Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hi Welcome to my Blog

This site contains information about the golf swing, in particular how to release the club at impact. There are four articles below which deal with important aspects of the swing to help make the release simple. 

The better a golfer swings the club the easier it is to let the club release automatically. The hands in the golf swing work like the SAS special forces unit. Normally we don't need them but in times of real trouble we rely on them to 'save the day'.

If a golfer is coming into impact on the wrong line we need the hands to work extra hard to square the clubface - which is really difficult to do accurately. Best bet, while training the hands, is to find a way to improve your swing path on the downswing. 

*********Summer Special - Buy any one of John's golf books from $1.99 - write a review of the book and receive a Free Online Golf Lesson.  Just send a film of your swing to John on Hoskison51@hotmail.com and John will personally analyse your action - tell you what to work on.  YOU CAN'T LOSE!!*********  

To see the bestselling golf books just click on John Hoskison's Golf Books page in the menu on the right.

Screen Shot of John's Books on Amazon.
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          First 2 Chapters of 'A Swing You Can Trust'


If you are keen about golf and want to improve, but no matter what you try you still hit the ball inconsistently, then read this introduction.  It explains the reason most golfers fail to see results when they have lessons or try out tips from magazines. If you want to build a swing you can trust then knuckle down for five minutes and read the following story about how I learned a very important lesson that is relevant to every golfer, beginner or tour pro. 

When I was fourteen I was a pretty good young golfer playing off a handicap of four, but I had a fault in my swing that made the ball curve from left to right in flight.  I hit most fairways but in a left to right wind my fade became a slice and I didn’t hit the ball far enough If I wanted to go to the next level.  My father who had taught me from a young age wasn’t experienced enough to spot my swing fault and fixed up for me to have a lesson from the best teacher in Europe – John Jacobs – ‘Doctor Golf’ himself.

The morning we drove to Sandown Park Golf Club, where John Jacobs was the resident teaching pro, I was really nervous.  I remember carrying my clubs to the teaching bay, head held high, chest puffed out and shaking hands with the man who taught half the Ryder Cup squad.  Even though my knees were trembling, when I started hitting balls they flew down the practice range exactly the same way they did on the course – a slight fade from left to right.  I hoped it wasn’t a serious fault and was thrilled when John Jacobs announced he had diagnosed the problem and it only needed a slight change to cure my fade.

John Jacobs pointed out that the ball was too far forward in my stance which meant my shoulders were open and my head was set at the wrong angle.  My incorrect stance made me take the club back on the outside, which was the fundamental cause of me cutting across the ball.  To cure my fault John Jacobs simply moved the ball back in my address position and tweaked my shoulders and head to the right.  ‘Now hit some balls from this position’ he said.

In the matter of a few minutes John Jacobs had changed the line of my swing.  From my new position I automatically took the club back on a better path and without having to make any other changes I started to approach the ball on the right line.  And the proof was there for all to see.  When we went to hit balls off the grass my divots were straight – not pointing left as they normally did.  Instead of the ball taking off to the left it was started out slightly right of target!   Fantastic! I’d cracked golf and it was so damned simple – I couldn’t wait to try it out on the course.

And so to Effingham Golf Club that very afternoon.  I clearly remember teeing it up on the first hole full of expectation, ready to see my new power draw rip down the middle.  I made sure my ball position was correct, my shoulders square and my head tilted at the correct angle.  Sure it all felt a bit weird but what the heck!  The strike with my driver felt great, but as I looked up expecting to see the ball curve from right to left it started off right and then sliced off even more.  When the ball landed it took one bounce and shot straight out of bounds. I hit another – same result.  I tried it off the second tee but after losing three balls in two holes I never tried the changes again. The diagnosis had to be wrong.

You won’t believe how hard I worked for the next ten years.  My hands bled through hitting thousands of balls and I investigated every possible theory to rid myself of the fade that plagued me. I tried the upright swing of Jack Nicklaus, the distinctive rhythm of Tom Watson’s swing and even the flatish action of Ben Hogan. But no matter what I tried my weak left to right flight stayed.  The one thing I never investigated again was my address position.

