Showing posts with label gravity golf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gravity golf. Show all posts

70 Year Old Gravity Golf Founder Hits 75 3-Irons 185 Days In a Row

Why Is This 3 Iron In My Bag?

by David Lee

Teaching golf has not only been my profession for the better part of fifty years, it is also a vocational passion.  Any time since 1954, if someone had asked me which clubs were the most important in the bag, I would have quickly answered the driver, the putter, the sand wedge, the three wood, then all the rest, in that order.  If someone asked me the same question today – I would without hesitation answer – the #3 iron.  Really????  Yep, even though very few people carry one these days, in my opinion, they should dig it out of the closet, or buy one that matches their irons (I promise that this is leading someplace good where few people have ever been).  Next, go to the practice tee for only twenty minutes a day, and hit 75 balls, as hard as you can swing, from your normal swing mode.

Okay David – you’ve always been out there in left field somewhere, but this is a little far off the page, even for you!

I totally agree – but hear me out.  About seven years ago, I managed to trip over my big red dog one night in the pitch black dark and tear the medial meniscus in my left knee.  It has never been quite the same since.  Then last year, right before moving back to Florida, I managed to tear the medial collateral tendon in my right knee, which stopped me from playing golf for about five months.  Even after I healed, every time I would try to play or even swing the club, there was a significant ache, either in my lower back or one of my knees.  At seventy years of age, my range of motion in my backswing had shrunk to practically nothing, and needless to say, I was not having any fun. It felt like the right time to put my clubs in the closet or on Ebay.  Then a large miracle happened!  One day just over six months ago, totally exasperated with the way my body was feeling, and with a sense of desperation hanging over me, I grabbed my 3 iron from my bag and headed for the practice tee.  In retrospect, I’m not exactly sure what I intended to accomplish, but it was something along the lines of punishing myself for getting old.  I took a basket of 75 balls (75 was a totally arbitrary number, but 50 seemed like too few and 100, too many) and began swinging at them with all the core-speed I could muster.  That first day I hit about five solid shots, and all seventy-five of them hurt, in one part of my body or another!  It was like the scene in the movie Liar Liar where Jim Carrey was in the men’s room at the courthouse “kicking his own ass.”  For some weird reason, the pain of day one notwithstanding, I was obsessed with doing it again and came back the following day to torture myself some more.  The second day I hit a few more good ones, but was encouraged, and each successive day saw the number of good shots grow.  For the first sixty days, the improvement each day was very noticeable.  By that time, I was hitting the ball so well that the progress seemed to slow, yet the shot quality and distance continued to improve.  Today was my 185th session in a row without missing a day, and during each and every week, with no exceptions, I’ve had at least one or more best days ever!  Because of the continued improvement, I’ve delayed in writing about this, because truthfully, I don’t yet know where the “end point” in shot quality development and consistency lie. Here’s the really amazing part and why I am compelled to keep doing this, as well as sharing it with you.  Bear in mind that the only full-swing practice that I’ve done during this period has been the 75 daily balls with the 3 iron, yet when I play golf, every club in my bag has improved significantly, from the driver to the wedges.  Yesterday, I made the second hole-in-one of my life (the last was in 1965) and had two other shots on par threes stop within a foot.
My conclusions thus far are as follows:
    •    Most players go to the practice tee and hit a number of shots with different clubs. Each of the clubs has a different shaft length, a different lie, some variation in vibration frequency, swing weight, and requires a different ball position and spine angle.  Practicing with what is arguably the most difficult club in the bag to hit (since almost no one carries a 1 or 2 iron), allows the brain to avoid the confusion of club variability, and concentrate totally on the sequence of the physiological motor program (which is very demanding if you wish to hit good shots with a 3 iron).  Moving your body parts correctly and consistently is paramount if you wish to know where your ball is going.  A great pianist preparing for a show or recital would not practice on thirteen different pianos, but that is exactly what we do when practicing golf.  If the motor program in your body is good enough to hit consistent shots with a 3 iron, hitting a wedge requires only minute changes and is a snap cinch.  My thinking is leaning very strongly toward the opinion that removing the equipment variable, allows the player to highly improve the quality of his/her mechanics – especially when practicing with the 3 iron (the most difficult club in the bag).
      •    Swinging at maximum core-speed is very important.  There is a right way to hit a golf ball hard, and countless wrong ways.  By practicing at maximum possible swing speed, the brain is forced to deal with countless physiological details that need to be dealt with at a subconscious level, in order to establish perfect equilibrium at impact.  Learning to slow a swing down is far easier than making it go faster (the right way).
      •    If you wish to play at the highest level, it is my belief that doing this every day is very important.  The great Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz, said that if he missed a day of practice, he could hear it.  If he missed two days of practice, his wife could hear it.  And, if he missed three days of practice, the world could hear it.  Ben Hogan said that if he missed a day of practice, his golf swing backed up three days.  I fully realize that not everyone can hit 75 balls a day, but remember that it only takes twenty minutes.
Please keep in mind that this is a “road map,” not an order.  Many people out there are interested in becoming as good as they can be.  This is something I have never seen another golf professional do, nor have I done it in my own personal history (although I wish I had).  Although Tom Watson is said to have warmed up with a 2 iron, I don’t know that he hit it exclusively in his practice sessions, nor do I know how many 2 irons he hit each day.   Most pros that have worn a spot the size of a dime in the middle of their seven-iron, have a three iron that looks like it just came out of the pro shop.  I am telling you that doing this every day is making me feel as if my age is reversing, and my golf game is improving faster than at any point in my life.  If you are inclined to give this a try, I am inviting feedback and the experience of others.    
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Golf Lesson: Getting Out of Deep Rough

