Anderson Project – Episode 4 – On the road

Episode 4 is the first episode in which we take the show on the road.   A couple of times a year I head over to Overbrook Golf Club to spend some time with Eric Kennedy.  Eric is the Head Golf Professional and is an excellent player and teacher.  We spend hours talking about the golf swing, trying different things and seeing who can put up quad zeros (Zero Path, Zero Face, Zero Launch Direction, and Zero Spin Axis Tilt).   If you can put up “quads”, you are basically hitting the ball dead straight.  Not necessarily the best way to play golf, but it is fun to try to do it.

Here is a picture of my 8 year old son putting up “quads” on TrackMan.

ryan quads
Eric and I were talking about golf swings and he was talking about using the ground properly in your swing.  I was interested in learning more, so I hit a few balls and he showed me what I needed to do to improve my footwork.  I have been struggling with the transition in my swing, and I definitely needed some help in improving the way I was using my lower body.  Episode 4 was an impromptu session filmed at Overbrook and focuses on how I can improve my footwork and how I use the ground when I am swinging.

Have fun and play well,

Mark

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Anderson Project – Episode 3

Here it is – Episode 3!  Unfortunately I was not able to play as many rounds as I was hoping this year, but I did get to play about 8 or 9 times.  I had 4 full 18 hole rounds and the rest were 9 hole rounds.  My best score was 88, so I still have some work to do to break 80.  Here are some of the things that I have learned (and sometimes take for granted) in doing this project:

1.  I can certainly understand the frustrations the casual golfer has with their game.  I would work on my swing and feel pretty good about the progress, but then not be able to play for a while and lose some (or most) of the progress that I made.

2.  It can be a struggle to take your game from the range to the course.  You really have to work on something for a while to “own it” and then be able to repeat it on the course.

3.  It is so important to stick with one thing that you need to fix and FIX IT!  I have spent time trying different things and ultimately wasting time instead of really focusing on fixing 1 swing flaw.

4.  I have more patience with my students and a greater focus on trying to keep things as simple as possible.  The road to better golf is not always a quick one, but it can be quicker if you focus on smaller more achievable goals.

5.  I wish I had MORE time!  I enjoy trying to learn how to play the game from the other side and putting these episodes together, but sometimes life gets in the way.  :>)  I hope to be able to do more in 2014.  My goal is to break 80 in 2014!

Thanks for watching.  I will be doing more work indoors and will increase the frequency of the episodes in the coming months.

Have fun and  play well,

Mark

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Anderson Project – Episode 2

After a month without a laptop, I am back.  Just a tip…..Don’t leave your laptop out in the hot sun for 10 hours without protection.  I am excited to post Episode #2 of the Anderson Project – the Driver Lesson.  I have been struggling with the driver (and taking a divot,  bunker shots and other things as well, but we will get to that) so I wanted to focus on improving off of the tee.  I have a tendency to miss the ball both ways and hit the ball out on the toe.  I am pleased with the progress I made, but I still have a long way to go.

I have recently been playing a little bit more and will show my progress in Episode #3 – coming soon now that I have my laptop back!  My kids are totally hooked on golf, so when we play, I play righthanded with them.  I tied my 10 year old the other day by shooting 51 for 9 holes from the member tees.  He shot 51 from the red tees.  He wanted a playoff, I was very happy with the tie.  :>)

I am going to work on taking divots in my next lesson and report on my first 18 hole round at the Cricket Club.

Have fun and play well,

Mark

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The Anderson Project

I have finally pulled the trigger on something that I have wanted to do for while.  I wanted to document a student’s progress and put it on the internet for all to see.  I am excited to announce my new show – The Anderson Project.  The first student I will be working with is……..me.  I will attempt to learn how to play the game righthanded (I am a lefty) and see if I can break 80.

I have been playing golf lefthanded for 30 years, and I always wondered how good I could get if I worked on my righthanded game. I have learned how to make a decent swing righthanded over the years so I could demonstrate in a lesson or a clinic how to swing the club or get into a certain position.  Playing the game is a different story though.

