David Leadbetter - Chat Transcript

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 13, 2001, 5:00 pm
TGC_com - Welcome to tonight's Live Chat with TGC Troubleshooter David Leadbetter. We will begin at 10:15 PM ET.
TGC_com - Please feel free to post your question now. We will hold it until the chat begins! Please keep your questions short and to the point. Enjoy tonight's chat!
TGC_com - We're almost ready to start...we'll begin in just a minute!
TGC_com - Here we go!

britaycl- I'm trying to go from an 8 handicap to a scratch. what sort of training regimen would you recommend?
David_L - 1.if one feels one has the talent one needs to cover all the basics which means putting yourself in the hands of a competent teacher 2. working on your fitness level your strength, flexibility and cardiovascular and then designing your program in such a way that you have the time to work on the many different aspects required to be a zero handicapped player
rb2635- Is ball position a major contributor to lack of contact?
David_L - ball position no question can be a problem basically though in my opinion ball position tends to relate to the way were swinging in other words if we slice the ball we tend to have the ball to forward in the stance to off set the out to in swing.
David_L - a hooker of the ball, ball position back in their stance. For a slicer one should focus on moving the ball back in order to make solid contact and to encourage the club swinging from the inside.
David_L - a hooker should move the ball forward to encourage the swing on a straight line and certainly if you're hitting the ball fat i would suggest you put the ball back in your stance.
Britaycl - I have a 3 year old daughter who loves the game of golf. What kind of games can i give her to keep her interested?
David_L - above all else keep the game fun my suggestion is to work on and around the greens. Setting up little holes making each hole a par 4 and seeing what she can score. Make the hole no longer than 30 yards.
rb2635- Why is it that most amateurs can hit the 3wd better than the driver?
David_L - the loft on a driver combined with the length of the shaft makes it more difficult for amateurs especially those who are steep on the ball one can get away with hitting down on the ball more with a 3 wood than with a driver.
Bluetees - What is the best way to work on rhythm and tempo?
David_L - 2 simple tips. Relax your grip and arm pressure at address and breathe out during the whole swing. You'll find your swing tempo will be timed to your breathing.
SB - David, I have changed to a 10-finger grip and seem to be hitting the ball consitantly straighter, is it Ok to change to this grip? I am a 16 hdcp.
David_L - it perfectly acceptable Bob Rosberg is a player who has used this grip just make sure your hands stay together and work as a unit
Art - What type of putter do you use and why?
David_L - i use an odyssey putter triforce 3 model its well balanced and i love the insert.
EricCW - I hook my irons very badly and cannot seem to get them straight. Can you help me with some drills to correct this problem?
David_L - push your hands forward at the address make sure you feel your left hand is leading the clubface at impact as a drill hit 7 irons splitting your hands 2 inches apart this will give you the feeling of reducing your hand action though impact and keeping the clubface square
Art - Have you worked with Greg Norman this week? If yes, how is he hitting it and how do you like his chances to win on the Bay Hill course (where he used to live and be a member)?
David_L - i worked with Greg at the end of last week and I'm seeing him tomorrow, he feels very confident bay hill should be a good golf course for him and the only thing that could possibly hold him back is his limited number of tournament appearances so far this year. he's very excited about the year, he's back to full health doing well and i expect to see him in contention to win some tournaments shortly.
Mills - I began golf last year at age 56. I practice once a week. My little fingers always hurt the next day. Any suggestions?
David_L - it sounds your grips may be too thick i suggest having your grip thickness fixed, a ladies grip may help.
Amateurg - What are your thoughts on putting cross handed or 'the claw' grip?
David_L - with putting whatever works is crucial and certainly at times players get too handsy with their stroke so these grips are good to try.
TGC_com - Thanks for joining us tonight...we've got about 20 more minutes with David. You can check out his website at www.davidleadbetter.com
Blake - David, I get the club extremely shut at the top; and get stuck on the way down. How do I correct this? Thanks, Blake
David_L - firstly try weakening your right hand grip, secondly feel your left thumb under the shaft of the top of the backswing and finally sense that the back of your right wrist is at a straight line not cupped
