OTTER CREEK GC

Otter Creek Golf Course
Columbus, Indiana

A 27-hole Robert Trent Jones
and Rees Jones Masterpiece

Consistently ranked in the Golf Digest
Top 100 Public Places You Can Play

TIP OF THE WEEK

FOLLOW PLANE AND SIMPLE
Thursday
Apr172014

Golf Instruction from Jeff Smith

Thursday
Apr172014

It's Not Always About The Swing 

There are many students who come to me for help with their golf swing, and I am honored that they do. But there are many golfers who come to me with problems in their game and insist that their swing is the trouble, and for many - the way they are hitting the ball is a fundamental problem in their game, and we get to work on that when it's necessary. Many times - it is in how they set up and hold the club - not the swing motion itself. Many players are not setting up to swing in the way their body will naturally move based upon theri bodies. As players describe their games to me, and it quickly becomes obvious to me that there are many parts of their game that we need to address not just their swing.

There are many of the golfers that I work with that we spend a large amount of time with their short game shots, their decision making on the course, especially the decisions they make around the greens and how that affects their score. We also spend a good bit of time with their putting to make sure that they get rid of the dreaded three-putt.

No matter who I get to work with, we spend time saving strokes in every way, especially keeping their emotions under control so they can play at their emotional and mental peak, and their decision - making processes so they match what they truly can do under pressure.

This means to many of the golfers that I work with that we are evaluating what their skiils are, play within themselves and then get to work on the skills and shots that they dont own yet.

Do yourself a favor - take some time to look at yourself in all aspects of your game, be brutally honest with yourself, and learn exactly where you can improve - I'll bet you that it's not always your swing.

Wednesday
Apr162014

It Depends......

Why do some teachers compare their students to a PGA tour player?  Because they are the best at striking a ball and getting it to go to the target. Many teachers (myself included) are students of the golf swing and have understood its many complexities and understand the sequence of events as they unfold. I have tried to get some of my students to compare themselves to and sometimes try to emulate some PGA tour players IF THEY ARE PHYSICALLY SIMILAR or if I am trying to point out something that would truly be in the best interest of my student.

Why do so many teachers try to get their students into the same positions and look the same at every point in the swing? I do not try to do this.  If you look at many players over the course of history of this great game, you will find there are many different body types, and many different styles of golf swings that have been powerful and repeatable for many different of the game’s great players. I believe that it is a great mistake to try to teach the same thing to all of the golfers that I work with – they are simply too many differences in their bodies, levels of athletic talent, goals as players, and ability to practice enough to meet their goals. I must adapt to the student to maximize their experience and to allow each one of them to become better at what they do.

Here are good examples of different players and their different physiques that dictated how they stood over the shot and made their swings at the ball.

Ben Hogan stood about 5’ 8” and weighed about 145 lbs where George Archer stood about 6’6” and weighed about 200 lbs. Graig Stadler was about 5’ 9” and weighed about 245 compared to Tiger Woods’ 6’2” and 210 lbs. Michelle Wie is over 6' tall and compare to Jeong Jang (past Women's British Open winner) who is barely 5' tall. As we know, all of these players are outstanding in their own right, but none sets up to the shot the same way. Byron Nelson set up quite hunched over, while Adam Scott stands erect with his shoulders back. They all set up to match their bodies and their swings are a reflection of that set up.

My point here is that each player must adopt what works well for them and make their best swing from that place to get the result they want, keeping in mind that there are some simple truths about initial set up that influence how they can swing. They are keeping your body pointed where you want the swing to go, stand in a posture that your body can hold together during the swing and hold your hands on the club that matches your natural arm hang (or your your whole swinging motion will be contrived and will constantly give you inconsistent ball flight)

The best players of all recent eras are all different in look and performance, but the result is the same - excellent golf. Be a student of history and dont try to force yourself into someone's mold that doesn't match who you are or can be.

Tuesday
Apr152014

Swing Plane Simplified

The term "Swing Plane" refers to the circle that the golf club is swung on. As we stand upright and swing the club around our bodies, the circle the club swing son would be around us horizontally. As we tip over to face the ball on the ground, the circle tilts with us........to get a picture of this, imagine standing with a hula hoop around your stomach, tilt over and it tilts with you.

Do not be fooled into thinking that there is only 1 swing plane for all people - the history of golfers we have seen on televesion has long since proven that we are all different and that there is quite a variety between players of all shapes and sizes and how they swing the club on what is the BEST plane for them! The greats have found that copying someone else doesn't work - they have found the truth - that doing what your body is set up to do is the rosd to success.. 

Wednesday
Feb192014

Handicaps Explained Well