© 2019 by Mike Paukovits Golf. Proudly created with Wix.com

November 5, 2019

I have always said that there is no "off-season" for golfers. What I am referring to is that the cold weather months are the absolute best time to work on your game, take lessons, upgrade equipment, get stronger and more flexible, and generally just improve overall. First of all, with the colder weather and less tournament play, you should have plenty of time for practice. If you normally play twice a week, you should now have 8-10 hours freed up to hit balls, have golf specific workouts, and practice the lesson from the previous week. I see much faster results in students over the winter compared to summer because of this break in play and competition. Another reason winter is better for lessons is ball flight. When I teach outdoors, students are generally focused on the end result (ball flight), so their focus is divided between making a swing change and making solid contact. Add to this - conditions of wet turf, strong winds, shadows, uneven lies, and you can see how it is easy to be distracted from making changes. Teaching outdoors in season can actually slow down the process of making the changes necessary to improve, which is why I like to make swing changes over the winter months in a controlled environment like a simulator bay.
 

"Hitting into a simulator screen or a net is a great way to focus 100% on golf swing changes without worrying about the end result."


I have an ideal year-round training schedule that I try to follow. Of course this sort of schedule does not always occur, it depends on the student, their goals, when they start with lessons, etc. Here is my idea of the perfect training schedule for golfers:

WINTER is for video and major swing changes along with learning more about your golf swing. It is also the best time to workout - getting stronger and more flexible without worrying about being sore before a tournament. It also gives you time to take your new found strength and range of motion to the course when the weather permits.

SPRING is for getting comfortable outdoors on the real turf again with the changes you made. Working on short game and putting is a must and getting your touch back and improving your form are the goals. It is silly to hit too many balls when it is still cold, damp, and windy!

SUMMER is for keeping your swing in check and working hard on your short game. We will also be competing in the occasional club event, so nothing too new or major as far as swing changes go. A lot of golf course management and transfer training (taking your range game to the course) goes on during the summer as well.

FALL is when we are still in maintenance mode with the swing, making subtle changes if needed and reviewing stats to be used for winter training. Setting goals for the following season will also serve as motivation to work hard over the winter months.

I have had great feedback and results from on-course assessment sessions this past season. The process begins with the student playing a few holes from tee to green in order for the coach to get a feel for your entire game from tee to green. After a few holes, we will sit down to discuss a game plan for your improvement based on your goals for the upcoming season. I highly recommend scheduling an assessment and going through this process if you have not done so already.

Now that there is a break in tournament play and the pressure of performance is not looming, it is a great time to work on your game. Maybe a swing change, working on some short game shots, or a reliable pre-shot routine. Take the time to reflect on this past season. If improved, what are the one or two areas of your game that could make a huge difference in your game in 2019? Maybe it is time to work on that...

I have once again partnered with Play-a-Round Golf’s two great Main Line locations in Malvern and Ardmore. The simulators are the same used on the Golf Channel and provide some of the most accurate real-time feedback available on the market today.

Please visit playaroundgolf.net for more information and directions.

Click Here to book your Coaching Session at Play-a-Round Golf - Malvern

Click Here to book your Coaching Session at Play-a-Round Golf - Ardmore


Another option for indoor simulator lessons is Golf & Social in Philadelphia.

Please visit golfandsocial.com for more information and directions.

Click Here to book your Coaching Session at Golf & Social - Philadelphia

"Train hard, play easy."
~ Will Robins

December 14, 2018

Even though we live in an area where the weather can sometimes makes it impossible to go to the range or play golf over the winter, we can still satisfy our itch to work on our golf games during the off-season. If you are a die-hard golfer who is unable to get away to a warmer climate this winter, you will need to find other ways to work on your game! Believe it or not, the winter season is the perfect time to improve a few neglected areas of your golf game including: putting, chipping, pitching practice, and even working on your full swing and setup from the comfort of your home.

