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