Weeks, who is based at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Ill., created his own mini-instruction videos for three readers. In the first one, @tweaver9s has some issues with the transition from his backswing to downswing.
@pwhite1711 has a strong swing that just needs some fine-tuning at address.
@bobby_maho is a self-described low-handicapper whose progress has stalled. Weeks helps with some tips for taking better swing video and finishing the swing.
At 93, John Anselmo still teaches at Meadowlark G.C. in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he worked with an adolescent Woods between ages of 10 and 16. Jaime Diaz talked to Anselmo for a feature in the Sept. 2 issue of Golf World that explores where Woods might turn next regarding his swing. Among Diaz' conclusions, after talking to Anselmo, was that coming full circle and returning to the advice of Tiger's youth might be the best approach for the 38-year-old given he doesn't necessarily have time for another extensive overhaul of his swing.
Anselmo said it's been several years since he saw Woods and the idea of speaking again with him would be gratifying. "Lots of things I'd like to tell him," Anselmo told Golf World. "First, quit trying to kill the ball. And I would ask him what he feels during the swing, because he was a feel player. I don't know if it's possible for him to be the player he was. But I know he hasn't forgotten how to create a swing. There's still some greatness in there."
In watching from afar, Anselmo believes the biggest issue for Tiger is a loss of confidence with his driver, a problem that has its roots back to when the two of them worked together.
"It started because ever since he was little, he's been obsessed with hitting it far," Anselmo said. "That was why he put on a lot of muscle weight training in college, which changed his swing. But swinging too hard can destroy a good player. Snead used to go at it about 80 percent, and it looked like less than that. As he got older and still wanted to be the longest hitter, Tiger lost that controlled smoothness with the driver."
As Woods was winning his record three straight U.S. Junior titles in the early 1990s, his partnership with Anselmo was winding down. In 1993, the instructor had to stop teaching for eight months to battle colon cancer, and it was then that Woods began working with Harmon. Anselmo told Diaz he understood why Woods made the change, but laid out an intriguing "what if?" scenario.
"If I hadn't gotten sick, I think he would have stayed with me," Anselmo said, believing that the two might have maintained the same type of long-term relationship that Jack Nicklaus had with Jack Grout and Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite had with Harvey Penick.
Horschel was in the middle of the fairway, 198 yards away from reaching the par 5 in two. He trailed Chris Kirk by a shot, but was playing a hole he had birdied the previous three times he played it.
The secret to avoiding a heavy shot like Horschel's is the one Tiger Woods has used to win so many tournaments -- familiarity. "The only way to handle pressure is to put yourself in those positions as often as possible," says Parada, who works with Jonas Blixt, David Lingmerth and Anna Nordqvist among other tour players. "During your practice time, give yourself scenarios where you need to execute a shot to win something important. Go through your entire routine and focus on slowing your breathing and keeping a normal rhythm. Hit the shot and grade yourself on the result."
To amp up the pressure training, do a vigorous set of wind sprints or jumping jacks just before you hit the shot. Give yourself 45 seconds to go through your routine, modulate your breathing and make your swing. "At first, you'll be shocked at how hard it is to even hit a five-foot putt with your heart rate up and adrenaline pumping," says Parada. "But the more you practice it and work on slowing down your breathing, you'll feel your muscles relax and your heart rate slow down. That's a great tool to have when you need it over an important shot."
As the son of a club pro, I literally spent my childhood living at the golf course. During the summer months, If I wanted to play golf, I had get up early and go into work with my Dad. Wake up was 6 a.m. and there were a number of times when I needed extra incentive to make it out of bed. Dad’s favorite means of motivation was often a cold glass of water in the face, which surprisingly, I found to be pretty amusing. It still remains a fond memory of the fun we had getting ready to go to the golf course.
No matter how early our day started, I never missed the opportunity to go to the course and practice. Once I was there, however, I was tasked with staying busy until the shop closed and it was time to head back home. I’d often putt for hours in the morning, pretending I was about to win the Masters or U.S. Open. By noon I had hit every shot you could imagine, re-gripped some clubs or put “whipping” on a few wooden heads to help lessen Dad’s workload.
Not until 2:00 were juniors allowed to tee off and have the run of the course. It was excruciating for me to wait to play each day, and my father patiently put up with years of me trying to break this rule. I often had someone to tee it up with, but there were many times when it was just myself, going around as many times as I could before dark.
Without the fun of competing against friends, I found simply keeping score alone to be pretty boring. This is when I came across this week’s exercise in the form of the “Worst Ball” workout. I’d say no other exercise makes you fight for a good score more than this, and it’s a practice every competitive player should really spend time doing.
If you think you’re pretty good, this is a great drill that really puts your game to the test. Commit to spending at least 9 holes grinding out the best score you can, and you can count this challenge as complete.
Practice Under Pressure
Reveals True Skill Level
If you belong to a club or play often, golf is part of your lifestyle. A "lifestyle" is a pattern of behaviors which make you not only who you are, but who you're going to be. Make bad choices related to your health, and over time you might find yourself in a hole you can't get out of.
I love everything associated with a great day at the course, including a post-round celebration with my group. But, just because it's time to cut loose doesn't mean you can't still make mindful decisions that allow you to unwind while protecting your health.
Being healthier, doesn't mean you have to take on some "all or nothing" effort that leaves you feeling deprived. In fact, getting started is as simple deciding to choose one thing to upgrade and one thing to drop. What if you did something as easy as dropping the bread from your normal post-round burger, while upgrading your fluid intake by drinking a couple tall glasses of water between cocktails? You'd rehydrate, help prevent a hangover AND take a step towards reducing your waistline.
Back in the day, there was no one who could kill a club sandwich or crush a mountain of nachos better than me. Through committing to making more mindful choices, I've made progress towards creating a healthier lifestyle that's simple, delicious and sustainable without feeling left out on all the fun!
See if you can make some better choices during your next happy hour or post-round meal and you can count this nutrition challenge as complete.
Support Weight Management
Jeff Ritter is the CEO/Founder of MTT Performance. The program operates out of Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif. Follow him on Twitter at @mttgolf
Mahan's precision starts from a balanced setup, and he never manipulates the club in a way that would force him to make a compensation on the downswing. "The club goes back perfectly, and he doesn't really use his hands," says Weeks. "The club gets very deep behind him, and from there he moves to his left side, and once he gets his left shoulder on top of his left hip, he rotates his hips to bring the club through. Most average players don't turn and just wave at the ball with their arms, or they just turn the upper body and cut across it from over the top."
This week, Webb reviewed a handful of swings submitted by GolfDigest.com readers through Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #HelpMeGolfDigest. The first comes from @jmsurma, who has a strong swing but needs to clean up some extraneous motion.