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Applecross Golf Academy Book & Video Tip Spotlight

We're excited to announce the addition of more than 1,000 books on instruction, history, strength training, and the mental game. This comprehensive golf library at the Learning Center is sure to offer instructors and students excellent resources to improve your game, not to mention some all around "classic" golf reads.

About January's Recommended Book & Video

One of my personal favorite instructional books for learning how to improve your golf grip is Five Fundamentals by PGA Champion Steve Elkington (1998). Elkington shares the techniques and strategies behind his trademark swing. Elkington writes: "My aim is to provide a benchmark, a basis on which any player can build his own, authentic swing." The book is available to borrow from our library at the Learning Center, or purchase it on Amazon by clicking on the book cover to the left. (Continued in Video Archive Library Below)

About February's Recommended Book & Video

I had the pleasure of meeting PGA instructor and author, Mike Bender while I was down at the PGA show in Orlando just last week. Mike invited me to tour his learning center and we spoke at great length, particularly about his new book, Building the Swing of a Lifetime, which had just been published last year. In this excellent read, Mike shares simple, proven drills that will take your play to a different level. Illustrated by 150 photos, Mike shows how to aim and turn properly, get your hands on the correct downswing plane, and match up your arm swing and body rotation to square the club face more consistently. Borrow this book from the library at the Learning Center, or purchase it on Amazon by clicking on the book cover to the left. (Continued in Video Archive Library Below)

About Eric's 5-Day Swing Transformation Video in March

In the month of March we have switched gears as the 2013 season approaches quickly. This month I had the pleasure of working with a new student, Todd Darlington. Todd was gracious enough to allow me to document his progression over a five day period. This project was for a seminar I was doing for the Philadelphia Section PGA on March 4th. In the video I showed the drills that I had Todd do during each day. As the days progressed, his impact, distance and trajectory changed dramatically. The average distance of a seven iron began at 125 yards and increased to 145-150. If you follow the video all the way thru you will see different activities that worked for Todd and they certainly will work for you too. The Learning Center at Applecross is your opportunity to learn practice drills for home or on the driving range that turn a proper pivot into a habit that you'll bring to the course this spring. (Continued in Video Archive Library Below)

About April's Recommended Book & Three Week Swing Transformation Video

In the month of April, I had the pleasure of working with Stephanie Giampietro. Stephanie was gracious enough to let me document her progress as we make our way through a series of exercises over a three week period. If you follow the video below all the way thru you will see how we changed certain habits to better her contact and club head speed. On page 155 of this months recommended book, Tiger Woods How I Play Golf, there is a great tip about chasing the ball with your right hand after impact. You will notice we worked on this by sliding a small piece of wood along the ground. I hope you enjoy the video! You can borrow the book from our Learning Center golf library or purchase it on Amazon by clicking on the book cover to the left. The Learning Center at Applecross is your opportunity to learn practice drills for home or on the driving range that turn proper mechanics into habits that you'll bring to the course this spring. (Continued in Video Archive Library Below)

About May's Recommended Book & Improve Your Impact Video

Ben Hogan's Power Golf is an oldie but goodie. Our focus will be on pages 130 and 131 which have great drawings and explanations of impact. He says, “At impact my hands are ahead of the clubhead and the ball is being struck a hard descending blow. Hit the ball first and then take the turf.” This is so important to understand because if you can arrive at the ball with a positive lean of the shaft you will compress the ball like you’ve never done in the past. This is why the tour players hit their seven irons as far as a four iron and the high handicapper hits his like an eight iron. The average player hits blooper shots with no ability to penetrate the wind. This inability makes a typical breezy day at Applecross a major challenge. You can borrow this book from our Learning Center golf library or purchase it on Amazon by clicking on the book cover to the left.

In May's video I had the opportunity to spend time with Deanna Suarez, a member at Applecross CC. She was nice enough to let us document her progress as she works through the changes. Deanna has just recently begun playing but you can see the potential is there for really good golf. The focus of the video is on improving her impact positions which are typical deficiencies, especially in a new player. If you watch the video all the way through, you will see the drills that we do and how the exercises change the motion. We use these drills during many lessons so I know they work. Try these yourself and see if it can help your impact and your scores. Good luck and enjoy the video below.

