Warren Grant CPGA 2001 Teacher
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Table of Contents

WARREN's PHILOSOPHY

COMMON SWING MISTAKES AND IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS

The PRACTICE TEE

EXPLAINING COMMON PHRASES

FAQS

WARREN's PHILOSOPHY

Warren believes that given the correct information in an organized manner, humans can learn anything. "Correct information" means acquiring knowledge and "organized manner" means proper teaching sequences. The golf swing is a series of motions that must be learned and understood and then performed in the correct sequence.

Unfortunately, golf is being taught without expanding the golfer's knowledge of the golf swing. Lack of knowledge is the single, most important reason why handicaps have not decreased in the past 50 years. This knowledge has always been available. But, communicating this knowledge and in the proper sequence is the key to "becoming a good golfer" and having lower scores.

It is essential to have good posture at the setup and maintain that posture while the arms and club move on plane. Keeping the club on plane is the absolute requirement for solid contact and hitting straight and far. If you do not have the knowledge that the golf swing motion is made up of multiple parts and if you do not know which part contributed to the good or bad shot, then lowering your handicap permanently will be almost impossible.

When you draw a circle with a compass, the circle is perfect. Why? Because the center of the circle and the distance from the pencil to the center are fixed. Thus the pencil is able to return to the same spot it started at. A good golf swing is based on the same principle. It needs to have a center, which is the bottom of the spine. This means you should not shift your weight to your back foot on your back swing, or consciously shift it forward on the downswing. By keeping your center fixed through the backswing your posture is good, and the club on plane, then your upper body will rotate causing your weight to automatically shift to the front foot. If you try to shift your weight consciously, and your timing is not perfect, you will accidently move the center of the swing circle preventing the club from returning to its original starting point. Similarly if you change the distance your elbows are from the center of the swing (by pulling them towards the ball) the arc of the circle the club is on will also change preventing the club from returning to its original starting point.

There Four Parts of the Body Involved in the Golf Swing Motion:
  1. Lower Body (From the waist down)
  2. Upper Body (From the waist up)
  3. Arms
  4. Wrist and Hands
By correctly learning how these parts of the body are used in the golf swing and learning how to control them properly, you can accurately and reliably hit the ball each and every time.

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COMMON SWING MISTAKES AND IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS

There are basically four different types of swings which cover 99% of all shots. These are putting, chipping, pitching and full swing.

PUTTING

Objective:
A good putt ends up in the cup 9/10 times from within 10 feet and 5/10 times from 30 feet.
Common Mistakes:
  • Not keeping your head, spine or hips still.
  • Letting your hands get ahead of the clubhead on the forward stroke.
  • Lining both your feet and the club head at the target instead of parallel.
Improvement Suggestions:
  • Keep the clubhead low to the ground on the back swing and follow through.
  • Keep your thumbs aligned and pointing directly down the shaft and your hands close together.
  • On short putts make your follow through longer than your backswing.

CHIPPING

Objective:
A good chip gets the ball within 3 feet of the cup 9/10 times.
Common Mistakes:
  • Lining up square to the hole.
  • Using your wrists to move the club.
  • Using the same grip as your full swing or pitch.
Improvement Suggestions:
  • Simulate a pendulum swing using your shoulders to create an arc.
  • Keep your head quiet.
  • Choke down on the grip, keeping the toe of the club lower than the head.

PITCHING

Objective:
A good pitch lands within 20 feet of the hole 9/10 time from outside of 40 yards.
Common Mistakes:
  • Moving your arms further than your upper body on the back swing.
  • Trying to scoop the ball using your wrists.
  • Setting up square to the target.
Improvement Suggestions:
  • Keep your weight on your front foot.
  • Keep your elbows tight to your body on both the downswing and follow through.
  • Don't let the club end up higher on your follow through than it did on your backswing.

FULL SWING

Objective:
A good full swing hits the ball such that it flies straight without any side spin and continues to gain height for about 75% of its flight (instead of in the middle).
Common Mistakes:
  • Setting the ball too far back or too far forward.
  • Moving your hips backwards on backswing and then sliding them forward on the downswing & follow through.
  • Dipping your shoulders on your backswing instead of turning them around your spine.
Improvement Suggestions:
  • Lock your back knee in position and keep your weight on the inside of your back foot.
  • Keep the wrist of your bottom hand bent backwards through impact.
  • Keep your back to the target as long as possible on the downswing.