Bermuda Rough – Nasty Stuff
by David Lee

Anyone who has played much golf in the South, is well aware of the difficulty encountered when playing from the Bermuda rough. It’s a natural instinct to hit down hard and try to dig the ball out of such gnarly turf. Most players fail to realize that tightening the arms in an effort to extricate the ball, will stop the core rotation of the body and make it even harder to get out. A tension increase from the arms in the downswing actually diminishes the number of foot pounds that are actively turning and going against the ball at the point of impact. It’s important to feel that the body turns the ball out of deep rough as opposed to hitting it. Although it is counter intuitive to not dig, doing so has an exact opposite effect from what we were intending to do.

When hitting these types of shots, it’s critical that the arms be in a state of pure deadfall at the start of the downswing so that the rotation of the body is not impeded whatsoever. You can actually hit very delicate shots from deep rough around the greens with very little effort - if your technique is technically correct. Remember, when the ball is sitting deep in the grass, the clubface contacts the grass and not the back of the ball. Because of this fact, ball compression is reduced, just as it is with a greenside bunker shot. Both shots require extra follow through to make up for the fact that the ball is not “helping” due to its lesser amount of spring from the clubface. Turning the connected body mass completely through the impact zone assures that the ball will advance. Don’t forget – the key is to turn the ball out of the deep stuff, not hit it.

Here is a video example of this lesson. 
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Golf Course Guide - Timacuan Golf Club

<a href="" title="rice eats a golf ball by Bugsy, on Flickr"><img src="" width="75" height="75" alt="rice eats a golf ball"></a>
photo from Bugsy
Hello and thank you for reading our first Golf Course Guide blog. Here at Gravity Golf we've asked some of our instructors and long-time players to start taking some notes on the courses they play. The goal of these blogs is to give players a heads up on course conditions and some pointers on what holes they might want to watch out for. If you would like to contribute to our Golf Course Guide please email, subject "Golf Course Guide."

The Golf Course Guide blog this week comes from Gravity Golfer Crickett Lee. This week Crickett played in an Orlando Woman's Golf Association tournament at Timacuan Golf Club in Lake Mary, FL. Her foursome placed 1st out of 16 groups. Crickett said the course was beautiful, and although there were a few soggy spots from the previous 48 hours of rain, the fairways and greens were in excellent condition. Here are a few of the tips she had for playing at Timacuan Golf Club.

1. Be careful of what club you choose off the tee. The Timacuan course features a few tricky dog-legs that have some difficult to navigate trees and hazards; don't automatically pull your driver out of the bag. Watch out for the yardage, and when in doubt, pick a shorter club to make it to the turn so you have a clear shot at the green.

Timacuan Golf Club hole 2
Photo of hole #2 at the Timacuan Golf Club. Photo
from the Orlando Golf Examiner.
2. Watch out for #2. According to an article in the Orlando Golf Examiner, even Timacuan General Manager Tony Johnson says "there is no let-up in the hole until the ball hits the bottom of the cup." You only have one hole to warm up with before you're faced with this difficult to navigate par-4. There is a peninsula fairway to the right of the green, but to reach it you have to clear water in front and to the right of the green with more than a fair amount of accuracy. If you're less confident in your drive you may want to consider laying up in front of the water hazard and taking an iron or wood shot over the lake to the green. The green slopes from back to front, so try to give your shot enough space to roll to a stop - just try not to fly the green because the sand traps and trees to the left and back of the green are no picnic either. Crickett says she's seen players easily shoot 13 on this hole. Do your best to keep shots in control, and if you do lose a ball or two, try not to let it bog you down for the next 16 holes. For more on Timacuan No. 2 see this article in the Orlando Golf Examiner.

3. The course can feel a bit long. Despite her small stature, Crickett is known for the distance she can get off the ball, but she said that this course can feel a bit long for a lot of women. Make sure you spend time working on the accuracy of your chipping and putting to make up for the few extra strokes it may take to get to the green.
number 18 at Timacuan Golf Club
Number 18 at Timacuan Golf Club by Crickett Lee

Thanks for reading this week's Golf Course Guide. Good luck out there! And please remember to take notes and pictures of your next golf outing to be part of our Golf Course Guide. For tips on how to improve your game visit our website or our YouTube Channel. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
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Setting Goals for Improving your Golf Game

The weather is beginning to cool off and a season shift is a good time to set goals for changing your behavior. As the chaos of summer fades away, and the temperatures become more tolerable, we hope you're finding extra time to spend on the driving range or golf course. But how efficiently are you playing and practicing? Today we would like to revisit something written by our friend and fellow golfer, David Geier. Spend a few minutes with David as he explains the importance of setting specific, time sensitive goals for your golf game. Then let us know what specific goal you're setting for your golf development this fall. For additional instructional information visit our website store or YouTube channel. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

By: David Geier, Certified Integral Golf Coach
SMART Goals move us towards a preferred future, usually based on a vision of where we see ourselves going. In the movie Caddy Shack, Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) tells Danny the caddy, “Danny, see your future, be your future, make you future.”
"See your future. Be your future. Make your future."
However, it’s interesting to note that roughly 90% of America’s population set no written goals for their lives or in their improvement in the game of golf.  10% create of the population has written goals, but only 3% set goals with time frames. Which category would you fall into? The 90%, 10% or the 3%? Start being a three-percenter, You’ll achieve more of your goals and they will keep you on course for the short term as well as the long term.

