Carolinas PGA Presentation – Teaching w/ Trackman


Thank you for reading my blog and watching the videos that I post. This is a presentation on the basics of how I teach with Trackman that I did for about 60 area golf professionals. My staff, Maggie Simons (@maggiesimons) and Josh Spragins (@joshspragins) presented as well and did an outstanding job. This is very basic information for most teachers but could be great for new coaches or students that might be interested in some of the information that Trackman and an expert teacher can provide. I wish I had the last 45 minutes where I show you how I change AOA, how I move my students into creating a feel and a little wedge information that I learned from James Ridyard and Andrew Rice but th camera battery went dead. I also did a presentation on how I teach putting and how I test my players that I will see if it was recorded and post if it came out. I already posted this on twitter but I wanted to get it on my website so if you already have seen it I understand. As always, leave comments or questions below. My talk will be a little more in depth at the Guru’s Workshop on March 23rd, so I hope you can join me and my friends for a great day.



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Mastermind Skill #5 (D-Plane Knowledge)

I do a weekly tip for my members at Carmel CC that I only share with them but I thought that this tip is what I would consider “The Most Important Golf Lesson” that you may get so I wanted to share it with you. In my 5 Mastermind Skills or the framework of success that I teach at the Academy, this is #5 but it probably should be #1. I assume that all teachers know and understand about the D Plane but it is amazing to me how many times I run into what I consider top teachers, watch videos or read articles that get this wrong which is amazing to me. So in order for us to make sure everyone in our industry is at least agreeing with something that has to do with helping our students get better……This may be the one undisputable fact! Ball Flight Creation. I don’t give a lesson without making sure my student understands the basics of this concept because I want them to be able to somewhat diagnose their ball flight correctly. So here is just a very basic video of the D Plane. I know there are other factors such as A o A and friction etc. but this is a great place to start for the average golfer. At the bottom I will describe 2 scenarios where your ball flight can fake you out so make sure you read the bottom.


2 Ball Flight Fake Outs

#1 The Pull Slice – As I described in the video, if your ball is starting left or straight and curving too much to the right, you must get the club swinging more inside to out and shallower (especially with the driver) in order to get a playable ball flight. If you try to close the face and don’t fix the path, you will hit LOW PULL HOOKS!

#2 The Pull Hook or Draw – One of the most difficult ball flights to diagnose is when you are swinging the club from inside-out or to the right and the ball is starting left and curving more left. Without a trackman or video, this is a tough one because the same ball flight can be created by a left path with a face angle that is in the same direction. So if you find that your path is to the right, then you have to get the club face pointing to the right of target line but left of the path in order to hit a very playable….Push Draw. This often happens because you are trying to flip your hands and wrists through impact or square the clubface too soon which you now know that you shouldn’t do. (that’s for another blog)

Feel free to share this blog and video and leave questions or comments in the comment section. Lets grow the game with the correct information, One golfer at a time.

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I Want To Talk To You About Your Flare (not flair)

As I strive to learn more about the golf swing and ultimately help my students play better, I often turn to my golf pro friends through my social media connections. Whether it is one of the many groups that I am in on Facebook or my favorite way to exchange ideas, So I was curious about what everyone thought about FOOT FLARE or the positioning of the feet at address and how it impacted a golfers swing. As I write this post I will tell you that I don’t have all the answers but experience and reasearch have their place because I can tell you what has worked for me as I will give you my opinion on this subject and give you some options that might help. But I want to share with you first what my colleagues answered when I posed the question: How much foot flare (with both feet) do you teach and feel is important and why? Here is what I got:

mikesparkspgamike sparks

@golfgurutv depends on body type. Barrel chested unflexible person needs more right foot flare to get behind the ball
andrewmarrgolfAndrew Marr, PGA

@golfgurutv yes – encourages more pivot and takes pressure off joints – not sure there is a standard but

@golfgurutv for golfers with average hip mobility, feet flared 20-30* with narrower stance works best. Reduces knee and back stress
golfwithgregGreg Baresel

@golfgurutv 15 to 20 degrees. Stability and rotation.
Sara_PGASara Dickson, PGA

@golfgurutv was just at Stack & Tilt academy 2 days ago. Always about 30* w/ lead foot & we also increased my back foot from little to 20*
Sara_PGASara Dickson, PGA

@golfgurutv Front foot flare allows hip slide. Back foot flare helps hip rotation on Bs and for me slower body rotation on Ds for faster pa4
mattdgolfMatt Diederichs

@Sara_PGA @golfgurutv Less lateral shear force on knee joints IMO as well. Big difference!
BradReddingGolfBrad Redding