About June's Recommended Book & Proper Arm Extension Video

June’s Recommended Book is a Golf Instructors treasure. In Golf Digest's Book of Drills there are tips inside that would help just about any golfer. The trick is in knowing which ones to use. This month we are focusing on reaching maximum arm extension on the through swing since it is the topic of this month’s video with students Dee Lentz and Eric Hottenstein. On page 140 and 141 there are great images of properly extended arms which I’ve noticed is the downfall of most of our membership. Here’s the drill. While using a mid-iron, tee up the ball about an inch off the ground. Assume your address position. Without moving, have someone step in and move the ball 6 to 12 inches further forward in your stance. Make your normal 3/4 length backswing but when you swing through you’ll find it necessary to straighten both arms in order to reach the ball and strike it solidly. It takes a little practice but it will pay off with a significant increase in distance. You may borrow this book from our library or click on the book cover to the left if you wish to purchase this book from Amazon.

The focus of this June’s video is on proper arm extension through impact and into the finish. I had the opportunity to spend time this month with Dee Lentz and Eric Hottenstein who had allowed me to document their lessons. As you follow along watching the video you’ll see drills and focus points that helped them create proper arm extension and change their swing for the better. Have one of your friends video your swing on the course and see if maybe these drills could help you too! Enjoy the video!

About July's Recommended Book & Power and Consistency Video

The July recommended book is by Nick Price called The Swing. It was printed in 1997 when Nick had reached number 1 in the world. It is filled with great life stories and wonderful images of his swing during his period of change. I have used pages of the book for reference on many occasions. One of my favorite sections in the book is the journal which he kept all of his lessons with his instructor. Too often our students don’t record their thoughts and feelings during a lesson and they are soon forgotten thereby wasting valuable time which you can’t ever get back. This entire book is a guide of Nick’s golf experiences. It contains detail of trials and tribulations, not just the glamour of being number 1. The exercises and tips are awesome and warrant a read. Give it a try. I know you’ll enjoy it. You may borrow this book from our golf library or click on the book cover to the left to purchase it from amazon.

In the July video I am focusing on a few different ways to increase your power and consistency. The student is Elizabeth Bjorkland who, at the time of taping, has literally been playing for just a couple of weeks. She’s a quick learner, already grasping the basics. With a little help I think she could be a fine player. The drills which I use with Elizabeth are drills which can help anyone. The pivot drill can be done with any stick or even a long club. It doesn’t have to be a piece of pvc piping but it certainly can be. The taped ball drill was taught to me by Art Sellinger who is a World Champion Long Driver. It’s an awesome drill for feel of the weight in the club head and proper timing of the wrists. It was obvious that it helped Elizabeth to feel better wrist action and make better contact. Give the video a look and see if the drills can help you too!

About August's Recommended Book

This month’s recommended book is Golf Annika's Way by Annika Sorenstam. There are many great tips and anecdotes in this one to occupy you for a long time. This book covers the gamut from short game to long game and everything in between. We are focusing on pages 60 and 61 which would make many of the old style teachers want to roll over in their graves. On these pages Annika talks about how she developed her signature head release prior to making impact. This move also goes with our monthly video to help you get off of the back leg and get your weight properly shifting to the target. Give our video a look and maybe you’ll see something interesting and helpful with your own swing! You may borrow this book from our golf library or click on the book cover to the left to purchase it from amazon.

 
     
     
     
 

Look inside - "Proper Head Release"

In August's clip, In this clip, I'll show you simple keys to help your follow through.

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Practical Practice Ideas for Year Round Training

Practice the "Feel" of a Correct Grip (January)

For those of us who live in colder climates, practicing fundamentals can be done indoors several days a week. Since your hands are the connecting point between you and your club, perfecting your grip will naturally add precision and greater power to your Spring game. I had used an old golf club with the shaft cut off and the end taped (to cover sharp edges) to practice my awareness for how a correct grip "feels". If you'd like help developing your golf grip, you can certainly book a lesson. As I show in the January video clip below, I would start by holding the coins between my thumb and forefinger to practice getting your hands ready to team up in the proper position. If you need a cutoff grip, send me a note and I can leave one for you in the shop. If you would like a small club let me know and I can have one for you quickly. Just pay for the price of the new grip that I will have to put on.