Putting - All it takes is a smooth indoor carpet or a putting mat made of artificial turf with a hole. I highly recommend the putting mat pictured in this article, please let me know if you would like more information about it. If you do not have a nice mat like this one, you can always putt into a glass at the end of hallway, or you can purchase a metal putting cup. A great drill while putting indoors is to try to make three putts in a row from three, four, and five, all the way up to ten feet. The goal is to make three in a row before you can move to the next distance. Another drill is to put a quarter on top of your ball and keep your eyes on the quarter as it drops to the ground after you've hit the putt and completed your stroke. A training aid to help your putting path, such as alignment sticks for a putting track (pictured above), is also very helpful. Do you have a pre-putt routine? If not, now is the time to make develop one. I use a black sharpie line to help square up my putter head, this makes putting alignment just about automatic.

This awesome putting green from EyeLine Golf has one of the best rolling surfaces out there. It is the perfect size for your home or office. It is 2 feet wide and 10 feet long with one cup. Measuring 9 to 11 on the Stimp, it is a tour quality putting surface! 

Click Here for more information or to purchase this putting mat

Chipping and Pitching - As a junior golfer I would try to chip into a small net off of a mat in our finished basement. This was great practice because it forced me to have a good setup, become more accurate, and use proper technique because if I missed the net I ran the risk of breaking something! We also had a ping pong set in the basement and I soon discovered that a safer way to work on my chipping was to use ping pong balls. The damage you can do is little to none and you can get a great feel for creating backspin. Focus on a good setup with a narrow stance and weight forward, slight hinge during backswing to get the club up, strike down on the ball to pinch it off of the carpet, and maintain a firm left wrist position through impact. For pitching, give yourself a small obstacle to go over in order to force you to hit the ball higher with more hinge during the backswing.
 
Full Swing - If you have the space, set up a net and hitting mat in your basement or garage. Swinging in front of a mirror is one of my favorites; you get instant visual feedback on how you are doing. You should have an idea of what positions to look for during your backswing and downswing. Mirror work is also good for developing better posture at address. Work on a contrast drill in order to help your posture. First, setup with too much knee flex and a rounded back on purpose. Next, setup with no knee flex and standing very tall with your upper body. Now setup in between those two extremes and have a slight knee flex, bend over from the hip flexors while keeping your back flat and relaxing your head so your eyes are able to comfortably look down where the ball will be located. Our brains need contrast in order to develop these skills and the mirror will give you visual confirmation of what an athletic setup should look like and what the wrong way looks like as well.

This type of training can sometimes be more valuable than hitting a large bucket of balls on the range. So don't wait until the snow melts or the weather improves, you can do a lot to improve your golf game during the cold months. It's the consistency of doing a little something every day that makes the difference. You should also be setting your golf related goals for the 2019 season in order to motivate you to begin making a commitment for improvement. Contact me any time to setup a time for an assessment and game improvement planning session. I'm excited to help you achieve your goals and become my next success story!

Still looking for that special gift for the golfer in your life? Ask about gift certificate options for lessons and give the gift of lower golf scores!

"There's a difference between interest
and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it
only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you
accept no excuses - only results."


~ Kenneth Blanchard

April 2, 2018

Spring always signals new beginnings both in life as well as on the golf course. So will 2018 be the year that you accomplish your goals of breaking 100, 90, 80, or perhaps winning the club championship? Odds are that a major breakthrough will only happen if you significantly improve one or more aspects of your golf game. However, this does not necessarily mean that hitting the ball farther or spending more time on the practice area are the only answers to improving at this mysterious game we call golf! So, how do we get off to a great start this season? A thorough evaluation of the items listed below will ensure that you are addressing all areas of your game and making the necessary improvements this season. Here are my top 5 tips to get your game ready for the spring:

  1. Check your equipment. Do your clubs need to be re-gripped? How do the faces of your wedges look, are the grooves worn down? Take the time to schedule a club fitting in order to make sure you are playing the right clubs for your swing and your game. If you are not hitting your driver consistently or far enough, you may benefit from a driver fitting to increase the launch angle and reduce backspin. I use a FlightScope Launch Monitor that enables me to give you the necessary feedback to fit your equipment properly and also determine if you have any major yardage gaps in between clubs.

