All the latest news and updates from Michael Breed
Welcome to the April Edition of my Newsletter
The ever changing news about the Corona Virus has continued to have a major effect on our daily lives, and the game of golf. Along with the governing bodies, and many golf courses throughout the nation, we have significantly adjusted our schedule to keep everyone safe. We are however still creating content to help you improve! Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as we will continue to post fun activities and challenges you can do from home that will keep your game sharp.
Also be sure to check out my interview with two-time Masters Champion, Ben Crenshaw as we discuss one of my favorite traditions in the game. I wish you and your families good health, and I hope you enjoy the read.
I’ve been working on my chipping using a mat and net in my garage, although I can hit the targets in my net I’m not hitting the ball solidly. Sometimes I’m hitting mat first and other times I thin my shot. How can I hit better chip shots? I’m gearing up to play a Pot to Pitch In!
Thank you for your question and for playing a Pot to Pitch In! I hope you enjoy it. To make solid contact and to have control over your ball in the short game you have to be able to control where the club hits the ground. You will gain control and feel around the greens by hitting the ground in front of the ball. A great drill for this is the Penny Drill. Place a penny on the ground and practice skimming the top of the penny with the sole of your club. Once you can repeat this, place a penny on the ground just in front of your ball. Now swing and skim the penny, the ball will just get in the way, and you will begin to consistently make ball first contact.
You get up on the tee box on a par 5, and you would love nothing more than to start your ball high in the air, and watch it turn over right into the middle of the fairway! From there, you could go for the green in two! There is good news, you can do it, you just need to make a few set up adjustments, and one key move.
First, you must hold the club properly. Hold the club in your lead hand so you can see at least two knuckles. Then, place your trail hand on your trail knee, and then bring it up from there, to grip the club from its underside. Getting your trail hand under the grip will help you close the club face, and it will also allow you to tilt your shoulders in an upward direction, so you can launch the ball high in the air. With your trail hand under the club, and your shoulders tilted in an upward direction, you have now moved your spine backwards. This effectively moves a normal ball position forward. A forward ball position is great to hit it high, but, it makes it difficult to start the ball to the push side, something you must do to hit a perfect draw. To ensure you start your ball on the intended line, move your ball position back in your stance.
Now that you are set up properly to hit that high draw, its time to let it fly! Start your backswing by moving your trail shoulder all the way behind your head. This will ensure a full turn, and, it will open up space for your club to attack the ball from the inside. From there, you can let it rip, and watch your ball sail high in the air, with that perfect little draw down the middle of the fairway. Get your trail hand under the club, tilt your shoulders in an upward direction, move your ball position back, and then make a nice full shoulder turn, and you will be hitting high draws on command.
- Greg DuCharme
Michael Breed Golf Academy
Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America Greg@michaelbreed.com
ABC Tool Box
Now that spring is here it’s time to start thinking about playing golf and stop thinking about your golf swing. You have done the hard work and now it’s time to learn how to maximize your performance on the course. I coach a PGA junior league golf team and we are undefeated in league play for four years. I believe our success has come directly from my players using their ABC Tool Box to peak perform, and understanding that there really is only two things you can control. They are your EFFORT and ATTITUDE when you play. Here are the principles behind the ABC Tool Box for maximum performance:
A - ACCEPT and ACKNOWLEDGE the feelings you get on the course. All humans have some kind of physical response to feeling what I call “nervecited” when they play. Some examples of these feelings are dry mouth, sweaty palms, shaking hands, and wobble knees. These feelings are your body reacting to chemicals being released into your bloodstream from your emotions attached to your game. These feelings are good and really just mean you care about your game. But they are real and you need to learn how to control them.
B - Players must learn to BREATHE properly to get their emotions and body under control. The easiest way to get your emotions under control is to use what I call rescue breaths. Rescue breaths are performed by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth while focusing your eyes on a specific target. Please know that the exhale breathe needs to be at least twice as long as the inhale breath. Everybody takes a different number of breaths to control their body but the average is five rescue breaths.
C- Once we get are emotions under control we now have a chance to peak perform. We must learn to be totally COMMITTED to only the shot at hand. First we need to establish a target. Next, we must use our routine, and finally we let it fly with a free spirit. So the next time you get a chance to play and you feel your emotions coming out use my ABC Tool Box, and I promise you will give yourself a great chance to peak perform.
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.