All the latest news and updates from Michael Breed
Welcome to the November edition of my newsletter!
In a typical year, this is a slow time in the game of professional golf. We are all getting ready for Thanksgiving, watching football, and beginning off season drills. This year has been far from typical, as we all know. In this November edition, we can congratulate a Masters Champion! Congratulations, Dustin Johnson, on winning the 84th playing of the Masters Tournament.
I would also like to share a huge congratulations to our lead instructor, Bob Bigonette. Bob will be taking a new position next season as the Head Golf Professional at Smith Richardson Golf Course. This is a well earned and exciting promotion. Bob has an infectious personality and a contagious love and passion for the game, as many of you know. He has spread this passion through the Michael Breed Golf Academy staff and students for over six years, and Smith Richardson will enjoy the same gifts for years to come. Bob, we are sad to see you go, but extremely proud and excited for you to take this next step in your career. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication, and good luck in your next chapter!
Interview with Dan Rooney
F-16 Fighter Pilot, PGA Professional, and founder of Folds of Honor
Michael is joined by his friend and founder of Folds of Honor, Lt Colonel Dan Rooney, to discuss his new book “Fly Into the Wind: How to Harness Faith and Fearlessness on Your Ascent to Greatness”. Click below for the full interview, and be sure to check out “A New Breed of Golf” on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio every weekday morning!
When the ball is above my feet, I always hit it behind it. I choke up on the club, but it doesn't help! How can I fix this issue?
Thank you for asking Paul. This is the perfect time to ask this question because we see this lie so much at Augusta National Golf Club. When you have a ball above your feet lie, the ground is closer to your chest than a flat lie, so the club tends to reach the ground earlier than usual. To accommodate for this, there are a few pre-swing adjustments to make. First, continue to grip down on the club as you do now. Second, move the ball back in your stance. This will help your club reach the ball before it reaches the ground. Lastly, adjust your aim to the push side. The ball will curve down the hill, so you always want to aim up the hill. This is also true when the ball is below your feet. These pre-swing adjustments will eliminate the fat shots.
At the Masters Tournament every year, we see the importance of hitting the ball high in the air. Increasing your apex increases the distance your ball carries, and gives you more control of your ball when it lands on the green. One key to increasing your apex is increasing your club head speed. As your speed increases, your height will too. Without increasing your speed, there are three adjustments you should make. First, widen your stance by about 2 inches. Next, tilt your spine away from the target, so your upper spine gets behind the ball. The tilt of your spine will help shallow out your angle of approach into the ball, and the wider stance supports that. These two actions effectively move the ball forward in your stance, so there is no need to adjust your ball position. In your swing, focus on the width of the back swing arc. As you take the club away, keep your trail arm straight for as long as possible. You may feel like your arms are stretching away from you. When you increase the width in your swing, you will further shallow your angle of attack and hit the ball higher. Once you have made these adjustments, you can simply hit the ball. There is no need to help the ball in the air. In summary, widen your stance, tilt your spine away from the target, and keep your trail arm straight in the back swing and watch your ball sail high in the air!
- Greg DuCharme
Michael Breed Golf Academy
Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America Greg@michaelbreed.com
My favorite question to ask a golfer when I meet them for the first time is: What's your shot? Do you play a draw or a fade? Over the years, I have learned that their answer to this question tells me a lot about their game. If they give me a quick definitive answer, I know they have worked hard on their game, and if they have no answer, I know there is serious work to be done. In my experience, the most successful amateur golfers I work with know their shot and play their shot every time. It does not matter if it's a left to right or a right to left ball flight. What matters is that you know which way it is going to curve.
Once we know our shot curve, we can use some course management strategies to learn to shoot our best scores. Let's start with the tee ball. In order to increase your chance of hitting the fairway, you should tee your ball on the side of which your ball curves. For example, if your shot shape is left to right, you should tee your ball as far to the right that the tee box allows. This will set you up to play your shot and give you the whole fairway to work with. On approach shots, you must be aware of where the flag sits on the green. Is it in the middle on the right or the left? If we assume the same baby fade ball flight, then pins on the right and center are green light pins, and you should play aggressively. Pins on the left of the green are red light pins, and you should take your medicine and play to the center of the green. I promise you that if you know your ball flight and learn to play with these course strategies, you will give yourself the best opportunity to maximize your potential play your best golf. Let's Do This!
Feeling confident over the ball does not predict success with the shot as most golfers may believe. Being able to "feel" the shot is a much better predictor of making it. Emotional feelings frequently negatively impact the game… the use of proprioception or "feeling" the shot is essential and used by most Tour and high level amateur players.