However, through sheer hard work on the short Surrey courses where I played, I made myself into a scratch golfer and lured by the possibility of fame and fortune I turned pro.  I even managed to win myself a card to play the European Tour.  But when I needed to step up a gear, off the back tees on long tournament courses I failed abysmally - Royal Birkdale being a case in point.  The stiff Lancashire breeze turned my fade into a whopping great slice and I finished last in the PGA Championships, which Nick Faldo went onto win.

In 1985 I almost gave up golf.  On the advice from a friend I took a job selling life insurance but found out pretty quickly that extracting a monthly premium from potential customers was harder than getting a buried ball out of ‘Hells Bunker’.  With no money coming in and that year the PGA Championships taking place at Wentworth, I decided to have one last try. 

I played with Sandy Lyle in practise – not a great idea when suffering from a lack of confidence, and the night before the first round I lay awake desperately trying to work out which swing would get me round the next day.  What could I try?  I’d tried everything over the years and I didn’t want to just chop my way round the course. So searching for an answer I went right back to the start – to my lesson with John Jacobs.  He’d seemed so sure the answer was simple. And then finally it hit me. 

My lesson with John Jacobs had changed the line of my swing but not my hand action.  Coming into the ball on a new line my hands were confused.  They had to be given time to develop a new release at impact and I hadn’t given them the opportunity.  The inescapable truth I learned that night is that change takes time.  There is an inevitable process one has to go through when changing a swing and unless you’re tough enough to be patient while the process takes place you will ultimately fail. 

Before the first round of the PGA Championships I practised the stance John Jacobs had given me.  With years of experience behind me I was able to rehearse the necessary hand action to make the action work. 

I’m not kidding, I almost wept when I saw my first tee shot drill down the middle and then curve slightly to the left.  I made the cut that week, earned a good cheque and with regards to striking the ball I have never looked back.  Shortly after the event I won the first ‘Shooting Star’ award for most improved order of merit position and eventually I went on to win the PGA National Club Professional Championships.  With my new found ability to square up the blade in 1991 I returned to my nemesis and played all four rounds in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale shooting 71 on the final day.  Even in a strong left to right wind I had learned to draw the ball. 

If you slice or hook and you want to change how you swing, there is no alternative but to improve your swing path into the ball. That is relatively easy. But for you to persevere through the inevitable process of change it is vital you understand the logic behind the alterations.  Only then will you have the nerve and patience to stick with them.

It is highly unlikely you will hit the ball better immediately after changing the line of your swing.  If you’ve played golf for some time your hands probably know only one way to release the club, just as mine did when I went for my lesson with John Jacobs. But if you stay patient, the advice in this book offers you a real chance to become a better golfer and make a fundamental change to your golf swing that you’ve never managed before.

                             Build a Golf Swing You Can Trust

Welcome to the rest of the book - if you follow the logical progression of lessons you will improve. But before we take a look at the swing in detail, and how to change it, let’s take a look at the golf swing in general and the overall object of the book.

The golf swing is basically divided into two parts – the backswing and downswing. If a golfer makes a good backswing the downswing becomes pretty simple.  But a bad backswing, with the club in the wrong position, means the golfer has to make complicated adjustments on the downswing which limit power and accuracy. Building a good backswing, and improving the line of your swing, is our number one priority.  Once we have achieved that, it’s a question of keeping up the changes while the rest of your swing, particularly your hand action, adapts to your new improved swing path into the ball.  

Before we can start constructing the backswing we have to understand it.  It’s easy to do that because the golf swing is a chain reaction of moves and we can trace it from the top of the backswing right back to the start.  It’s there we find the nucleus of a good swing and the secret of changing the line.  It may not come as a great surprise that aim and grip ultimately define the quality of the backswing.  Aim poorly, or grip the club incorrectly, and it affects the takeaway, the plane of the swing and eventually the position of the club when it reaches the top. But nearly all golf books tell you this yet very few golfers ever learn to stand correctly to the ball. Therefore something has to be wrong with the way this message is communicated. 

So I’m going to try something different.  I’m going to describe the chain reaction of the swing in an unusual way hoping the words give you a new understanding of how the grip and alignment directly affect the shape of the swing. 