  2. Get your mental game in check. Take some time to read some books on how to practice and how to think both on the golf course and while you practice. There are some great books out there written by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott that I would highly recommend along with Dr. Rick Jensen’s books. One of my personal favorites is “Golf is Not A Game of Perfect,” by Dr. Bob Rotella.

  3. Practice putting. Putting is something we can all improve on at any age or handicap. Practicing with the use of training aids like a putting arc or a mirror has proven to be very effective. Also, improving your speed control from longer distances or lag putting will help reduce or eliminate those dreaded 3 putts.

  4. Fitness. It is important to get your body ready from a physical conditioning standpoint to be ready for the spring season. I would highly recommend finding someone who is TPI Golf Certified. I recommend Dr. Chris Leib; he is a personal trainer in Ardmore. Fitness is important to prevent injuries and to help you hit it further!

  5. Lessons. It is important to find an instructor that you are comfortable with and will teach in a simple and concise way so you are not overwhelmed. Taking lessons or participating in group coaching programs should be fun and if you put in the time to practice in between coaching sessions, you will see improvement quickly.

So get to work on these five items and I can guarantee you that you will enjoy the spring golf season more and play to your potential.  As I always remind my students, playing better golf is more fun!

“Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject.”


~ David Forgan

March 2, 2018

There’s no question that length is a major advantage in the modern game of golf. Hitting the ball farther has always been a major quest for all golfers from beginners to tour professionals alike. Increasing your club head speed is the most important piece to the puzzle of increasing length. However, this has always been a very tall order and it is still only one of a few different factors in determining how far you are capable of hitting the ball. A few other major determinants of distance are centeredness of contact, angle of attack, launch angle, swing path, and club face direction at impact.

I believe it makes sense to learn how to improve the quality of your strike in order to gain more distance, which means striking the ball closer to the sweet spot of the club more consistently. That is something that I think many golfers can learn how to do with proper instruction and of course practice. I also believe that improving your ball flight will in turn increase your distance. For example, hitting a slight draw rather than a huge slice will increase distance with the same exact club head speed at impact.

When we talk about increasing club head speed to increase distance, things can get a little challenging. There is no question that a higher club head speed = more ball speed = more distance. The problem is that there has never been a proven system or training program to help you increase club head speed, until now...

For the past few months I have been training with a product that I believe can actually help you increase club head speed, improve your swing, and serve as a cardio workout! It’s called SuperSpeed Golf, and their overspeed training system is currently being used by over 350 top touring professionals, including Charles Howell III, Xander Schauffele, Scott Stallings, and 42 time PGA Tour winner, Phil Mickelson!

How and Why Does Overspeed Training Work? Overspeed training works by getting the body to move at a faster than normal speed during a motor pattern. Essentially the brain has a set range of speed for the neuro-muscular response when a golfer makes a golf swing. We first need to increase the response speed from the body by reducing the “load” or in this case the weight of the club. We then need to gradually increase this load to teach the brain that the body is capable of running the motor pattern faster. The system uses a club that is about 20% lighter than a driver, one that is 10% lighter, and one that is 5% heavier in order to achieve maximum results from overspeed training.

Think of it as essentially removing the governor from a golf cart. Eventually, after working through the training protocols, you unconsciously start to swing faster at impact and it becomes your new norm.

Training with SuperSpeed Golf. This off-season, I decided to commit to working my way through all the training protocols. Three days a week I did about a 20-minute workout (including stretching before and after) and kept track of my progress with a swing speed radar. They recommend training every other day and still maintaining your normal workout routine at the gym in order to stay strong and prevent injury.