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A Guide To Outfitting For A Beginning Gravity Golfer

Picking up a new sport or getting back into one is no easy task. Whether you’re trying tennis or snow skiing, you have to consider purchasing equipment, properly training, and how this new sport fits into your time and monetary budgets. Golf is no exception. While being a sport that you can carry through many stages of your life, golf has one of the longest and most expensive lists of equipment – especially when you get into training aids and practice times. To make things easier for the beginning golfer, we’ve created a guide to get you started.

Clubs - Irons

Acquiring a set of golf clubs may be the most expensive and daunting process of your setup – until you get to the actual practice. But with a little research and knowledge of what to look for, it doesn’t have to be scary. For your first set of clubs, unless you are just dying to spend your money, it’s not a bad idea to look for a used set.  There are plenty of people who spend a ton of money on nice clubs only to use them a few times before they give up and sell them on Craigslist or at a consignment sports store – let their loss be your gain. We recommend that you start by looking for a set of forged irons. For more information on the difference between forged and cast irons you can check out this article from, but we prefer forged because they are more pliable if you find that you need to change the lie angle on your irons. Some good brands to check out are Ping, Titleist and Mizuno – they all make excellent forged irons.
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US Open Champion Martin Kaymer Teaches Us the Importance of the Takeaway

If you went to sleep last night with sweet dreams of finding yourself in Martin Kaymer’s Adidas golf shoes, you’re not the only one. Any man or woman who’s ever picked up a golf club and hit even a decent shot, knows the fantasy of having a gallery cheer you to victory at a major championship. And eight strokes ahead of your nearest competitor? That would make it even sweeter.
a photo of Martin Kaymer playing golf
Photo from GolfDigest of Martin Kaymer.

In reality, most of us will never know the hallowed victory of slipping on the Master’s Jacket or pressing our lips to a U.S. Open Trophy, but that doesn’t mean that a better, more consistent golf swing is out of reach. You can take the perfected techniques of a standout player like Martin Kaymer and apply them to your own golf swing – making you a more competitive player among your friends and club members.

One particular facet of Kaymer’s swing that is so important to his performance is “the heave.” The heave, more commonly know as “the takeaway,” is possibly the most influential movement in the entire golf swing, and it takes place in the first microseconds of the back swing. This is the moment in which you set the timing for the pace of your swing, and the only time that you want to engage muscle tension in your upper body.

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The Effect of Balance in the Golf Swing

It is widely accepted that balance is essential in all sports, especially golf, but how well do you understand the details of balance and how to apply it? What is balance beyond your ability to stay upright, and what does it feel like in the golf swing? Most golfers who have played for years will tell you that balance is the key to the perfect, effortless swing.

Let us take a deeper look at balance and how to understand its effect on your swing. In any sport that involves rotary motion, an athletes' arms and legs influence balance as they move around the body. In golf the primary limbs in motion that have the most impact on your balance are the arms. The average human arm is roughly 5.3% of total body weight, meaning that your arms comprise over 10% of your body weight. So now imagine the weight of your arms, combined with the weight of the golf club, swinging around your body. This is similar in effect to the motion of holding a child by the hands and swinging them around in a circle; the faster you turn, the farther you have to lean back to counter balance the weight of the child. If you do not spin fast enough, the weight of the child will pull you forward and "off-balance." If you lean too far back, your own weight will pull you "off-balance." The complete motion becomes a delicate dance of counter balance and speed. The faster you spin in relation to how far you lean back, the farther you can move from your original center of gravity.

swinging a child demonstrates the counter-fall

The same can be said for the golf swing. We initially begin to throw ourselves off-balance in the back-swing, and then attempt to counter-act that motion through the down-swing and follow through. To the untrained body, this action often comes in the form of engaging tension in the arms in an attempt to shorten the distance between our body and the club head. This is our fatal error, almost inevitably applying the wrong amount of tension, and coming through the down-swing with the club head either above or below the proper impact point with the ball. Not to mention the decreased club-head-speed that is a direct result of that tension.

Imagine you could use the same principles of balancing a swinging child in your golf swing.  You can achieve this simply by moving your body deeper into the counter-fall, in relation to how fast you are moving through the down-swing. Instead of fighting nature with tension in your upper body, you can relax your upper body, and allow your lower body and core to maintain balance with a deeper counter-fall and faster follow through. This is a more natural movement for your body, and therefore makes the down swing less labor intensive. When you counter-fall properly, you'll attain full extension and rotation through impact, resulting in increased club-head-speed and a longer drive. Who doesn't want that?

So the next time you go out to practice, give your body a chance to do what nature designed it to do. Trust in the speed of your rotation and the depth of your counter-fall to bring the club to the proper point of impact. The club is merely an extension of your arms, and just like with the swinging child, adding tension will only exhaust your muscles and make the fight for balance more difficult.

Below is a video from the Gravity Golf YouTube Channel explaining the counter-fall. For more tools to help you understand the counter-fall, visit the Gravity Golf Store.

