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

Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

Getty Images

Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

Getty Images

Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

Getty Images

Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”