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The PRACTICE TEE

Okay, the first thing that needs to happen here is you need to admit that your time spent practicing has gained you little, if any success on the fairway. Once you admit that, then what you are about to read may make a lot of sense.

If the vast majority of golfers in the world are failing to improve no matter how much they play or practice, what conclusions should be drawn.

How about:
  1. They have the wrong information.
  2. There is no such thing as muscle memory.
  3. Without instant accurate feedback, practice time is wasted.
Think about it, how can you practice and actually get worse. Could it be that the game of golf is not what it appears to be? Could it be that straight doesn't equal straight, or up doesn't equal up? How much time are you going to spend swinging down the line hitting the ball to the right before you figure out that down the line equals right? How long will you spend trying to sweep the ball, hitting the ball short, thin or fat before you realize that you're not supposed to sweep the ball. Let me lay out for you the truth, provided it makes some sense to you. You can search deeper, if not then you know to stop here.

Divots are good and take place after impact. What does that tell you about your weight pressure at impact?
  1. Where would it be if you tried to get under the ball or sweep it?
  2. My arms square the clubface not my hands. A human is not built to swing straight, the truth is my arms swing on plane which squares the clubface.
  3. My hands are educated to stay passive, which is only possible if I understand they are not responsible for squaring the clubface.
  4. Ball position should absolutely not be in the middle of my stance, and you do not keep changing ball position for each club.
The PRACTICE SWING

Warren believe that it is very easy to get into the (bad) habit of hitting the ball from your back foot. If this applies to you then get out your sand wedge and over exaggerate the steepness of your angle of attack down onto and through the ball. This will cause the ball to go up, it will also cause a divot after impact, therefore, put your weight pressure on your front foot. The more often this is done, the sooner the body will stop resisting the correct motion. The second drill also includes ball position and a square stance . To practice swinging the arms left through the ball, move the ball well ahead of your left foot and then six inches in from the target line. This will force you into not trying to swing straight. Swing the club and allow the ball to go left (do not fight it). Remember, this drill to be done continuously day in and day out to get you accustomed to the feel of the arms going left which pulls the body through the ball putting your weight on your front foot. The easiest shot in the world to fix is a hook, the hardest is a slice. After hitting four and five shots this way, simply move the ball back to the normal position and watch how far right they don't go. However, do not be in a hurry to give up the ratio of 5 left, 1 straight.

All of the above will work if you have paid attention to your hip line. When you practice your square stance (hip line), you can do it with a club or a ball at home in front of a mirror. Stand like you're going to hit the ball at the mirror, notice as you put your right hand lower than your left how your hip line wants to open. Practice squaring it. Make it a habit and you won't need to think very hard about it on the golf course. Last, but extremely important. You could have everything perfect, square stance, on plane arms, ball positions, but if the hands are not trained, anything could happen. What a shame because your hands are the easiest to train. They always end up in the same position on all full shots. Warren's suggestion when practicing is to start in your finish position. Make sure your right wrist is bent and your left wrist is fairly flat, put your club behind the ball, swing back and then down onto the ball, left through impact from a square stance to your finish position and then check your hands. If at that point they're not correct, fix them immediately before hitting your next shot.

In closing, here's what you need to know:
  1. Your stance should be squared (hip line).
  2. Your arms should swing on plane (left).
  3. Your angle of attack is down onto the ball (divot after impact).
  4. Your hands finish right wrist bent, left wrist fairly flat.
  5. Your sequence through the ball is clubhead, hands, arms and body.
  6. Your ball position is wherever the ball needs to be so that the clubhead is square to the target line, just before it goes left.
To Practice
  1. - Check hip line
  2. - Ball position
  3. - Sandwedge, over exaggerate, downwards motion
  4. - Start in your follow-through position to see where you want to get to. It's not that tough if you take the time to organize yourself. Personally, I'd prefer an organized struggle over an unorganized impossibility struggle.

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Explaining Common Phrases

Giving you information that will allow you to seek out the correct understandings.

The biggest reason why the majority of golfers are not improving is the misleading information that they are receiving. The golf swing only becomes complicated when conflicting or wrong mechanics are given. Below are listed some popular golf sayings that Warren believes are misleading. He has added the the truth to these sayings. Take this article to whomever you decide to take lessons from and have the instructor explain these theories. You will quickly find out if your instructor can teach you a golf swing that not only works, but better still, one you understand.