Davieboy - Hopefully, I will be a college player next year. My swing has really improved but my scores haven't dropped that much and I would like to know what you suggest ?
David_L - the key really is to be able to have a safe shot work on hitting left to right shots your driver to keep the ball in play. most poor scores are the result of driving the ball badly. So you need a safe shot also work hard on making your short game sharp and finally think about playing more as opposed to practicing.
Accord1 - David, could you please tell us about your new venture Champions Gate?
David_L - champions gate is a 36 hole resort, designed by Greg Norman and we have outstanding practice facilities, indoor, outdoor, computer areas, top grade short game facilities, and all of this within 10 minutes of Disney world in Orlando, Florida. Come visit us.
Tracer - David- I am of stocky build and have an abbreviated backswing. How do I get more power into my shots without over swinging and losing control? Thanks.
David_L - the important thing is to maximize your turn. And get behind the ball. Encourage your right side to turn out of the way on the backswing. And make sure your shirt buttons are on top of your right leg on the top. Turning and coiling in this manner will provide more power while still keeping the swing relatively short.
TGC_com - We've got about 10 minutes left with David Leadbetter. You can call more info. on David and Champions Gate at 1-888-633-LEAD.
Ping - Good Evening everyone. Mr. Leadbetter, I have noticed lately that I am finishing on my toes. Does that mean I have stopped my turn early, or is it that I might be hanging on my right side to long.
David_L - it sounds like the swing is too steep on the downswing working to much out to in practice hitting balls with the ball above your feet this will encourage you to keep the weight more on your heels and to swing the ball on a shallower angle.
JustinB - Mr. Leadbetter what has been the most influential change in the game of golf since you began teaching?
David_L - no question, the video camera having the ability to view swings in slow motion and being able to see the sequence of motion it enable teachers to get to the root cause of the problem quickly.
Wentman - David, do you feel that Charles is battling some of the same swing problems that Tiger had early in his career. i.e. problems with distance control?
David_L - to some extent yes. this is a problem many power hitters face. but its always good when you're young to hit it far and then work on control as opposed to say Nick Faldo who worked on control when he was young as a result never really accrued any power.
Pro V1 - How did Ty Tryon average over 290 yards off the tee while weighing a mere 135 pounds?
David_L - i have worked with Ty since he was 7 years old, and his athleticism and great technique allowed him to hit the ball so far. This combined with modern equipment is enabling young athletes to hit the ball vast distances.
TGC_com - We have time for just two more questions.
TurfStuf - What makes a good student?
David_L - a good student is one who is open minded, listens well, and applies himself and paints a clear picture, or blue print of what they are trying to achieve.
Lawyer - What percentage of the game of golf is technical, and how much is mental?
David_L - i think it varies depending on the situation certainly close to tournament time it is far more mental, working up to tournament is more technical. However, in my opinion, the better the technical side is, the easier the mental side is to achieve. Basically, its a blend. When the technique is good, the mental should be more of a priority. When its not, you have to work on your golf swing.
TGC_com - We'd like to thank David Leadbetter for taking the time during this busy week to join us tonight for this live chat on TheGolfChannel.com.
David_L - i appreciate all the golfers logging on, and i hope some of these thoughts help you to play better golf. Bye for now.
TGC_com - You can call more information on David and Champions Gate at 1-888-633-LEAD or check out his website at www.davidleadbetter.com
TGC_com - Thank you all for joining us tonight and bearing with the slight technical difficulties earlier on!
TGC_com - Be sure to watch Jim McLean tomorrow night at 8PM ET as we continue Tune Up Your Game Week on The Golf Channel!
TGC_com - Copyright TGC.com 2001
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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

“I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

“There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

“I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

“If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

“It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

“I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

“If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”