All the latest news and updates from Michael Breed
Welcome to the July Edition of my newsletter
There is so much to look forward to for the rest of July, and the Summer starting this week! Tiger Woods returns to play on the PGA Tour at the Memorial Tournament, where he has won 5 times! This will be an excellent opportunity for him to win his 83rd PGA Tour event, and break Sam Snead's all time record of 82 PGA Tour wins. In other news, the PGA of America has postponed the 2020 Ryder Cup to 2021. To hear more about this major news, check out my interview below with European Captain Padraig Harrington. Tune into A New Breed of Golf on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio weekday mornings from 8-10 AM ET to hear my takes on all the news in the game. As the golf world gets into full swing, get your own game into full swing with some great tips below from my coaches, and, follow my social channels for all of my tips to help you play better. Have some fun on the course and enjoy the read!
I’m a big fan of your radio and TV Show! As a 58-year-old, one of the things I struggle with is lack of flexibility and It hinders my golf game. I’ve lost much of my distance over the past 10 years. I workout and stretch to stay fit which helps but is there anything else I can do with my swing to regain some power?
Thank you for your question. Gaining distance is a hot topic in the game right now, and it is something everyone wants! There are three general ways to increase your distance:
I recommend using a combination of all three to maximize your distance. For equipment, I strongly recommend getting fit for all of your clubs. Mixing the correct club head, and shaft together can create tremendous increases in distance. Go see a PGA Professional, and get fit.
For training there are a number of philosophies out there to help you increase your speed. I recommend using the Gelstx product. It's a weighted shaft that you can use with your own driver head to hit golf balls with while warming up or practicing to improve your club head speed. Click HERE to check out what Gelstx can do for your game.
As for technique, the trail arm is a very important aspect of creating speed. All long hitters on the PGA Tour maintain the flex in their trail arm until after impact, and you can too. The trail arm should stay bent, and then spring straight after impact. To practice this move, place a towel on the ground about 5 feet in front of you. Without a club, set up as if you were going to hit a ball over the towel, but hold a ball in your trail hand. Make a mock back swing so your trail arm is bent. Begin to turn your chest toward the towel, but maintain the bend in your trail arm, then throw the ball at the towel. This drill will help you get the feel of maintaining the bend in your trail arm, and rotating your body through the shot, leading to more speed!
Although all three of these general areas will increase your distance individually, I recommend utilizing all three areas to maximize your distance! Thanks again for your question.
Improving your distance control with your short irons and wedges is a great way to start making more birdies! You struggle with your distance control right now because you lack control of your trajectory. At the highest level, players with great distance control also have trajectory control, and they can flight their short irons and wedges lower on command. To start hitting that controlled knock down short iron, make these small adjustments, and start knocking it close!
First, stand closer to the ball, and grip down about ½ inch on your club. This will steepen your angle of approach into the ball, and flight the ball lower. You can also move the ball back in your stance 1-2 golf balls to exaggerate this effect. When you make these adjustments, you also change the lie angle of your club, and the path of your club if you choose to move your ball position back. By standing close to the ball, you stick the toe of the club in the ground. This creates a similar condition to playing with a ball below your feet. Although the leading edge of your club points toward the target, the loft of your club will point to the push side, deflecting the ball to the push side. Moving the ball back in your stance will create a slight in to out path, also encouraging your ball to start to the push side. To accommodate for this, open your stance 2-3 degrees. This will allow your ball to start on line, even though it deflects to the push side off the clubface.
When the club is in motion, swing your hands along your toe line, and keep your hands above the club head in the finish position. This will create an impact position with the handle of the club in front of the ball, de-lofting the club leading to a low launch. Learn to flight your wedges and short irons low to improve your distance control, and start making more birdies!
- Greg DuCharme
Michael Breed Golf Academy
Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America Greg@michaelbreed.com
An easy way to assess the quality of your golf swing is to investigate your divots. Your divots can tell you a lot about your swing. There are three areas to look at when observing your divots and each one can help identify what's really going on with your iron play:
Orientation to the target - If you constantly miss right or left stand behind your divot and hold a club up vertically to line it up. Which way does it point? A divot that points too far right or too far left can be an indication of bad alignment or a poor swing path.
How deep are they? A good divot will be constant in depth and not very thick. A divot that is very thick and short indicates a swing path that is very steep and probably on too much of an outside to inside swing path. If you can’t take a divot or your divots are very shallow then your swing path could be too far from the inside and or too shallow.
How are they digging? Look closely to reveal if the toe or the heel of the iron is getting in the ground first. If the heel of the club is digging more than the toe, your irons are too upright for your swing and if the toe is digging more than the heel, your irons are too flat for your swing.
Start paying more attention to your divots to reveal your swing tendencies so that you can be sure you are working on the right stuff when you practice. I promise that as your divots get better so will your scores.
Let’s check on your eye dominance. Which eye do you use in your range finder? If using your left eye when playing right handed or using your right eye when playing left handed follow these simple directions in your next practice session.
1) Mark the green with a nickel from behind the ball at which point you believe the putt will break with both eyes open.
2) Mark the green with a dime at which point you believe the putt will break from behind the pin with both eyes open.
3) Mark the green at which point you believe the putt will break with your non-dominant eye closed with a quarter (right eye closed for left dominant and left eye closed for right dominant) from behind the ball.
4) Mark the green at which point you believe the putt will break with your non-dominant eye closed with a penny from behind the pin.
5) Putt the ball - it should become clear to you which line is better.
6) Do this with up/downhill, left-to-right, right-to-left, lag putts and short ones.
By following these simple steps you may find greater accuracy with your non-dominant eye closed. You can also try these steps if you are consistent with eye dominance and handedness.