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What Is Your Safety Envelope? by Danny Lee in Greenville SC

When taking a golf lesson from your friends or a golf instructor, it's very likely they will tell you how to remain balanced while swinging. Understanding the difference between "Static" & "Dynamic" balance is what makes all of the difference in a rotational movement like the golf swing.

Try this for me. Please "STAND UP" wherever you are...

Are you standing?

Ok now! I want you to move as far forwards as you can in your toes before falling over. I want you to feel the edge in the front of your body. You can now shift your weight all the way back to your heels and further more all the way around your "Safety Envelope". What this means is that you will begin to fall and gravity will get the better of you.

Now that you have a sense of where your edge of balance is located. I want you to feel the weight of your arms in your mind. The average golfer's arm weighs 10 lbs, so imagine that both arms are equal to a 20lb dumbbell. Envision that you are swinging that 20lb dumbbell in front of you very fast like swinging a golf club. That is a lot of centripetal force.

Lets go back to what you were feeling with your "Safety Envelope". What I want you to take into account is that the more force (weight x speed) you are swinging in front of you the more it's going to expand and you will need to move farther back to maintain a dynamic balance.

If you want to hit your drives farther while staying on plane and in balance, explore how far you can move away from the force that is pulling you forwards (your arms and the club) and you will find power that you never believed was possible!
Danny Lee

(C) 501-617-2132

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Using Popcorn to Get Effortless Power - by David Lee, Golf Pro in Greenville SC.

As the developer of the “Gravity” golf teaching system, I am a great believer that the laws of motion are very specific, in regard to the “ideal” way to swing a golf club. However, knowing that not everyone swings in what, I consider to be an ideal, “physics compliant” fashion, I racked my brain to think of a great tip that would be applicable to all golfers, regardless of their swing style. The following is one of the better ideas that I can offer:

Many golfers swing smoothly in their practice swings, yet in the real swing, with the ball in the equation, they invariably “flex” the upper body in the downswing trying to “strike” it. You’d swear they were swinging at a bowling ball! Tightening the arms and wrists in the downswing may easily cause a reduction in club-speed and a reduction in the amount of body mass that is moving at impact (any of your pounds that are not turning at the instant you strike the ball, are not having an effect on it. Tightening the arms and wrists in the downswing also causes change in the swing-path and off-center shots

When you watch Freddie Couples swing, he just drops his arms from the top of the backswing and allows his core rotation to sling them. My tip is to always, visualize the ball as being “weightless,” like a piece of popcorn. You should take some popcorn to the practice tee and alternate between hitting golf balls and pieces of the popcorn. The birds will eat what you don’t pick up and popcorn doesn’t harm the mowers like tees or pennies. You should begin to visualize the ball as having no more weight than the popcorn. The reason you won’t flex at the popcorn is because your brain knows that even if you hit it dead flush it will only go three feet anyway. Trying to move the golf ball a great distance is what makes people instinctively flex at it. When you stop “flexing,” - your club-speed and swing-path integrity will improve dramatically, - and you’ll begin to hit the ball “flush” in the middle of the clubface. 

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As an athlete, coach, teacher, official, umpire and professional caddy, I have always been intrigued and challenged to understand what went into a quality pitch, swing, kick and shot. When I first saw a 10 year-old hitting a golf ball in a one-legged mode on an info-mercial over twelve years ago, I knew that I was on to something. I ordered the tapes and book from Gravity Golf, studied and used the drills for two months straight and ended the summer shooting the best scores of my life. Since then, I have perfected the drills and enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge with anyone who is keen on learning or playing and enjoying the game so much more. I had the privilege of meeting and spending three days with David in Arkansas to become certified just over four years ago. This week, I had the privilege of meeting Danny and Tom Stanton, a long time friend of Danny's  and a strong supporter. We spent a wonderful afternoon talking Gravity Golf at Tom's range just outside of Rochester in Spencerport, New York.

The two things I try to be and look for first in other professionals from any walk of life are knowledge and passion. "After that it's about asking the right questions." For example: How can I best help, what is involved, what will work best, what are the blocks? By actively listening, following through, keeping it understandable, showing patience and genuinely caring, one can help another significantly.

David and Danny continue to develop their passion for people to understand and enjoy our great game of golf. Their drills work! Don't be afraid to look different when you are learning them. The body needs to be challenged to develop the feel and timing necessary to consistently produce great shots and putts. I love practicing and combining the different drills together. My two personal  favorites are the left hand (my weaker arm) no reference, transfer drill using all clubs. The second is the cross-over (right over left foot), right arm only, using a sand wedge to putt uphill from 40-50 feet across the green. I am currently trying the new heel to heel transfer drill and it is a pretty cool way to reinforce the Counter-fall, timing, plane, and using relaxed arms. It definitely gets the legs working the correct way and stops the feet from cheating!

I do my teaching at Indian Wells in Burlington, Ontario. I am available for indoor lessons through the winter, as well.

I would be happy to talk gravity golf with anyone and can be reached at

Thanks David and Danny for all you do for us.


Alec Lockington

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The Gravity Grip By David Lee, Top 100 Teacher in Orlando Florida

How Important Is Your Grip?

Of all the components that make up a golf swing, few are more important than the grip.  In order for the wrists to release properly through impact, so that control and speed can be maximized, it is important that the hands be placed onto the club properly.  As a general rule, the V’s of both hands, formed by the thumbs and palms when the grip is taken, should point toward the right shoulder (right-handed player).  The club should be gripped in the fingers and not in the palms of the hands. 