Watch the video below from the SuperSpeed Golf website to get an idea of what the Intro Training Protocol looks like.

I am currently on the Level 1 Training Protocol (this comes after the Starter), and I have already seen an increase of about 5 mph of club head speed on average. This equates to about 10 - 15 yards off the tee!

How will Training with SuperSpeed Golf Improve Your Golf Swing? I believe SuperSpeed Golf is great for anyone looking to hit it further and clean up any inefficiencies in their swing in the process. In order to increase your club head speed through impact, you will naturally start to make your swing more efficient. For example, coming over-the-top is a very inefficient movement to start your downswing. Over time through training with this system, you may notice that your backswing becomes a little shorter and tighter (if you had an issue with over-swinging). At the same time, it does make sense that you would want to maximize your backswing turn or rotation with your body. However, letting the arms collapse at the elbows or rerouting the club from the top would not allow you to generate maximum speed through impact. Essentially, your swing can improve just by focusing on creating that loud "whoosh" through the impact zone.

Adding more speed and accuracy can certainly make serious changes in your game. There is no question that hitting the ball farther and straighter will be a scoring advantage on the course. I believe that the main benefit of SuperSpeed Golf is that it allows you to increase the speed of your swing without actually changing your timing. The tempo and timing of my swing felt no different throughout the training process, which was really my biggest fear in trying it out. If you are serious about hitting the ball longer, this product can absolutely help you do it with a clear training plan that will work if you stick with it.
 
Click Here for more information or to purchase SuperSpeed Golf Products

November 3, 2017

It is often said the hardest walk in golf is from the practice range to the first tee. One of the reasons that this is true is because on the practice range we are always hitting from a perfectly flat lie. This is great for grooving your setup and your golf swing, but during a round of golf you will always be faced with the non-perfect lie. Even on the flattest courses you will still have lies that are uneven and for a number of holes here at St. Davids Golf Club, uneven lies are simply unavoidable.

You have basically four types of lies besides a flat one: uphill, downhill, ball above feet, and ball below feet. Then, there are varying degrees of slope to make it more or less difficult. The one constant that most players forget to adjust for in the setup of these shots is spine tilt. The most important thing is to try and get your body feeling like you are on a flat lie (even though its not). You want to get your shoulders as parallel to the ground as possible. Now, not only will the setup have to change, but we also need to be aware of changes in the shape of your swing, ball flight, curve, and trajectory of the golf ball.


Here are a few things you need to know and do when playing from different lies (we will assume a right handed player):

1. Ball Above Feet: Stand taller at address with a little less knee flex and less tilt from the waist. Choke up on the grip to make the club shorter. Your swing should feel flatter or more around (like a baseball swing). Remember to make a three-quarter backswing for control, and aim to the right because the ball will tend to go left.

2. Ball Below Feet: Bend more from the hips and try to feel more weight back on your heels to maintain balance. Aim a little to the left because the ball will tend to go right. Your swing should feel more upright in order to help you hit down.

3. Uphill Lie: Your shoulders should be parallel to the slope (tilt your spine back to the right). Aim further right because the ball will tend to go left, and swing along the slope. Play the ball slightly more forward than normal, and be sure to take one more club because the ball will tend to go higher and a little shorter.


4. Downhill Lie: Your shoulders should be parallel to the slope, feel like your left shoulder is lower than your right. Move ball position slightly back of center and aim a little to the left because the ball will tend to go right. Take one less club because the hill de-lofts the club face. Make a three-quarter backswing for balance and control; chase the ball down the slope with your club.

Notice how Dustin Johnson is swinging the club down along the slope and actually has his hands ahead of his left thigh just after impact.

So to recap, we need to setup properly in order to hit better shots off of these challenging uneven lies. Always make sure to get your shoulders as even with the slope as possible and swing along the slope. Rather than fighting the difficult downhill lie and falling back on your trail leg, make sure to go with it and stay down through impact. 


"Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies."


~ Bobby Jones

October 6, 2017

The hybrid is a real game changer: It's forgiving, versatile and easy to hit—for most golfers. But if you're struggling to enjoy its many benefits, you may be swinging it with a sweeping, fairway wood motion. The result? Thin or fat contact. Instead, treat your hybrid more like a 6-iron. The goal is to make a more upright iron-like swing with enough of a descending blow to clip the ball off the turf. Follow my setup and swing keys listed below. You'll soon be hitting a lot more greens (from a lot farther out), and your hybrid will become your favorite club!

1. Proper Ball Position
Letting the ball creep too far forward in your stance makes it difficult to hit down on the ball. Place the toe of the hybrid against your left heel, with the club face pointing toward your body, and set the ball opposite the hosel. Use an alignment stick to check this position while on the driving range.

2. Shoulder Width Stance
You don't need a wide base. Set your feet under your armpits (shoulder width apart). A narrower stance makes it easier to deliver a descending blow—it prevents the "roundness" that leads to thin and fat shots.

3. Forward Press
A little shaft lean will promote ball-first, ground-second contact. Press your hands forward until they're even with your left thigh. Think of your hybrids as mid-irons, and you'll soon be hitting them high and landing them softly on the green.

4. Swing Easy, Hit it Farther
Hybrids are longer than most approach-shot clubs, but that's not your cue to swing harder. Think “smooth transition” and imagine the tempo you would use to hit a short iron or even a wedge. Don't worry—most hybrids have enough loft and a lower center of gravity to allow you to hit the ball high and far, even with a less than full swing.

Ernie Els “The Big Easy” certainly demonstrates that smooth tempo. Notice how his ball position is forward of center, but not up as far his left instep. Also, he has shifted his weight left and is in a great position in his downswing to make a descending blow to the ball. 


So to recap, we need to setup properly in order to hit hybrids solid. Always make sure to swing easy and allow the club to bottom out and strike the ground. If you find that you are really having a tough time hitting the longer clubs in your bag, be sure to schedule some time with me this Fall for a lesson or a fitting for some new hybrids!


"There is nothing in this game of golf that can't be improved upon if you practice."
~ Patty Berg

September 8, 2017

Be good at the basics of setup and swing keys for greenside bunker shots and get out and on the green more consistently.

Having the proper setup and technique for greenside bunker shots is the key to getting out and on the green more consistently. Flat, uphill, and downhill lies are discussed in this video filmed during a group coaching program at St. Davids Golf Club.

A few things to keep in mind when setting up to play these shots from the sand are listed below.

  • The sand propels the ball out of the bunker. If the sand does not exit the bunker, the ball will not exit the bunker.

Setup:

  • Weight left (60%)

    • No shift or sway back during backswing (stay forward)

  • Slightly open stance at address

  • Work your feet into the sand for a stable base

  • Square club face for wet, firm sand; open club face for dry, soft sand

  • Shoulders match the tilt of the slope

Swing Keys:

  • Keep your head still

  • Wrist hinge immediately going back (steep is better than shallow)

  • Long, smooth swing

  • Length of follow through controls distance

So to recap, if you want to hit better bunker shots you need to setup properly, keep your head still and weight forward during the backswing, and make a long enough follow through. Do these things and you will have more success getting out of bunkers.

"The harder I practice, the luckier I get."
~ Gary Player

August 3, 2017

We are all searching for more consistency off the tee. Driving the ball more consistently will result in hitting more fairways and that usually makes for a more enjoyable day on the golf course! Punching out of the trees and hitting out of the rough or fairway bunkers all day will tend to add strokes to the scorecard pretty quickly. So what are some simple keys to improving your driving distance and accuracy? I will answer that question in this article as well as provide you with additional information about getting fit for some of the hottest new drivers in 2017.

