Rick Smith Chat Transcript - 031501

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 15, 2001, 5:00 pm
TGC_com - Today's live chat with TGC Troubleshooter Rick Smith will begin at 3:00 PM ET. Please feel free to post your question now, we'll hold it until the chat begins.
TGC_com - We're just about five minutes away from our live chat with Rick Smith. Don't miss tonight's Academy Live with Rick and his star student Phil Mickelson at 8:00PM ET only on The Golf Channel!
TGC_com - OK lets get started!!
Bluetees - Mr. Smith , How would you suggest a player find and practice correct rhythm and tempo?
Rick_S - I think one of the best things to do is to learn make swing allot of pitching wedges working on the proper blend of arm swing and body motion, never letting one motion out race the other. Hitting balls with 5 irons making full swings at 50 percent speed starting with a lighter grip pressure in the setup and allowing the arms hanging freely from the proper golf posture.
Rick_S - its important having problems more importantly, when the proper sequence of motion i.e., Nick Price, everything is quick but its together vs. Vijay Singh, who has long and slow tempo, never the less the speed is through the ball and not at the ball.
Bqgolfr - I keep hitting it fat. Can you give me a practice drill to overcome this.
Rick_S - my impact drill is my favorite. setup the ball with a short iron, with what I can the simulated impact position, hips turned open, weight on the left side, right heel slightly off the ground, shoulder square, head back, hands forward, on the backswing
Rick_S - have slight wrist cocked to the inside, and as you swing forward strike the golf ball, extend your arms and rotate at the same time. you'll learn with this drill how to hit down on the ball properly because in most cases if you're hitting it fast, you're hanging back towards your back foot, flipping the club to the golf ball too early.
Rick_S - work on this drill several times as you make a full swing you want to feel yourself moving through your impact position. that's an excellent drill.
Srs - As my clubs get longer, so does my fade. What can I do to hit a 4 iron as straight as my 7 iron.
Rick_S - first of all, a short iron has more loft, which decrease sidespin. obviously your swing is too much from the outside in coming down in your swing you need to work on draw drills from your club on the downswing, you want to feel more arm fall with a to your left with your hips
Rick_S - followed by better forearm rotation as you swing to right field. a good drill is to put your right foot behind your left foot play the ball back in stance learn to hit it out to right field, clubface rotating to a draw position.
Rick_S - that will take the steepness out of your swing , which should improve your ability to draw.
bqgolfr - I seem to have an upper body swing, mainly using my arms. Do you have a drill where I can learn to incorporate more body.
Rick_S - my favorite step drill where you start with your feet together, make your back swing and right before you reach the top of your turn, step forward, feeling the motion moving to your left, follow up with the turning of your body.
Rick_S - do this drill many times without hitting balls, then hit balls feeling the motion forward with the lower body without the step. this will give you proper sensation or feel of the proper downswing.
Ronnie - Rick, I have several of your video's, can you pleas explain, club head lag or holding the angle and how the body turns through impact. Thank You
Rick_S - the bottom line is when you set an angle on the backswing, as your body starts to move forward either lower or upper wrists are not uncocking prematurely, this cracking the whip so to speak is what I refer to as lag,
Rick_S - when the club, when the arms are because of centrifugal force cocking the release to a in line relationship of left arm and club shaft at impact.
Rick_S - you almost always see the great players maintain that angle in the first few feet of the downswing which results in tremendous power through the impact.
Rick_S - the body centers on the downswing and then rotates, which assists in the release of the clubhead.
Jquill - Could you please discuss grip pressure when putting. Dave Pelz advocates getting the club deep in the hands---and by doing this I seem to grip too firmly.
Rick_S - its an individual preference, where you always want to have more feel for the putter head granted you don't want to go so tight that you lose feel for your putter , the difference between being firm commentates pressure, vs. having an inline relationship between the back of your hand and the club shaft through impact
Rick_S - to the eyes it looks firm many people think firm is tight which is wrong,
Rick_S - id rather see soft hands with a motion for feel and consistency
ANDO - Mr. Smith, as the downswing begins should we be aiming at a certain part of the ball ?
Rick_S - if I'm a slicer, I'm feeling like I'm going to take the inside quadrant focus on that area but I like to have a student look at the whole area not just the ball itself.
Rick_S - this gives you greater latitude as it relates to picturing the bottom of the arc that relates to your desired ball flight.
Rick_S - I think staring at a golf ball creates too much tension that makes you too hit oriented vs. swing oriented. which I prefer
yourfour - Rick, no question, just a comment. Your Tradition and Signature Courses at Treetops are incredible. They are beautiful and fun for all handicappers. Thanks.
Rick_S - thank you very much. a lot of time and energy of mine went into those two courses. enjoyment, beauty and the traditional elements of this design were a key part of what I had in mind for the golf courses. I do think they will stand the test of time, I'm looking forward to having many that haven't played to do so.
TGC_com - Just FYI -- Rick teaches out of the Rick Smith Golf Academy at Treetops Resort in Gaylord Michigan in the summer months. You can reach his office by calling 800-866-0353.
Jquill - Rick, being snowbound in the northeast, can you suggest any indoor drills to get me ready for the upcoming season?
Rick_S - absolutely, I think swinging a heavy club up slowly working on a full turn , full wrist cock and a wider arc on the backswing and swinging down and forward, doing mirror work, working on body motion is excellent as is working on stretching. one of my favorite, keep the right hand, putting it under the left wrist
Rick_S - swinging back without a club resisting with the lower turning with the upper touching left arm, holding top of swing position 5 seconds then relaxing
Rick_S - do this 5 times a day in front of the mirror which will make a difference in your golf swing.
TGC_com - We've got about ten more minutes left with Rick before we have to let him go. Be sure to watch Rick and his student Phil Mickelson tonight on Academy Live at 8PM ET on The Golf Channel.
Bigg Jon - Hi Rick, I am brand new to the game, I was on a course for the first time in my life yesterday, I love it, but I have yet to get a set of clubs, I am unsure what to get, I am a very short guy, I am 5'5, and left handed...do u have any suggestions? Thanks
Rick_S - seek professional guidance with a PGA professional that can fit you with a set. with a set of Orlimar irons, by the way I do endorse them immediately get some instruction so that you can improve on a much faster scale
bqgolfr - Can you explain the swing plane and how to achieve the correct plane.
Rick_S - a golf swing is a titled circle that must be mastered on both sides of the golf ball. from the back swing into the downswing as well as into the finish. the proper swing shape comes from the proper turning of the body and the proper movement of the arms with sufficient are which these factors all contribute to the proper shape or i.e. plane of the swing
Rick_S - learning the correct body motion, learn the correct arm swing shape and you'll be way ahead of the game when it comes to understanding swing playing.
TGC_com - Just FYI -- Rick teaches in the winter months out of the Rick Smith Golf Resort at the Piburon Golf Club at the Ritz Carlton Naples Golf Resort in Naples, Florida. he can be reached there by calling 941-593-1111.
Brian M - Briefly explain correct ball position starting with the driver going down to a wedge. Thanks
Rick_S - driver is off the logo on your chest, left of your sternum. irons moving back just forward of the sternum obviously ascending motion with the driver and a descending motion with the irons will help develop the descending motion with the irons.
TGC_com - Time for two more questions ...
Bj Craig - Rick have you ever played on tour?
Rick_S - I played in the us open a lot of mini tours with some success I qualified for the Buick open in my younger years. injuries prevented me from playing any more, plus the love of helping others and developing Treetops Resort, and teaching seems to take priority.
Jquill - I'm a big fan of your teaching methods---you're not so mechanically oriented. Do you think too many mechanical thoughts can hurt you?
Rick_S - I believe that the proper motion creates position. position can destroy the rhythm , the proper sequence, I feel you move through positions dynamically. its important to swing into a proper position yet the golf swing is never static at any time that's why I advocate more motion exercises than static ones
TGC_com - That's all the time we have today...thanks to Rick Smith for joining us to chat!
Rick_S - I really enjoyed being with everyone, I'm currently at Bay Hill working with my players, I wish the best to everyone.
TGC_com - Again, Rick Smith and Phil Mickelson will join Peter Kessler at 8PM tonight on Academy Live as we continue Tune Up Your Game Week on The Golf Channel!
TGC_com - Thank you all for joining us today! Copyright TGC.com 2001
Getty Images