Now is the Time to Practice Aim (February)

Springtime is the season for the green. February's book devoted a chapter to how a golfer can, and should, practice good aim before going out on the course. Author, Mike Bender explains that you must orient your body to your target. Bender says it is your alignment that dictates the shape of the swing needed to hit a ball to your target. Poor alignment leads to compensation and bad habits; but correctly aligning yourself enables you to swing on-plane and efficiently. You'll produce powerful, accurate shots. The learning center at Applecross is your opportunity to practice drills on the driving range that turn proper alignment into a habit that you'll bring to the course this spring. Schedule a lesson today >

Practice a Balanced Pivot (March)

Again, Springtime is the season for the green and the March video is devoted to how a golfer can, and should, practice good balance and a tight pivot before going out on the course. A good golfer has to orient his or her body to the ball in a way that allows for a consistently powerful strike. Your grip and posture will dictate the shape of the swing needed to hit a ball to your target. Poor posture will lead to a poor pivot which leads to compensation with the hands and bad habits. Pivoting in balance enables you to swing on-plane and efficiently. You'll produce powerful, accurate shots. The learning center at Applecross is your opportunity to learn new techniques to practice on the driving range that turn proper alignment into a habit that you'll bring to the course this spring. Schedule a lesson today >

A Great Pivot Can Lead to Great Impact (April)

The April video with Stephanie Giampietro was devoted to how a golfer can go from inconsistent contact to good, solid shots. To get to this point it takes a combination of proper body position and proper lag of the club head coming into impact. A good golfer has to orient his or her body to the ball in a way that allows for a consistently powerful strike. Relaxing your grip pressure will influence your wrist action which will give you more power than you have ever experienced. If you do your drills you'll produce powerful, accurate shots and have a lot more fun on the course. The Learning Center at Applecross is your opportunity to learn new techniques that you can later practice on the driving range which will turn proper impact into a habit that you'll certainly bring to the course this spring.Schedule a lesson today >

 
     
     
     
 

 

Applecross Practice Facilities = Improvement!

Practice is a game Changer and winter means time to rev up your practice routine; a solid routine moves you along from “thinking” about your golf swing to "feeling" it. The colder months offer a great opportunity to make adjustments while practicing without the pressure of performing on the golf course. Instruction is available indoors at the Learning Center and at the Pulte Welcome Center thru the off season. As we transition into the regular season, the many practice areas of Applecross such as the Driving Range, the main Putting Green, the putting green and bunker around the Learning Center as well as the fantastic 19th hole offer tremendous opportunities to work on the skills acquired during your lessons.

Practice "Parallel Left"

During a lesson, one priority we review is how you are positioning your feet and body in relation to where you think you are aiming the club. A vast majority of the time, a golfer's aim is nowhere near where he or she ”thinks” that they are aiming the ball. Fixing this issue can become the single biggest improvement in your game. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper body alignment. Learning how to ”check” your forearms is a good place to start because they are a part of your body you can see. Schedule a lesson today to focus on improving your aim >

Practice "Staying Balanced"

During a lesson, another priority we review is how you are positioning your hips and legs during your backswing. I always try to keep in mind that the body has to be in proper position for the hands and arms to be athletic. If the body is out of position the hands have to do things in a compensatory manner to catch up and flip the clubhead toward the ball. A vast majority of the time, a golfer's body is nowhere near where he or she "thinks" that it is. Fixing this issue can really become one of the single biggest improvements in your game. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper body positioning. Learning how to "check" the amount of pressure in your back foot and leg at the top of the backswing is a good place to start. If you use a mirror you can really see this part of your body and help your consistency. Schedule a lesson today to focus on improving your balance >

Practice "Compressing the Ball"

During a lesson, we may review how our students are striking the ball at impact. This means whether contact is solid, thin or heavy. Most good players deloft the golf club at impact by properly shifting weight on the downswing toward the front leg and relaxing the wrists to allow a subtle amount of downcocking as the club is descending toward the ball. This will create a positive lean of the shaft towards the target. Keep in mind that the body has to be in proper position for the hands and arms to be athletic so in this particular case the weight must be shifting toward the target. If you hang back then your hands have to do things in a compensatory manner to catch up and flip the club head toward the ball. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper impact positioning. Learning how to "check" your impact using a mirror or a video camera is a good place to start. If you use a mirror you can rehearse the proper movements and help your consistency. Schedule a lesson to focus on improving impact >

Practice "Where's the Bottom?"