Following is a hypothetical conversation between the two main components of the backswing – the hands and the body.  During any golf swing – even the swing of a top pro, the hands and body are in constant communication with each other trying to work out how to get the club back to the ball. 

The scene is set with a golfer, who we’ll call Pete, an habitual slicer, standing on the tee ready to hit.  As Pete makes his final preparations to start the swing his hands and body start to talk to each other.

Body:                 

Morning guys – how you feeling?  

Hands:             

 Bit trembly – late night last night.

Body:                

 How’s the club face aiming?

Hands:               

Ten yards left. 

Body:               

 Not as much as the shoulders then.  Hope he doesn’t try that one piece takeaway the pro taught him, the club will go straight outside the line. You better get ready to take over. 

Hands:               

We should go on strike!

Body:                 

You did last week remember - three lost balls and two tiles off the roof of the manager’s house. Thought the pro told him to get his left  hand round more – square up the shoulders.

Hands:               

He’s forgotten that bit.

Body:                

 Oh well – hope you’re ready to work hard - speak in a moment when he starts the backswing. Catch up with you later.

Hands:                

You’d better or it’s another lost ball.

Pete starts the backswing trying his new one piece takeaway but with a weak grip, the club aiming left and the shoulders even further left, a good takeaway is impossible.   To avoid swinging on the outside the hands take over and quickly roll the club back onto the inside.   

Body:                   

Wow – got your breath back?  What happened to smooth and slow. You guys okay?

Hands:                 

He went for the one piece takeaway, club went miles outside.  We had to take over and roll it back. Boy, it must have looked ugly! We could’ve made a better job of it job of it, but he’s swinging so fast we’ve overdone it - the club’s travelling round his arse.  You’ve gotta help us!

Body:                    

Not Again? All that effort so earl in the morning.  We’ll heave the club onto a steeper
plane.  Here goes.....

In an effort to move the club onto a more upright plane  the body stops turning and goes into a massive reverse pivot where, with no space to swing, the left arm impacts against the chest and crumbles.

Body:                   

Woah!  Over did that one - that hurt.  Have to pay another visit to the doc. 

Hands:                  

If he swung a bit slower he’d give us half a chance. We’re in real trouble now.  One minute we were aiming left. With the overswing the club’s pointing twenty yards right. 

Body:                   

Want me to try to swing round and get him back on track? Might give you less to do.

Hands:                

Give it a go.

To try to realign the downswing onto the correct path the shoulders swing round but Pete’s swinging so fast the club is thrown onto the outside in a classic ‘over the top’ move.  In a last ditch bid to save the shot from disaster the body tells the hands it’s ‘battle stations’. Rather like the SAS the hands are relied on in times of real trouble.

Body:                   

Sorry guys, nothing I could do -  he’s not heard the  Golden Bear’s advice ‘swing slow from the top’. We’re coming at the ball miles from the outside.  You’d better hold the face open or he’ll hit that house again. 

Hands:                 

Hold the face open, that’s all we ever do! 

Coming into impact the hands desperately try to hold the clubface open to stop the ball going left.   The driver comes in steep jarring into the ground.  The ball takes off left cutting back in a horrible slicing arc.  As the hands and body check for injury they hear Pete comment.

Pete:                     

Maybe the pro got it wrong about the takeaway – that’s the worst slice I’ve hit in ages. Think I’ll try turning  my hips faster from the top – that may stop my slice!
                                                          
********

Okay that was a bit of fun, but hopefully you get the drift.  The correct stance is vital if you want to build a simple swing that repeats.  But most golfers switch off and skip these chapters of a golf instruction book.   I understand that.  The grip and aim are not as alluring as advice on the theoretical advantages of pronation or supination through impact. And hey!  You’ve been told you have a nice practise swing – you can’t be that far off.  Aiming correctly is for beginners!

So just to dispel any reservations you may have that this book is not for you, here’s one last piece of motivational talk before we move on to check your stance.  It’s very often a golfer makes a great practise swing but when they come to hit the ball the swing’s completely different.  That’s because the hands and body don’t communicate on a practise swing - they let you get on with it on your own. They only bother to ‘talk’ to each other when you’re about to hit a shot at a specific target. 