TT postscript: Tiger (E) survives difficult day

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 6:40 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Here are some observations after watching Tiger Woods’ even-par 70 in the first round of the Honda Classic:

• Whew, that was tough. Like, by far the most difficult conditions Woods has faced this year. The wind blew about 20 mph all day, from different directions, and that affected every part of the game, especially putting.

• And though the stats aren’t necessarily pretty – half the fairways hit, just 10 greens – this was BY FAR his best ball-striking round of the new year. He even said so himself. When he walked off the course, he was just four off the lead.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

• Woods had only one bad hole Thursday. It came on the par-5 third hole, his 12th of the day. He blew his driver into the right bunker. He had to lay way back, to clear the lip of the bunker. And then he tugged his third shot just barely in the greenside trap. And then his bunker shot didn’t get onto the green. Then he chipped on and missed a 4-footer. A truly ugly double bogey.

• The driver is still a concern – he found the fairway only once in five attempts. But only one of those misses was way off-line. That came on the 12th, when he double-crossed one way left.

• Though the driver is uncooperative, he has showed a lot of improvement with his 3-wood. The four times he used it, he controlled the ball flight beautifully and hit it 300-plus. His 2-iron is making a comeback, too, in a big way.

• After this round, he should have a little wiggle room Friday to make the cut, barring a blowup round. It’s playing tough, and the 36-hole cut should be over par. Tiger needs four rounds of competitive reps. If he plays like this Friday, he’ll get them. 

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 5:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Getty Images

Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

Getty Images

Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

Notables in the field:

Tiger Woods

• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

Rickie Fowler

• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

Rory McIlroy

• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13).