During a lesson, a priority we continue to review is where our students are striking the ball at impact. Again, this means whether contact is solid, thin or heavy. The best players contact the ground after they strike the ball. We often say “you have to hit the little ball before you hit the big ball (earth).” This can happen by properly shifting weight on the downswing toward the front leg and retaining the wrist angle created on the backswing all the way down till you get to the last possible instance. This is called retaining the lag. If you have soft enough wrists to allow a subtle amount of downcocking on the downswing, the club will descend properly into the ball. Keep in mind that the weight must be shifting and the body pivoting toward the target for this to occur. Hanging back can cause your hands have to compensate and flip the club head toward the ball. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper impact positioning. Learning how to "check" your impact using a mirror or a video camera is a good place to start. Schedule a lesson to focus on finding the bottom >

Practice "Proper Arm Extension"

During a lesson, we may ask our students where the lowest point in the swing arc is. Most people think it is at the ball or just in front of the ball. The absolute lowest point is in the middle of the divot which should begin after you strike the ball. The slow motion cameras on tv show us that the typical low point for a tour player is four to five inches in front of the ball. This is three or four more inches forward than the average player's low point. To strike the ball correctly you have to have great extension and a proper weight shift. If you can get it right you would eliminate most of your fat or thin shots and you would probably gain a great amount of yardage. Our staff has a large arsenal of drills to help you. If you need help, you can schedule a lesson today to focus on creating proper arm extension>

Practice "Proper Distance from the Ball"

As an instructor, when we see a new student we are looking for the “weakest link” in the swing which, if found will unlock your success the quickest. Most players need not look any further than the setup for an answer. My teacher, Bill Hacket always said that 90% of all golfers stand too far from the ball. After 25 years of teaching, I see this still holds true. The better players always stand closer than the rest. If you watch tour players you’ll notice they are right on top of the ball. This allows your body to stay in balance easier and your arms to stay relaxed during the swing. The correct distance breeds consistency in your ball striking. Just remember what Bill taught me. “Let your elbows gently touch your clothing” when you set up. It’s so much easier to hit a draw when you are closer than when you are reaching for the ball. Give it a try. If you need help, you can schedule a lesson today to focus on proper distance from the ball >

Practice "Steady your eyes to help your putting"

Instructors often see golfers struggle with distance control when it comes to putting. Most of the time it happens when a golfer moves their body too much as they "peek" early to see the result of their stroke. Your head needs to remain still which is in contrast to the full swing motion when you release your head. Putting is the one time you DO want to keep your "head down" when you play. Try this excercise and I bet it will help. Go to the putting green or a carpet and put a quarter on the ground. Then put your golf ball on the coin and set up to it as if you are going to hit the putt. Now go ahead and hit it but don't take your eyes off of the coin after the ball is gone. Wait at least three seconds until you look to find the ball. Keeping your eyes steady will help keep your body quiet which in turn will help you make more consistent contact. It takes patience but I promise your speed control will be vastly improved. If you need help, you can schedule a lesson today to focus on putting or any other part of the short game. >

 
     
 


Video Archive Library


 
     
 

"Five Fundamentals"

In January's clip, I took a quick look at points about the golf
grip from the book, "Five Fundamentals" written by PGA champion, Steve Elkington (1998).

 

"Building a Swing of A Lifetime"

In February's clip, I talk about practicing good aim with the tips taken from the book, "Building a Swing of A Lifetime" by PGA Instructor, Mike Bender.

Feb Video

     

"Eric's 5-Day Swing Transformation"

In the March clip, I talk about drills that anyone can do to make a difference with balance during the off season.

March_Video_Balance

 

"Three Week Swing Transformation"

In the April clip, I talk about drills that improve impact while I worked with Applecross member, Stephanie Giampietro.

     

"Improve Your Impact"

In May's clip, I show you drills to better your impact positions while working with Applecross member, Deana Suarez.

 

"Proper Arm Extension"

In June's clip, I show you drills to create proper arm extension as I worked with Applecross member Dee Lentz and Eric Hottenstein.

June_Video_Bookend

     

"Power & Consistency"

In July's clip, I show you three drills to increase power and consistency.

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Need more quick tips from a pro...

Take a look at these video tips from PGA Professional, Eric MacCluen:

When viewing these tips please be patient and allow them to load.

 

 


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