far to the inside coming into the golf ball and will struggle with blocks, hooks and poor quality strikes. Success with this downswing is very much timing reliant. Image 6: The objective for the downswing! With this move the golfer will deliver the club with a more neutral path, will hit down on the ball appropriately and be far less reliant on timing coming into impact. A happy golfer and coach. So how did we get it done? With a short-ish backswing the club head needed to be in a better position at the top of the backswing as the player had very little time to calibrate and position the club head for a proper delivery. Our goal was to improve the position at the top of the backswing in order to make the downswing free-er so the golfer could rotate hard left through impact. A good recipe for crisp strikes coupled with improved accuracy. The results here were as intended - a more neutral path and better attack angle for straighter and properly struck shots. Please don’t ever judge a golf swing by one picture.

  • Build a Better Backswing
    by Andrew Rice on June 29, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    If you watch any golf on TV you’ll notice that there certainly doesn’t seem to be one backswing that is universal to all Tour players. Their backswings range from long to short, laid off to across the line and fast to slow. The million dollar question is which one will work best for you and your game. Watch this video to start to understand your options… Length of Backswing Don’t be overly anxious to shorten your backswing. If the arms are collapsing or the hands are letting go then by all means work towards making the necessary upgrades. Longer backswings should almost have an across the line look, while shorter backswings simply must have the clubhead more behind them with a laid off look. Amount of Time Ideally the amount of time taken once the club starts the motion away from the ball is right around 1 second. 0.75 seconds up to the top and 0.25 seconds for the downswing. Try the rapid fire drill to gain a sense of the appropriate amount of time as the vast majority of golfers take too much time and actually swing too slowly. The rolling start drill gets the club moving as it kicks the motion off. Clubface Position Open face golfers will typically have a difficult time hitting low shots and generating enough compression. The clubface is almost always open in the early downswing and this leads to flipping through impact to get the clubface around. Closed face golfers will struggle to get their long irons in the air. Compression is fine and the ball goes far enough, but getting an appropriate trajectory is a challenge. Get the clubface vertical in the early part of the backswing. Have the intent to hit the ball really high in practice. Ponder a few of these ideas, try a few of the drills and I hope that a few of these ideas help you to enjoy your next round of golf that much more. Cheers!

  • Get That Body Moving!
    by Andrew Rice on June 1, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    If you want the ball to get going you’ve got to get your body moving. For far too long the golf instruction community has restricted the pivot, but the advent of quality statistics and a deeper understanding of what truly matters in golf has opened our eyes to the value of distance. I get it - we’re all getting older. Me too! We must wage the battle against slower and smaller golf swings on a daily basis. This video in my “3 Keys Series” will help… If you’re a seasoned veteran or someone that’s new to the game, these keys will help you hit the ball with more authority: Allow the lead heel to get up off the ground in the backswing and free up the lower body. Get your belt buckle pointing away from the target as much as you physically can in the backswing. Feel the lead shoulder stretch away from the target so that you can really feel the tension and torque in your body as you wind up. I would encourage everybody to start doing this at home with out a club and in front of a mirror. You most likely know what it should look like, but we all need to get a feel for the right look. A mirror will help! From my own experience in working to incorporate these elements into my golf swing it will take some time as you get more comfortable with the bigger pivot, but the gains far outweigh the discomfort. Stay patient and never give up trying to get better! Sam Snead

  • Take Swing Changes to the Course
    by Andrew Rice on May 3, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    If I had a dollar for each time a golfer has said, “I’m great on the range, but I just can’t take it to the course” I’d be a wealthy man! I believe there are multiple reasons for this quandary many find themselves in. Firstly, most golfers don’t know how to practice in order to simulate an on-course environment and secondly it’s because when most golfers work on technical changes they don’t know how to go about assimilating the new moves into a full speed swing. Today we are going to address this important topic: How to take ownership of swing upgrades. Watch… A few key points: Use a 7 or an 8 iron Use an alignment aid Incorporate multiple rehearsals between each shot (get the FEEL!) Level 1 Technical, slow , tedious and deliberate Ball on a tee Feel the positions Incorporate pauses in the motion Lots of rehearsal Soft, tapping little shots Level 2 Blend in rhythm Slow motion without any pauses Ball on starts a tee and then we get it on the ground Lots of rehearsal between each shot Shots will not go very far Level 3 Start off at about 3/4 speed Ball on the ground Slowly build up to 100% speed Continue to make rehearsals between each shot Keep in mind that objective of any technical swing work is to upgrade the mechanics while still operating at full, or perhaps even, faster speed. It’s also important to note that this method of practice only addresses the technical side. There is so much more required in order to take it to the course and that’s why I often talk about… SWING, SKILL & SHOT. Thanks for tuning in and please share with a friend who you know would benefit!

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