The quickest and easiest way to improve your driving stats is to focus on improving your setup. The nice thing about working on your setup is that this is something all of us can master. Being great at the basics of setup and pre-shot routine will often improve your ability to hit the driver longer, higher, and more accurately without burdening you with an overabundance of swing thoughts. See the pictures of Adam Scott, top 20 in each of the last 7 seasons in strokes gained off-the-tee on the PGA Tour, as well as the driver setup and swing keys checklists below.

Adam’s textbook setup allows him to maintain stability throughout the swing with the driver. Hands and arms are beautifully in sync with the rotation of his body during his one-piece takeaway (everything moving back together).

Adam’s head remains perfectly still behind the ball as he lets it all go – focusing on the back of the ball is a great way to achieve this feeling. Right shoulder and forearm continues to rotate all the way through the hitting area. Notice how he finishes facing the target in a tall and balanced position.

Setup:

  • Weight 50/50; slightly wider than shoulder width stance

  • Ball position forward - off inside of left instep

  • Hands slightly back forming a broken line between lead arm and club shaft

  • Upper body tilt of your spine away from the target - right shoulder lower than your left

Swing Keys:

  • Straight back, low, & square club face takeaway - creating width between butt end of club and right side

  • Head remains well back behind the ball through impact

  • Right shoulder rotates towards target and right forearm rolls over the left to release the club

  • Finish facing the target in a tall balanced position

It is very important to make sure that your driver has enough loft and that you are using a club with the proper flex and length of shaft. A properly fit driver will allow you to hit the center of the club face more often and give you the ideal combination of high launch and low backspin. Centeredness of contact along with a high launch and low backspin will result in more distance and accuracy off the tee.

The latest technology in drivers such as the new Callaway Epic, Titleist 917, and TaylorMade M1/M2 allow you to add loft, reduce backspin, and fine tune directional control using various weight and hosel configurations. As a proud owner of a FlightScope X3 Launch Monitor, I am able to really dial in driver settings. This device allows me to determine the proper settings for you by analyzing the data received after each shot. The numbers do not lie and you may be surprised how dramatically your drives can improve simply by switching to a new properly configured driver. Please do not hesitate to contact Mike to schedule a driver fitting and get more help on your setup and swing.


Click Here to Schedule a Driver Fitting Session

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

~ Albert Einstein

July 6, 2017

With proper club selection, setup, and technique you will be able to get out of those dreaded fairway bunkers every time this season!

In this video I describe how to decide what type of shot to play and the process for determining proper club selection. I also cover the setup and technique that will allow you to get out of fairway bunkers and back to the short grass every time.

A few things to keep in mind when setting up to play this shot from a fairway bunker are listed below.

  • Select the proper shot to play and club to use based on the situation

    • How high is the lip of the bunker?

    • How far do you think you can safely advance the ball?

  • Work your feet into the sand for a stable base

  • Use all upper body shoulder turn and arms while keeping your lower body quiet and your head still during the swing

The height of the lip dictates the shot you are going to be able to play. Sometimes we are forced to take our medicine and hit a green-side explosion shot out to the fairway with a wedge. You have to decide whether the risk of trying to advance the ball further with the less lofted club is going to be worth the reward.

"Mistakes are a part of the game. It's how well you recover from them, that's the mark of a great player."

~ Alice Cooper

June 2, 2017

Learn to master the setup and technique for a high pitch around the greens

In this video I describe the proper setup and technique for pitching from the fairway cut as well as out of the rough.

A few things to keep in mind when setting up to play this shot from a tight fairway lie are listed below.

  • Ball position center

  • Club face slightly open

  • Slight forward shaft lean (club shaft almost vertical)

  • Weight starts forward (60%)


I also cover what I call "reading the lie" when in the rough. The lie dictates how you are able to play the shot. Sometimes we are forced to take our medicine and play to the safe area rather than going over the deep bunker to try and get the ball closer to the hole.

"The most important shot in golf is the next one."
~ Ben Hogan

Please reload

Categories
Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

@mikepaukovits