March 2020

Golf’s most harmful myths & the antidote

There are many persistent myths in golf that are very harmful and counter productive to improving you’re golf. Here are a few to consider….


You lifted your head up (or didn’t keep your eye on the ball)
For all full shots in golf, i haven’t once in 33 years of teaching asked anyone to keep their head down or keep their eye on the ball. It’s not like tennis or squash whereby you, the ball and your opponent are all moving and if you don’t watch the ball closely, it will be disastrous. With golf, the ball is always still, you (should) set up in the correct place each time and it is more a challenge of making a good repetitive swing rather than watching the ball. Think of it this way, you could watch the best golfers in the world on tv for as long as you choose and wouldn’t see one of them finish the swing with their head still ‘down’. The myth comes about by golfers incorrectly trying to lift the ball as they would a shot with a racket sport which can make the whole body lift up, inspiring the head down advice. Instead of this, try to consistently brush the grass and make a good, balanced follow through with all of your weight finishing on your front foot.

Your swing was too fast
I spend most of my working week trying to get people to swing faster and follow through more because it is not only what creates good distance, but also what evokes a well struck, accurate shot. Attempting to swing slowly creates an artificial, unnatural rhythm whereby people either swing very slowly on the backswing then swing ‘in a blur’ in a ‘snatchy' type action or just do the whole swing slowly which makes the course feel 10 miles long!! Also, swinging slowly or cautiously on the way through causes golfers to bend their arms at impact and limits the correct weight transfer into the finish causing thin or topped shots and less distance. Hit hard and follow through into a full, balanced follow through!


You hit the ground too much
Most golfers hit the ground behind the ball which is the ruination of any shot, especially in the winter months. The fault here, however, is not hitting the ground too much, but hitting the ground before the ball rather than after it. It is really insightful to watch the close up footage with the golf on tv when they zoom in on the club hitting the ball first then taking a divot afterwards. It is a very shallow approach and a very shallow ’skim’ of the ground after the ball which allows the club to do it's job and loft the ball as it should. Mistakenly though, most golfers react to hitting the ground behind by trying not to hit the ground which causes thin or topped shots. Try to rehearse a shallow, skim of the ground after the spot you are aiming at and allow the ball to get in the way


Hope that helps

Jon Grant
Senior Teaching professional

February 2020

What improvement really looks like

I have come to realise that helping someone improve their golf game is roughly 10% knowing what they need to improve and the remaining 90% is how to get them to make those changes.

The main challenges that hold people back are:-

The way people practice (often without clear aims and done too quickly)
Lack of accurate feedback on the changes they are attempting to make
Lack of awareness (too much focus on the result instead of how the swing feels or looks)
Playing much more than practicing
primarily playing competitive golf (versus practicing playing golf)

The best advice i could pass on is to have a a couple of changes that you are aiming to make then to find a consistent, accurate way to get feedback whilst you practice so that you know (either from what the ball is doing or by how your swing looks/feels) whether you are moving in the right direction or just ’spinning your wheels’.


The best ways i know to achieve the above are:-

Use impact stickers to get feedback on the strike
Be observant and noticed the patterns of your shots
Do a much higher percentage of practice swings than shots (and make those swings meaningful i.e with intensity and awareness)
Use video feedback (via V 1 golf or Hudl apps)
Use a stats feedback method when you play (best one i know is the Golmetrics app)
If things are going badly, slow down your practice and do more practice swings (most people do the opposite of this)
DON’T switch from one swing thought to the next, stick to the plan for a sustained period of time


Hope that helps

Jon Grant
Senior Teaching Professional

January 2020

Common Questions and answers

I thought it would be helpful to list a few common questions that are asked by clients and give you some (hopefully) insightful answers.
Here Goes...

Why do I top the ball?
- There are two distinct ways to ’top’ the ball:-
  1. One is where the club strikes the ball too much on the way up (because the golfer is trying to lift or scoop the ball - as if they were hitting a tennis or squash ball into the air - which is incorrect)
  2. The Second is where the ball is struck too much on the way down (this is when the swing is very steep - usually the type of golfer that slices the ball)

The solution is to approach the ball with a shallow arc, to ‘collect' the ball first, then brush the grass after the ball. A great way to visualise what I mean is to look closely at the close up slow motion shots of the golf on TV. A picture paints a thousand words!

Please note, topping is never caused by looking up too early - that is a complete myth (the misunderstanding comes about from seeing the golfer attempt to lift the ball up causing their whole body to lift as they hit)


Why do I hit the ground behind the ball (or put another way, why do I hit the ball fat)?
Hitting the ball fat is very often (but not always) similar to topping the ball - whereby the core problem is striking too much on the way up. Think of it in terms of the base of the swing (where the club is nearest the ground) is before the ball and it should be just after the ball (on all fairway shots).

Golfers often alternate between hitting the ground before the ball and topping (because the natural reaction to hitting the ground too early is to miss the ground altogether).

Although this may seem random, it isn’t and the cure is to rehearse brushing the grass or taking a shallow divot after the ball.

The two core reasons for this happening are

  • weight too much on the back foot at impact - should be mostly on the front foot (left foot for right handers)
  • the arms beating the body on the downswing - the correct sequence should be lower body, upper body, then arms and club

How do I get more power?
Far and away the quickest and easiest way to increase the power of your shots is to hit nearer the centre of the club face. Most golfers hit the centre very infrequently and just monitoring the contact (with impact stickers - as mentioned in March 19) will make you more aware and thus it will be self correcting.


Why can’t i get out of bunkers?
The most common reason that people struggle to get out of bunkers consistently is that they don’t hit the shot hard enough. The two core principles of the basic bunker shot are:-

  • Firstly to take a big swing so that you can hit with lots of power
  • Secondly to hit plenty of sand.

Basically if you take a big swing then this allows you to hit the sand well behind the ball which lessens the chance of striking the ball (which is disastrous for bunkers shots).
Most golfers have an irrational fear of hitting too far - irrational because, in my experience, people leave the ball in the bunker about 10 times more often than they hit over the green.

Please let me know some questions that you would like answered and I will do so in upcoming newsletter instalments. (jongrant4@gmail.com)

Lastly, I am going to do some coaching videos on the Hoebridge Facebook page, so please let me know topics you’d like me to cover


Hope that helps

Jon Grant
Senior Teaching Professional

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