As the grip is taken and the club laid across the curved fingers, the palms of the hands should stretch slightly from the fingers before the hands are closed.  Stretching the hands as the grip is taken, causes the club to be bound within the grip when the hands are closed, and the club can be held very securely without having to squeeze the grip.  This allows for total freedom in the release of the wrists through impact.  If the club is held properly, the pronation of the club-head through impact is automatic and never needs to be forced to square the club-face.

All this having been said, and with many subtle details omitted, I must tell you that when I work with a beginning student, if he/she has no glaring grip issues, I initially concentrate more on footwork and body dynamics.  A player can have a perfect grip, yet if the footwork and movements of the core are not correct, there is little chance that the golfer will strike the ball solidly.  Once the swing itself is functioning correctly, the harder the ball is struck, the more important that the grip becomes.  The hands are so sensitive, that an untrained player has great difficulty concentrating on proper body movement if the grip is being constantly manipulated.  In other words – he can’t get his mind off the grip and onto more important things.

In my opinion, the best way to develop a proper grip is to practice the “Gravity Golf” three-mode drills.  The brain will quickly figure out how to hold the club properly in order to hit solid shots in the right and left hand modes.  Once each hand is trained to hold the club correctly, they will function as a single unit when put together in a normal two-hand mode.  Study this drill and you will develop a great grip! 

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What You See is What You Get - by Danny Lee

Perception is a very strong force that can be used positively or negatively. In the case of golf, what you see as resistance is exactly that. The majority of the golfing population (almost every person) looks at the golf ball as being an object that requires force to move. Typically the feeling is, the greater the force, the farther you believe the ball will go. As this may, in essence, be true, the perception is that the harder you swing at the object, the more force you will create ....sorry to disappoint you, but this is not the case. 

If you have ever experienced what a “perfect” shot feels like, you would recall that it feels like “nothing”. It is very difficult to describe physically, because there is almost no feeling at all (perfect balance at impact). The feeling of perfect balance comes from being able to offset all of the centrifugal force moving in front of your body (your arms) with an equal amount of force moving in the opposite direction: this will free up your body mass through the shot. The more relaxed your body is and the softer your arms are, the easier it is to move your weight in the proper directions. 

Try this simple drill: alternating between hitting golf balls and popcorn. What this will do is allow you a momentary alteration in how you perceive the object at which you are swinging. If you look at a piece of popcorn and flex your muscles, immediately you will have presence of mind that that much force is not needed to move something with no mass. If you can carry this same awareness into your swing when the golf ball is in the way, it can be a very enlightening process that can help you develop a more relaxed, consistent tempo and inevitably a more enjoyable game.

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The 12 Steps to Integral Golf Excellence - David Geier, CIGC

Integral Golf…what is it?

First things first. The basic meaning of the word integral means essential, whole, necessary for completion. As it applies to golf, integral golf would include everything that a player would need to be able to play their best golf on a consistent basis.

Integral Golf begins with the human being who is on a journey to becoming a more consistent, well-rounded, mature, and balanced person. That’s right, a more evolved human being. The integral golf blueprint (or road-map) looks very different from traditional golf instruction, which primarily focuses on a “fix my swing” mindset. Philosophically, a traditional golf model leaves out many of the steps necessary to become an integral golfer. This may be why so many golfers fall short of reaching their goals and potential in golf or life.