When the crunch comes and you’re ready to swing back, if the aim of the club doesn’t match up to your intended swing path, they hit the panic button, take control and stick the swing on autopilot. They programme in what they have to do and you can’t override it. You might try to take the club back in one piece but it you’re not aiming correctly – they quickly take over.  And if you think you can kid them you’d have done it by now. 

If you are aiming at a target 250 yards away and your clubface is only 3 degrees to the right, it will be pointing 13 yards right of target.  If you try to replicate your nice square practise swing, but your hands pick up where the club is aiming the two angles are so conflicting your orthodox swing becomes impossible.

The only time you can override your natural alarm system is when you’re standing in front of a pro and he’s watching you like a hawk. Then the alarm system becomes dormant - it trusts the pro to watch over you. Soon as you walk out the teaching bay, it switches back on.

There’s no escaping the simple truth that if you want to hit the ball better, first you have to improve the line of your swing – cut and dried.  To do that you have to make sure you stand correctly to the ball.  That means taking good aim with the body and the club. Even the great Jack Nicklaus used to check his aim and stance regularly!

Stay with me on this one. Let me walk you through this book and explain how to change your swing.   Follow my advice to build a swing you can trust, then I’m sure if you ask them nicely, your hands will let you take over the controls.


John Hoskison Slow Motion Driver Swing

Golf Swing Magic Move

The Magic Move of Golf  Click on the link to learn about one of the most important moves of the swing.








This tip come from the book A Golf Swing You Can Trust is an original work by John Hoskison, a deep-thinking PGA player and teacher. Inside, John reveals how, after years of slicing, he went from the worst player on tour to the National PGA Professional Champion by using these simple techniques. 

From the grip to the finish position, John coaches using humor and unique analogies to explain how the golf swing works, and how to build a swing you can trust.

REVIEWS:
"John taught himself a great swing and knows as much about golf as anyone I've met.  This is a must read book." Nick Mitchell  - Former European Tour PGA Player.

"I went to John for the usual stuff; head in hands, not knowing what shot was coming next. John kept it simple… got me back enjoying my golf again."   
Mick Fitzgerald - TV Sports Presenter - National Hunt Jockey.

"John has very good technique and is a great student of the game. He always told me 'simple is best'." 
Andrew Murray - European PGA Tour - 1989 European Open Champion.

"We used to be out there trying to squeeze one down the fiarway but John Hoskison would stand up and blast one down the middle as if no trouble existed.  We called him the 'Toy Cannon'." 
Pete Oakley - 2004 Senior British Open Champion
Click on the picture to go to Amazon and read the first chapter of the book.







Drill for a Better Downswing

Simple Drill for a better downswing Click on the link to read about a great downswing drill.










This tip come from the book A Golf Swing You Can Trust is an original work by John Hoskison, a deep-thinking PGA player and teacher. Inside, John reveals how, after years of slicing, he went from the worst player on tour to the National PGA Professional Champion by using these simple techniques. 

From the grip to the finish position, John coaches using humor and unique analogies to explain how the golf swing works, and how to build a swing you can trust.

REVIEWS:
"John taught himself a great swing and knows as much about golf as anyone I've met.  This is a must read book." Nick Mitchell  - Former European Tour PGA Player.

"I went to John for the usual stuff; head in hands, not knowing what shot was coming next. John kept it simple… got me back enjoying my golf again."   
Mick Fitzgerald - TV Sports Presenter - National Hunt Jockey.

"John has very good technique and is a great student of the game. He always told me 'simple is best'." 
Andrew Murray - European PGA Tour - 1989 European Open Champion.

"We used to be out there trying to squeeze one down the fiarway but John Hoskison would stand up and blast one down the middle as if no trouble existed.  We called him the 'Toy Cannon'." 
Pete Oakley - 2004 Senior British Open Champion
 
Click on the picture to go to Amazon and read the first chapter of the book.







Golf Swing Extension Drill

Golf Swing Extension Drill Click on the link to read about a drill that will create extension through the ball.

Train the Hands to Release the Club

Train the Hands to Release the Club Click on the link to find out how to release the club at impact.