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I love Shawn's teaching

August 24 2011 at 7:34 AM

McIrishman57  (Login mcirishman57)
SAGF Members 2001

He is a very good instructor and presents very well...but that statement that looking at the target helps you stay behind the ball is not a very good one....does he say why or how that helps you to do this?

I can understand/agree that a focus on the ball can lead to over the top....for the same reason that focusing on the target causes a problem...it is linked in our minds and hearts to results and expectations. Which heightens our mental/emotional sensitivity, which causes our system to "defend" against these intruders, which kicks in the physiological reactions ( blockers )that impede a smooth transmission of the signal from our subconscious to our muscles for shot execution.

There is entirely too much FOCUS on the ball for most golfers and instruction. Your attitude toward the ball should be indifferent. The ball HAS NOTHING TO DO with making a good golf swing. It is incidental to the whole action. It just "gets in the way". That is why the first three exercises are done without a ball at all. Your focus is on correct action...correct motion and positions. In Divot Master ( Golden Exercise ) for example, what is the object of the drill? It isn't the ball that's for sure...the object is to take a divot forward of the ball.

Focus hard on your clearkey while playing a shot. If it is a song, actually try to sing it ( as opposed to just saying the words ) using your tone and inflection. if there is visual imagery in the clearkey, say for example "Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue...." picture a perfectly blue sky while your are swinging.

Some players need more intensity on their clearkey than others. In my own case, while never being officially diagnosed, I would say it's a good bet I have a touch of ADD...I get bored easily, and am easily distracted. This tends for me to "fall into a rut" if I keep using the same clearkey over and over. I mindlessly repeat it without much focus, with the result that I don't get to automatic. So I keep several clearkeys at the ready...if I am practicing and my results start to degrade...the first thing I try now is to switch up my clearkey...usually..my results improve immediately. When I am in a match with a lot of pressure, I rotate my clearkeys often throughout the round to keep them "fresh" and give myself the best chance to get to automatic on each shot.

By the way, I am glad your shoulder is better and you are finally able to practice and play. There might be a "problem" there too. You have waited so long to be able to play that when you finally get to play, you are all "jazzed up" and your expectations and anticipation have you in an excited emotional state. When you hit a bad shot, the day starts to get "ruined" - I mean after all, you waited all these long months to FINALLY be able to play, and THIS is what you get! GRRRRRRRRR! I have the same challenge as right now I usually just have time play my 9 holes for my league. I really don't want to "ruin it" by playing badly when it is the only chance I get to play! So I gotta settle myself down, breath, and stay committed to the clearkey process and the automatic principle. If I get an opportunity to play a full round, I am like YIPPEE! And it's even more "pressure" to not let the day be ruined.

I also experience this type of pressure when I play a round with one of my students - I gotta play well - I mean after all - I am the teacher. What happens if I hit a bad shot...that's not a very good example...I gotta show them how to do it...better be able to "practice what I preach" and "walk the talk". LOL...the first year I wrote my book, I sent an email to everyone in my league during the off season. I wasn't prepared for the shock to my system when league opened up. Guys are like "YOU wrote a book on golf...ok "PRO". I would hit a bad shot and the tougher guys in the crowd would say things like..."Looks like you better read your book a little more....is THAT what your book teaches..." HAHAHAHA VERY funny! The only thing I could do is let my play shut them up...and the clearkey process and the automatic principle helped with this alot.

I shared the above stories because all golfers experience some kind of stress and heightened emotional state, and they differ from player to player, those just happen to be some of the ones I face. Most players are not even aware of it. The performance degraders our system creates in reaction to these stressors can be held at bay with a proper implementation of the clearkey process and the automatic principle.

Finally, often when people struggle with clearkey, it is because have a poorly structured pre-shot. Your pre-shot is where you can do as much conscious thinking as you want...give yourself as much info as you need to to "prime the pump" of the subconscious. Do this from behind the ball. Then, when you are done....breathe in deeply through your abdomen, tense up your grip, your whole body in fact, and hold that tension for a moment...then slowly exhale and as you do release all the tension in your body and tell yourself "I'm going to automatic" And begin repeating your clearkey as you walk to the ball and address it. Keep repeating your clearkey until the ball is on it's way and your are in your finish.

This should help and shoot me a video when you can...

A Blueprint For Golf Excellence

Never quit til you have a swing you'll never forget!

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(Login mcirishman57)
SAGF Members 2001

This was meant to go in the Clearkey thread n/t

August 24 2011, 7:35 AM 

Never quit til you have a swing you'll never forget!

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SAGF Members 2002

Shawn U-tube

August 24 2011, 9:06 AM 


Kevin this is where I saw it, Shawns U-tube videos. He has some very good videos there.

I do think you have pegged it with pre-shot rutine and getting your consious thoughts there and going into Clearkey from there.

Oh by the way I saw on the Golf Channel last night Martain Hall showing a Paul Bertholy drill, simaliar to your exersises. (He said," this is a wonderful drill from the Great Paul Bertholy " ) I think it was to help get rid of fat shots or something like that. His show was on becoming a Great Ball Stiker.

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(Login Snowman9000)
SAGF Members 2006

Saw the episode

August 24 2011, 6:03 PM 

Yeah, it is one of the main Bertholy drills that Kevin uses. The one where you slide the trail hand up towards the clubhead and exagerate the lag position going down.

I was also surprised when he mentioned Bertholy.

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(Login sagf_moderator)

No Surprise

August 24 2011, 6:15 PM 

Martin Hall is the only TV golf teacher that I've seen publicly credit Bertholy. He is also one of the few I've seen that focuses on retention as a key element of the golf swing.


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