An integral golf model starts with a vision. It is long term orientated with short term goals supporting the journey. A visionary question like, “What kind of player do I want to become within the next three years”, is more integral compared to a golf student who simply wants to fix a slice (less integral).
An integral model of golf includes the following 12 steps or categories which are necessary for overall player and game development.
  • Equipment Fit and Training Aids – These are the tools the player uses to play the game. The equipment should be fitted to the player for length, lie angle, loft, flex, grip size, and clubhead weight. Putters should also be fitted for length, lie angle, grip size, clubhead weight. Most putters are too long for golfers using a more tradition step up to the ball. Training aids can be useful for getting feedback during skill development.
  • The Four Skills of the Putting – This first step would include the skills of the putting technique, aim, reading the putt, and distance control. If putting is 40 % - 45% of a golfer’s score, why are the practice greens nearly empty at the golf course and the practice ranges?
  • The Four Skills of the Short Game – This category would include the basic strokes of chipping, pitching, and punching. The variations of chipping and pitching would be learned to control the trajectory and distance of the shot being performed.
  • The Nine Alignments of the Full Swing – The category is about the force and motion being used for maximum distance with accuracy. The full swing is not about positions of the golf swing, but rather, the geometry alignments made during the swinging motion. The alignments, as shown during a video analysis, can show the quantity of load during the backswing and the quality of stored energy during the downswing phase (release point to impact to follow through) of the swing.
  • Training and Practice Routines – Too many recreational golfers simply go to the range to beat balls. Professionals, on the other hand, have consistent routines to keep their skills sharp – putting through driving. These routines include drills as well as shot making. Drills are usually performed by the golfer in a learning/training/skill building mode, while shot-making is usually performed in a non-thinking, subconscious performance mode. There is line that goes, “we become good at what we practice”. If a golfer simply beats balls, what do they become? You got it, a ball beater. Recreational players need to develop training and practice routines with the help of a golf trainer based on correct technical, mental and emotional skills.
  • Statistical Analysis – Keeping stats in one way to measure improvement towards a pre-selected metric score. By using a stats chart to measure a player’s number of strokes (putting), percentages (greens in regulation, fairways hit, scrambling saves, and sand saves ) distance (driving, irons, wedges), and scoring range, a player can remain objective in viewing the progress of their game.
  • Physical Fitness, Nutrition, and Hydration – Most professional golfers today train like athletes. Back in the day, a professional golfer was looked upon rather strangely if they did crunches, lifted weights, or didn’t drink coffee on the day of a tournament. Gary Player was one of the first professionals who took care of his body. Player also had a great positive mental attitude. Today, fitness, nutrition, and hydration are all basic building blocks for playing one’s best.
  • Mental Skills and Brain Training– No, they are not just for the professional golfer and can help any golfer to be more mentally quiet and stable. Mental skills and brain training include goal setting, the acquisition of golf knowledge, affirmations, shot planning and other pre-shot decisions, attitude, positive self-talk (taking to yourself nicely in a positive, supportive manner), visualization (seeing the end of the shot before making the shot), sound therapy (listening to music to train the brain to produce a certain brainwave range) and biofeedback (re-training the brain for fluidity, flexibility, and adaptability).
  • Course Management – Comes in two flavors. Strategic thinking on the golf course. Where do I want the ball to end up? Self management – managing my mental thoughts and emotions during good and bad times on the course.
  • Emotional Intelligence – There are personal and social skills that make up the category of Emotional Intelligence. Some personal skills are self-awareness, accurate self assessment, initiative, achievement drive, confidence, and trustworthiness. Social skills include empathy, leadership, service, building bonds and teamwork . The awareness and management of one’s emotional states are essential to play one’s best golf. Have you ever heard of playing joyful golf?
  • Centering Exercises – These are related to higher levels of personal development and consciousness. They include meditation exercises (breathing, walking, body, and witness meditations) and transpersonal exercises which take the human person beyond the level of ego-centeredness. Compassion for all sentient beings, peace, stillness, vision, seeing and accepting multiple perspectives, patience and being non-judgmental are just a few of the skills learned at this level.
  • Cultural Standards of Golf – These standards deal with the rules of golf, etiquette, sports-manship, care for the course, and a player’s wardrobe.
We live in an information age today. By understanding the 12 Steps to Integral Golf Excellence, the golf trainer and student can begin to place all of the essential information into its proper categories. Then, to better serve the golfing community, teachers and trainers can create educational blueprints and roadmaps (curriculums) showing the land of the land and what the terrain looks like. An Integral Golf Model can show both the teacher and the student what the journey looks like and that golf can be learned one bite at a time, much like eating an elephant.

Visit for more information.

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Swing Compensations – What Are They And Why Should They Be Eliminated? by Danny Lee

With every golf swing, regardless of player ability, there is some level of compensation. The objective is to reduce and minimize these band aids or the swing will become harder and harder to replicate the older you get or if some small change takes place in your body. To preface, what a compensation is trying to accomplish on a subconscious basis, is to bring your body back on path of the golf ball if you are not initially set up in that position.

Every player is trying to achieve the same sensation of clearing all the way through their shot and delivering power to the ball in the direction they intend. For the majority individuals, they have their tendencies and instincts entirely backwards from what they should do be doing. For instance, people address the ball with their weight between the balls of their feet and heels as in a variety of other balances throughout the swing. In order to clear through the shot what you will find in almost every good golfer, their weight ends up back on their front heel at impact. The farther forwards you get in the swing and in your feet the more difficult it is to get your body back into a position it can clear.

People compensate for being out of position at the top of the back swing in a large combination of ways. To find out what kind of compensations you have in your body and how detrimental they are to your swing, put yourself into a heel to heel drill as seen on this weeks video. It will test your ability to move over the back of your legs and feel your freedom of rotation. It is one of the most difficult drills that we have to show you if your posture and timing will give you the feeling you are looking for.

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Swing Compensations: What Are They And Why Should They Be Eliminated - by David Lee

Why do you suppose that most players develop to a certain level, then seem to hit a brick wall in their ability to improve? This problematic issue occurs not only with amateurs, but with professional players as well.

In the forty-eight years that I’ve been teaching golf (for twenty of those years I was just trying to teach it), it has been a rarity to see a beginning player who did not start the down-swing with a “kill” concept. With few exceptions, players instinctively draw the club back and “hunt” the ball with the arms and club like they were trying to drive a nail with a hammer over three feet long. When the golf swing is approached with such a misguided concept for creating power in the swing, this is what occurs. As the shoulders and arms “flex” in the down-swing, part of the energy serves to move the ball, but simultaneously, part of it goes back into the body and causes the path to move. The path (or plane) moves to the outside or “over the top,” which will pull or hook the ball, and causes the player to make corrective or “compensating” steps to try and hit the ball on line to the target. A right-handed player (opposite for lefties) can compensate a changing plane and attempt to eliminate the pull by aligning the body to the right, by weakening the grip, by moving the ball back in the stance, or by making postural or equipment changes. All of these compensations can be made independently, or utilized simultaneously. The more energy, however, that is turned back into the body during the execution of the swing, the harder it is to repeat the swing and get consistency in your results. Most golfers make their compensations intentionally, but oftentimes they are made at a subconscious level and the player is totally unaware that he/she is compensating.