@golfgurutv OK back to original question. Trail foot square lead foot flair towards target.
So it seems that most are in favor of some foot flare. 10 to 30 degrees seems to be the consensus on the front foot. The back foot seemas to be mixed a bit.Some want it square and some flared.  So here is how I see it. I would love to hear from more coaches and players with their opinions as I am just trying to learn what is the best way for the player. From my experience:
1. One of the most consistent swing errors that I see is the trail hip moving lateral in the backswing (sometimes even moving the weight to the outside of the rear shoe). This can cause you to limit your shoulder rotation and throw off your timing and sequence in the downswing. It often happens when the player is trying to keep their hips still (X Factor). With a limited shoulder turn, your hands/arms and the club cannot get deep (more behind you) enough to have a chance to returning the club on plane or from the inside without a huge plane shift.
2. Secondly, I see so many golfers that have been drilled into their heads the importance of turning through the downswing that they don’t have enough lateral slide toward to target to allow the hands/arms club shaft to drop to the inside enough. They spin the body, keep their weight back too long and end up cutting across the ball. I call these players, “BACK SIDED SPIN DOCTORS”
So how will foot flare help these problems and why?
I would suspect that it has a lot to do with knee, hip and ankle mobility for sure so this should be checked. I work with som many golfers that have had knee and ankle injuries and foot positioning is crucial for these folks.
RIGHT FOOT FLARE: Angling your rear foot out 10 to 20 degrees will increase your ability to extend your rear leg and rotate your hips more. More hip rotation will increase your shoulder rotation. If you don’t think you turn your shoulders enough, check this and you will see what i mean. The right knee will change flexion on the backswing. Look at any good player and you will see this. I didn’t say straighten but change, very important. If you try to keep your right knee flexed and don’t let your hips turn……Unless you are extremely hypermobile….I would expect you to shoot somewhere in the low 200’s.

Both Feet Square "Blocked"

SQUARE FOOT: You will see golfers with this back foot position and you can do it if you have good hip/knee/ankle mobility. It is easier to roll to the outside of your rear foot with your weight in this position so be careful.

LEAD FOOT FLARE:Probably the most important foot position in the golf swing: Teachers like Mac O’Grady

Lead Flare back Square

and many others have spoken of the importance of left foot flare. So what benefit will you have by flaring your foot 10-30 degrees.

1. It allows for the hips to slide laterally longer in the downswing which slows down the shoulder rotation (keeps you spin doctors at bay). This allows time to drop the club to the inside much easier. So If you are a cut across slicer, you probably need more slide and less turn for sure.
2. It takes pressure off of the left knee as it allows the knee to get over or slightly outside the ankle joint before starting to straighten (or post)……Does Tiger Woods come to mind? His new more centered pivot requires more hip and knee slide toward the target which is easier on his bad knee…hmmmm? And he has more foot flare as well.  Less injury to the knees and ankles can’t be bad, right?
BOTH FEET FLARED = DUCK STANCE (best of both worlds)

The Duck Stance "My recommendation"


I see so many of my students that start with a square lead foot and pick it up and turn their toes toward the target and wonder why….Because it should have been there to begin with.
When you are watching football this weekend, pay close attention to the position of the place kickers lead foot and how that affects his ability to slide forward, swing his leg from the inside and turn his hips through the strike.
Ok, so that’s my take on foot flare. Would love to hear what you think as I am trying to learn and the more I look at players on the PGA tour the more different everyone looks so we need to make some sense of it all. Until then…..
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See you on the lesson tee at Carmel,

Guru TV – Body Pivot Options: Neutral vs. Positive

The body is the engine of the swing. After you train the hands and arms effectively then you can focus on your body pivot. In the past I have talked about matching components. Different pieces put together correctly that allow you to swing the club on the correct swing plane. You can’t get these mixed up or you will not hit the ball your best. Here are the different combinations that I prescribe for the best results:

Neutral Pivot (Option 1) – steeper shoulder plane, higher right hip, centered head position. I recommend coupling with a flatter hand/arm plane to balance out the swing.

Chad Campbell – Option 1

Positive Pivot (Option 2) – flatter shoulder plane, level hips, spine tilted away from target. Head moves a half of a head away from target. I recommend a more a more upright arm plane to match. Requires a bigger slide forward with the hips and hand drop from the top to balance out hsp.

Ryan Moore Option 2


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See you on the lesson tee,


Early Extension: Pelvis vs. Hips

Here is a great video that I found from the Dave Phillips (TPI Instructor) about the pelvis and early extension. Those of you who have worked with me know that I always draw a line on your rear end to check for early extension (or your hips moving inward toward the ball). This is a difficult problem to fix because most of the time it is physical and not model driven. This is a big problem for amateurs because it limits the space between the club and body in the downswing and causes all sorts of impact problems. If you tend to push, hook or scoop at impact you are most likely trapped because of this issue. Make sure you get tested by a certified T.P.I. professional such as my guy, Mark Kane to see if you need to work on this all important area of the golf swing to improve your ball striking.

See you on the lesson tee,


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