Keep Your Head Down
The Truth:
If you swing down onto and through the ball your head cannot come up.

Sweep the Ball
The Truth:
If you hit the ball down and make a divot after impact it will feel like you swept the ball. If you try to sweep the ball you will probably hit the ball fat or thin and not very far.

Cock Your Wrists
The Truth:
Only one wrist cocks in the golf swing. For right-handers it's the left and for left-handers it's the right.

Lead With the Legs
The Truth:
Knowing how to make a divot after impact causes the look of the legs leading. Trying to lead with the legs will cause the golfer to block the ball.

Power Comes From the Big Muscles
The Truth:
Speed is produced by the correct motion of the hands and then arms.

Swing Smooth & Easy
The Truth:
When you swing your best it feels smooth and easy. If you want the ball to go far speed is required. Don't be afraid to swing fast, a good swing traveling at a high rate of speed will feel smooth and easy but the ball will go far.

Understanding of the truths is very important to your golfing success. Bypassing these concepts will cause you many more frustrating rounds than necessary.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does indoor golf help my game - shouldn't I be practicing outdoors where I can see my shot?

    The advantage of indoor lessons and practice is that you can't see your shot. This allows you to focus on the fundamentals of the swing without being distracted by where the ball goes - you can tell by the feel and the sound at impact that you hit a good shot.

  2. Isn't hitting off a mat easier and I'll have to make adjustments when I play outdoors?

    True, hitting off a mat is easier and some adjustment is required in your setup to hit on unlevel surfaces. However, the focus of off-season practice is to work on your stroke so hitting off a mat reduces external influences and lets you focus on technique.

  3. How can I correct my slice?

    A slice is caused by starting your downswing with a pulling action, which causes the club to come off plane and travel on an outside-in path. To correct this, you must start your swing away from your body rather than down.

  4. How can I get more distance - I seem to swing hard enough?

    Distance is a result of club speed and impact efficiency not brute strength. You gain a sense of power when your arms pull the club through the ball, however this shortens the arc swing and lessens the distance the ball travels. To correct this you need to develop a swing that causes the club to move along the greatest arc possible.

  5. How do I hit out of a sand trap?

    Hitting from a sand trap requires a different swing than a standard pitch from grass. It involves a steeper arc and a more open stance.

  6. How can I get more loft on my chipping and control rolling distance?

    A good chip uses gravity and lower body rotation to generate club speed. Most people tend to use too much upper body motion which causes them to contact the ball with the leading edge of the club head rather than in the center of the club face

  7. Why can I consistently hit my 3-wood straight but not my dirver?

    Most people try to power hit their drivers in an attempt to get maximum distance. This tends to cause minor inconsistencies in their swing which translates into loss of ball control. Conversely, people use their 3 wood to avoid over hitting their shot allowing them to relax and hit the ball with their normal swing.

  8. Why do I end up hitting a slice when I try to hit a fade?

    This is usually caused by an incorrect grip or a pulling action, which causes the ball to be hit with a more open face at impact.

  9. Why do I seem to hit 4 or 5 good holes then blow the next few?

    If you are anticipating your end result after a few good holes and dreaming of making your best score yet, then you sometimes start trying too hard and inadvertently add tension to your swing and alter your tempo.

  10. How can I correct my putting yips?

    Yips are caused by trying to hit the ball instead of stroking the ball. Learning proper technique will give you consistent results and the confidence to sink those putts.

  11. I've tried different lessons from different instructors and they all seem to have a different technique - how is Warren's Total Golf going to help my game?

    There tends to be 2 classes of instructors, those that teach fundamentals and stroke theory and those that focus on correcting perceived faults in your swing. Any teaching method that gets you to the point where you can self correct your stroke is the right one.

    Warren's Total Golf teaching technique is based on analysis of the most consistant hitters and the physics that validate their results. He then translate this into a language and teaching methodology that lets anyone from the beginner to the seasoned professional learn the how's and why's of a consistent stroke. It's like the old adage - Catch a man a fish and you've fed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you've fed him for life. This is Warren's philosophy - Teach a golfer how a swing works so that he/she can be his/her own best instructor and correct his/hers own mistakes. If you need someone else to understand your swing then perhaps it's time you came to Warren's Total Golf.

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