As we go from the practice tee to the golf course, especially in tournament situations, body tension increases. As the body tightens (for whatever reason), the center of leverage rises. As this occurs, any energy that is being internalized through improper power application, causes an increase in path-shift over what we experience when we are relaxed. This is exactly why it is so important to eliminate compensations and identify proper power technique, which can be accomplished by training with the Gravity golf drills. Study them – they are the “road map” to a technically perfect swing.     
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10 Tips on How to Choose the Right Golf Professional

by John Wilkinson
The Right Golf Professional To Teach You IS:
(does your current instructor meet many of these?)

  • Someone who is passionate about their chosen professional, enthusiastic, organized, articulate and most of all, fun to be with.
  • An Extraordinary communicator, with great patience and an ability to simplify technique and converse in easy-to-understand language.
  • A person with an insatiable appetite for golf knowledge and has an extensive golf book and video instructional library.  “Evaluate their golf IQ.”
  • A motivator who will inspire you and make you feel good about yourself and your game.
  • An optimistic, positive instructor – one who never gives up on a student, and always finds the correct path for each individual!
  • A role model, especially for young people – with a personal attitude and demeanor on and off the course which is exemplary at all times.
  • Energetic, imaginative and personable.  They have a good eye and a unique ability to diagnose mechanical swing flaws and provide innovative drills to help overcome them in an enjoyable and entertaining manner.
  • Someone who understands how people learn, and what learning style you possess.
  • Reputable as a teacher or a player.  Investigate their teaching credibility by asking other students if they benefited from their lessons.
  • Totally committed to their students and to the game of golf.  This is the teacher who can best serve your needs as a student. 
“If the path of learning is and enjoyable experience – a great teacher has paved your way.”

John Wilkinson, Award winning Gravity Golf instructor – Down Under Par Golf
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The Secret of Taking Your Range Game To the Course

Mastering Golf by David Lee

Most players, when they go to the practice range, hit ball after ball from a normal swing mode.  The normal swing is the easiest of all modes from which to “compensate” imperfect power application.  Compensations are insidious attempts to correct an improperly shifting swing-plane, and most often occur at a completely subconscious level.  The player can be making compensations for mis-applied power through the grip, alignment, ball position, posture, or even through equipment, and be totally un-aware that he is doing so.  Compensations not only make the swing unreliable, it becomes harder to repeat under pressure.  On the practice tee, we get as many opportunities as we have golf balls to find the proper timing, but on the golf course we get only one chance per shot.  The best way to get your game successfully from the practice tee to the course, is by learning to practice perfectly, so that you know exactly how to swing with correct power application every time you draw it back.

The next time you go to the practice tee, start with a middle iron, like a 5, 6, or 7.  Hit a full-swing shot with the right hand, then one with the left hand, and then one with both hands.  It is very important to change modes with each swing.  If you can draw the ball with each hand alone, as well as with the two-handed mode, it is an indicator that your swing is tension-free.  Changing modes with each shot prevents the brain from “dialing in” compensations from what it felt in the previous swing.  Putting a different muscle group into activity with each pass, forces the brain to identify proper sequencing in every mode and will teach you perfect mechanics that will work reliably when you go to the golf course.

Try this – it really works!!
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The Secret of Taking Your Range Game to the Course - Danny Lee

Drilling for Freedom by Danny Lee

If you have ever been guilty of feeling like a world class pro or at least a really good golfer when you are on the driving range, and then proceed to play a round that appears to be the first time you ever put your hands on a golf club, this is for you! 

For starters, there are a few major differences between hitting on the driving range and playing on the golf course. 

First being, you only get one shot - this is why it is so important to practice on the range in a way that will give you the most feedback and try to simulate a new kind of shot every time - refer to the 3-mode drill. 

The other major difference is lie undulations on the golf course - with the exception of your tee ball, you rarely ever have a flat lie. 

You may have heard some of the misconceptions taught over the years such as, “try and line your shoulders up to the slope”, or “swing up towards the hole”. In both of these cases, you will not be able power the ball with all of your mass moving rotationally, because it will be very difficult to post if you are working against your front axis.  This is a bit of a confusing concept at first, but once you understand it your approach to the golf course will forever change. 

A great way to practice getting your feet in the right place is to try throwing balls from different lies and feel what is a more comfortable foot position. What you are looking for is a way to put your feet on the ground that will allow you to turn all the way through your shot and be able to freely move into the Counter-fall. In most cases, you will need to move the ball back and open up your stance to the target regardless of the slope. 

In summary, the most important thing when swinging a golf club or making any kind of rotational move is that you can turn freely through impact.

Practice both the 3-mode golf drill and from different lies on the range in order to learn how to freely move into the Counter-fall from any lie.

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What Exactly is Golf Fitness?

by Dr. Darcy Dill

Sport specific exercises are a way to get fit to play the sport.  What they do is break down the moves necessary to play a particular sport and train the body to make those moves effectively.   In the case of golf it is the golf swing that is the most difficult part of the game to master.   Fitness experts have taken the golf swing and broken it down into specific movements and then train the body to make those moves.

The first thing to do is to figure out what is the best way to swing a golf club.  What is the swing model that you want to use to be the ideal to make your swing emulate?   There are many ways to swing a golf club and people have perfected them to make them work.  Even professional golfers do not all swing the golf club the same.  As you look at he PGA tournaments on TV you can see many different types of swings done by the pros. All of them are good enough to make a living at it.   However some swings are more efficient than others.  As a chiropractor, I am concerned with how the swing will affect the body and it’s longevity.   I want a swing that is easy on the body as well as being able to hit the ball well consistently.   If you want to play golf well as you get older, you need to consider normal body mechanics and the laws of nature.  You want a swing that does not violate those laws and does the least amount of harm to the body.  I use the term “body friendly” to describe such a swing model.

