For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties …. well, you know what to do!
Divots from your iron swings can provide a wealth of information if you know what to look for.
One of the greatest golfers of all time – Ben Hogan – used his divot patterns to groove his swing. He didn’t have the advantage of simulators or launch monitors for feedback, so he “dug it out of the dirt”. In fact, he famously said “the secret is in the dirt”, and in fact there are quite a few books and DVD’s that have capitalized on that phrase.
Almost all professionals and good players hit the ball first, then the ground with their irons, taking a divot. Some take deeper divots than others, but almost all of them take divots.
Your divot can give you feedback, and when you consider it in conjunction with your ball flight it helps you determine if your swing path, angle of attack, and club face alignment are consistent with the desired result for your swing.
If you are at a driving range you should be able to see where your divots are pointing (and flying). Generally speaking,
If they are pointing left of your target, your swing path is outside to inside.
If they are pointing right of your target, your swing path is inside to outside.When you observe the curvature of your shot in relation to your swing path, you can determine what position your club face was in at impact:
If your divot pointed left but the ball curved right, the face was open to the swing path at impact.
If your divot pointed right but the ball curved left, the face was closed to the swing path at impact.
If you check your divots and watch your ball flight, you should be able to decipher enough swing path and club face information to allow you to develop a repeatable swing and a repeatable ball flight. Technical feedback is great, but a good swing can be grooved without it if you are observant and able to interpret the information correctly.
Newsletter Issue 276 contains more detailed information on Ball Flight Laws. Study it and use the information next time you are at an outdoor range to help you figure things out.
Health, Wellness, Fitness: Too Old To Workout
Disclaimer: DO NOT PERFORM ANY STRENUOUS PHYSICAL EXERCISE LIKE THE ONE LISTED BELOW, WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR.
You are never too old to get started on a good progressive resistance weight workout program.
If you are in the older category – I hate to define that in years because I truly believe that you are as old as you feel – here are a few quick caveats to keep in mind if you decide to begin a progressive resistance weight training program. By the way, it’s one of the most important things an older person can do to regain or maintain your independence and a high quality of life. :
Check with your doctor before you start weight training, and when you start use very manageable weight, there’s no rush.
Read a good book or two on how to proceed regarding strength workouts or muscle building workouts – they are different. My all-time favorite for strength building is Progressive Resistance Exercise by Drs. Watkins and DeLorme.
Decide on whether you want to emphasize pure strength workouts or a blend of strength and mass building. For those of us that are older, I believe that emphasizing strength is best because your strength fibers react well to stimulus even at an older age, whereas your muscle mass fibers are harder to stimulate as we age. There’s research to back this up.
Get plenty of rest between workout days. Younger bodies can probably handle a three day per week routine, older bodies can absolutely still make gains with two, three, or even four days rest between workouts on a strength program.
Generally add more protein to your diet, and make it a point to consume 20 to 30 grams of quality whey protein within 30 minutes of a strenuous weight workout. My preference is to drink a protein supplement with skim milk right after a weight workout. It’s a quick and easy way to get the whey into your system. Here’s a link to the shakes that I take regularly, I take the TLS Whey Protein Shakes after a workout and the TLS Nutrition Shakes as a snack or meal substitute. TomsHealthEssentials.com
Get an adequate amount of sleep every night.
All of the above will be great for your golf game in addition to being great for your health.
Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,