Follow my journey on the first season of the Anderson Project

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Swing a stick to increase your clubhead speed

Sometimes golf is too complicated.  You can over analyze what you are doing and forget that the goal is to SWING the club.  Swing it back, swing it through – you can’t get any simpler than that.  Here is a great drill to work on your increasing your clubhead speed and ultimately your distance.  Grab an alignment stick and swing it like a golf club, but don’t hit the ground. Try to swing it fast and create a loud “swoosh” with the stick.  The faster you swing it, the louder the swoosh.

Click on the video below to see a simple drill to increase your clubhead speed

The keys to this drill are simple:  

wrist cock

Create a good wrist cock on your backswing

impact

Keep your left arm straight through impact

extention

Extend your arms and re-hinge the club on your follow-through

Swoosh away……and enjoy the extra distance!

Here is what a fast “swoosh” should sound like -

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Patience is the key to winning the Masters

What a GREAT tournament this past weekend.  The Masters never fails to produce its share of exciting and heartbreaking moments.  The one thing that I took away from this event was how important it is to stay in the moment and not get too far ahead of yourself.  Patience is one of the most important things that all great champions possess.  Whether it is Michael Jordan looking for the right moment to make his move to the basket or Wayne Gretsky holding on to the puck as he looks for an opportunity to make a great pass to a teammate, champions have a great deal of patience.

Adam Scott showed great patience on Sunday in the final round of the Masters.  Adam made 9 pars in a row on Sunday on holes 4-12 and was 2 shots behind heading into 13.  He then went on to birdie 3 of the last 6 holes to finish tied for first after 72 holes.  He could have lost his focus and started to press after not making any birdies for 9 straight holes, but he continued to play his game and stayed in control of his emotions.

He also did a great job of staying focused after Cabrera matched his birdie on the 18th hole.  If Adam got ahead of himself and thought he had won the Masters after he made his putt, he could have been mentally deflated after Cabrera tied him on the last hole.  His mental toughness and a reminder from his caddie that “the tournament isn’t over yet”, helped him to be prepared for a playoff before Cabrera even hit his second shot.  If you let your mind get ahead of you, you could be thrown for a loop if your opponent suddenly makes a great shot.

 
adam scott masters

 

It is difficult to eliminate the bad thoughts that can creep into your head during competition, but you need to have a plan to deal with them if they arise.  If you start thinking ahead, stop yourself and remember to focus on the shot at hand.  The difficult 15th hole or the easy 16th hole, can’t be a concern if you are only on the 9th hole.  Stay in the moment, have patience,and you will begin to think like a champion.

Play well and have fun!

Mark

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Mental Game check up

One of the most important components of playing well is controlling your emotions and your mental game.  How much time and energy do you put into this EXTREMELY important element of the game?

How many times have you had a good round going only to make a bunch of bogies near the end the round.  Your good round has once again turned into just another average round.  We have all done this, but why does it happen and what are you going to do to stop it from happening again?

This tends to happen when you start to get out of “The Moment” and start thinking about the end result.  We have all heard about getting into “The Zone” and being super focused.  This is simply focusing all of your thoughts and energy on the shot at hand.  If you are still thinking about how you bogied the first few holes or missed a couple of short putts, you are focusing on the past.  If you are trying to calculate what you could shoot, and you are thinking that this could be your best round ever, you are focusing on the future.  Either way your thoughts are not in the present where they need to be.

It is important to come up with a plan so when your mind starts to get out of the present, you can bring yourself back and get focused on what you are doing.  Having a clear mind before you execute your shot is pivotal if you want to perform your best.  Start with a deep breath and a vision of how you are going to play your next shot.  Take a practice swing with the same feel that you will need for the shot you are about to hit.  Step into the shot and just let it go – totally trust that your body knows what to do .  To keep it simple – Relax, See it, Feel it, Trust it.

I talk about the mental game a lot with the Penn team.  We work on playing one shot at a time and staying in “The Moment”.  You can only hit one shot at a time, so to start thinking about the end of your round when you are standing in the 14th fairway is really a waste of your time and causes you to lose focus.  Get focused on the shot you are facing and execute that shot with 100% confidence.  If you can do that on EVERY shot, you will be on your way to playing your best round very soon!

I will be offering mental game sessions for my students this year.  If you want to take your game to the next level, sign up for a mental game session today!

Have fun and play well!

Mark

 

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