I like the Gravity Golf model of swing mechanics as taught by David Lee (  Golfers such as Fred Couples, Jack Nicklaus, and Ernie Els exemplify this particular swing model.  The major component of this system is that the major power source of the swing is the rotating core muscles and not the shoulders, arms, or hands.  Without getting too technical, it is engine of the effortless rotation of the body that gets transferred through the passive shoulders, arms and hands that powers this type of swing.  There are lots of very good swing models out there.  The main thing is to pick one that you like and use it to develop a fitness program around it.  Your golf professional can help you find one that is right for you.

Once you know the kind of swing you would like to have, figure out what kind of moves make this swing work.  Your golf pro has certain kinds of swing drills that he/she will use to help you to feel those kinds of moves as your body makes them.   Your fitness professional can get you to do specific exercises to train those moves into your muscle memory on a regular basis.   A good golf specific fitness program should get you to be able to perform the desired moves that the golf pro wants you to do.  A good golf fitness program can do more for your golf swing than hours on the range and golf course.   In playing a round of golf, there are so many factors that come into play, it is difficult to isolate (and practice) the key moves that make a good golf swing work.   A good golf specific work out can make your body swing better as well as condition it for better health and longevity.

I have illustrated a couple of really good golf fitness exercises.   There are many more in my book and DVD called “Body Friendly Golf”.  Try these out and see if you find your golf swing getting easier and your ball striking getting better.

Ball Toss using a Swiss ball.   Using a Swiss ball, throw it using your core to a partner.  He will catch it and allow his body to rotate on his back leg.   Then he will use his core (not shoulders or arms) to rotate the ball back to you.

Hip Rotation fore swing.   Attach rubber tubing or a thera-band to a stable spot.   Hold the other end on your left hip.  Then rotate the hips on the left leg to face 90 degrees to the left.  Keep the left leg slightly bent and end up with the weight on that left leg….facing the target.  Do these exercises twice a week and see how your game will improve by developing your rotating body as a power source.

Dr. Darcy Dill is a chiropractor practicing in Central Oregon in the summer and in Palm Springs in the winter.  He can be reached at 541-647-2222 or   His book and DVD combo Body Friendly Golf is available at better bookstores nationwide.
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The Counter-fall and Why it is Essential for a Physics Perfect Golf Swing

Drilling for Freedom - by Danny Lee

Sound science, proper physics and feel are the principles you can't escape, but are always searching for in your golf swing.  When they come together in the correct fashion, you will “Feel the Freedom” in your swing, and the results will show.

Odds are, you have felt the counterfall working in your every-day life and have never been conscious of it.  If you have ever locked arms with another person or child in the back yard, and swung each other in circles, you both had to lean backwards in equilibrium, in order to counter-balance the rotational force pulling you both toward each other. This is the centripetal force at work. In physics, we see the same thing applied in every rotary movement where weight is moving on one side of an object.

In the golf swing, the weight (force) of your arms and club swinging in front of your body are trying to pull you off center, and in most amateurs ends up causing them to come over the top. The human arm can weigh anywhere from 8 to 20 pounds:  imagine your arms and club as a dumbbell attached to your chest that you are trying to throw in front of you at the speed you swing a club.  The next time you’re watching a place kicker in a football game, a pitcher throw a baseball, or an Olympic hammer thrower in action, pay special attention to the off vertical move they start making before they turn through to release the object.  That “off-vertical” move is the counterfall, and it is also necessary in a sound golf swing.

Typically, what you will see in most golfers, is a move they have manufactured to take place of the counterfall - a compensation. For instance, most people’s posture tends to be too bent over with their torso and upper body balanced over the quads (fronts of their legs) instead of the hamstrings (back of their legs). What will happen, in this case, is when they turn in the back swing, they shift their weight forward onto the front leg (toward the toes and quads). The detrimental part of this is that as they try to rotate, it will not carry them backwards easily into the Counterfall and from here one of  two things could happen.

If they try to swing from this position, the force of their arms swinging will pull them onto their faces if they stay completely relaxed (I doubt this has ever happened). Your natural instinct is to protect you from harm.  If you were to swing like this, you will start internalizing energy to maintain balance, but will lock up your rotation (99% of people only advance their hands and shoulders through the ball in the last 3 frames through impact). This causes you to lose much of your power, because the rest of the body is not free to move through impact, as it is fighting for balance and the body is very weak rotationally. The other option is to somehow create an equal amount of force moving in the opposite direction to allow you to clear your hips and body through the shot. This can come from pulling your hips back and around or snapping your front knee back (see if you can guess which professionals  do that) or other compensatory moves in an effort to stay on plane.

The cure for your aches and pains, including your power and control loss lies in being able to properly balance the forces out between what is pulling you forward and what is pulling you back. The simplest way (which is also easiest on your body) is at the top of your back swing, once you have made a full weight transfer back to your left heel, allow your body to start falling away from the ball. There is a perfect “tipping point” you will reach that allows for free rotation and subsequently a complete release of the club head.  You will also find that the more upright your posture is and the closer you are to the ball, the easier it will be to fall away (the counterfall). Master this move and you will have found the swing key for which you have always been searching!

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