Need 'away game'? David Leadbetter has a new 7-minute plan for you

By Mike BaileyDecember 16, 2013, 9:25 pm

If you find that travel and consistency in your golf game don't seem to go together, you might be interested in the latest book project from teaching guru David Leadbetter.

Leadbetter, who has written eight other books, produced countless videos and has taught scores of the world's top players, knows that it's tough for people to find time to practice and to practice properly. For those who travel a lot, this can be especially difficult, but Leadbetter has a new book that addresses the best ways to use what little practice time you have to create a more consistent game.

The working title is "Seven Minutes to a Better Golf Swing," which will probably be published in the spring. It introduces golfers to a lower maintenance, more compact, synched-up swing that promises more accurate results with much less practice time. It will paired with a couple of training aids, including a short club that golfers can use at their home or in the hotel room to work on drills.

"I'm a big believer in having a couple of little drills to keep the feel going," Leadbetter said.

For people who don't have much time to practice, it's all about creating "feel" efficiently, he said. And even if you did have a lot of time, Leadbetter doesn't recommend pounding golf balls on the range. In fact, he says, you'd be better off warming up with your short game and making half swings on the range, than pounding out a bunch of 7-irons and drivers. It usually translates into better rhythm and mechanics in the full swing.

A few years ago, Leadbetter said, he asked the late, great Byron Nelson how much he practiced during his PGA Tour record 11 straight tournament wins in 1945. The answer was somewhat surprising. 

"Not at all," Leadbetter recalled Nelson telling him. "I was so afraid I was going to lose the feel. All I did was hit a few balls to loosen up. After a round, I did nothing. I was in such a good frame of mind. I had such a good feel for what I was doing.'"

In other words, when it's going well, hitting lots of balls is often a mistake. Golfers have a tendency to work into something they didn't intend, which leads to inconsistency. And when it is going poorly, it's also unlikely that you'll find the answer in the dirt, he said. More than likely, there are swing faults involved, and what you need is a lower maintenance swing, which is the crux of the new book.

One of the most consistent over the years was none other than Calvin Peete. Had he been a good putter, Leadbetter said, there's no telling how many majors he would have won. For 10 straight years (1981-91), Peete led the tour in driving accuracy.

His secret, other than having a right elbow that was fused because of a fracture that was never properly set, was the efficient way he swung the club, which serves as the model for what Leadbetter is teaching in his new book. In a nutshell, the backswing is shorter, the clubface stays closed for a longer period of time and there are fewer moving parts. And it's certainly easier to practice, about seven minutes, in fact.

As for other advice for travelers, Leadbetter is a big believer in flexibility and stability. He has a few exercises for both, including one where you get in a seated position against a wall and hold that position.

"If you want a good golf swing, you have to have stability in your lower body," said Leadbetter, whose academy is headquartered at ChampionsGate in Orlando.  "Just sit against a wall -- even if you can only do it for 10 seconds. You'd be amazed how strong your quads get, going 10-15 seconds without a chair. Try to build it up to 30 seconds or a minute."

Doing the drills and exercises creates real feel. It becomes instinctive, not like a conscious thought.

And if you lose your feel, just hit some wedge shots. Don't hit every club in the bag, Leadbetter said.

"Make some half swings, 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock – just get that feeling of good solid contact," he said. "Get your rhythm going and your confidence going. You'd be amazed at how much that helps."

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Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

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Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.

Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

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What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Travelers purse payout: Bubba, Cink close low, earn big

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

Bubba Watson shot 63 on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship. He took home the trophy, but he wasn't the only player to earn a big payday. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC River Highlands:

1 Bubba Watson -17 $1,260,000
T2 Stewart Cink -14 $462,000
T2 Beau Hossler -14 $462,000
T2 J.B. Holmes -14 $462,000
T2 Paul Casey -14 $462,000
T6 Kevin Tway -13 $234,500
T6 Brian Harman -13 $234,500
T6 Russell Henley -13 $234,500
T9 Chase Seiffert -12 $189,000
T9 Bryson DeChambeau -12 $189,000
T9 Anirban Lahiri -12 $189,000
T12 Rory McIlroy -11 $147,000
T12 Ryan Blaum -11 $147,000
T12 Jason Day -11 $147,000
T15 Charley Hoffman -10 $115,500
T15 Patrick Cantlay -10 $115,500
T15 Danny Lee -10 $115,500
T15 Kyle Stanley -10 $115,500
T19 Brooks Koepka -9 $79,000
T19 Fabian Gomez -9 $79,000
T19 David Lingmerth -9 $79,000
T19 Zach Johnson -9 $79,000
T19 Emiliano Grillo -9 $79,000
T19 Matt Jones -9 $79,000
T19 Jamie Lovemark -9 $79,000
T26 Sam Ryder -8 $49,700
T26 Si Woo Kim -8 $49,700
T26 Richy Werenski -8 $49,700
T26 Blayne Barber -8 $49,700
T26 Steve Marino -8 $49,700
T26 Peter Malnati -8 $49,700
T26 Patrick Rodgers -8 $49,700
T33 Alex Cejka -7 $39,550
T33 Tyler Duncan -7 $39,550
T33 Kevin Streelman -7 $39,550
T36 Seamus Power -6 $35,175
T36 James Hahn -6 $35,175
T38 Scott Stallings -5 $30,800
T38 Russell Knox -5 $30,800
T38 Brandon Harkins -5 $30,800
T38 Lanto Griffin -5 $30,800
T42 Adam Hadwin -4 $24,500
T42 J.J. Henry -4 $24,500
T42 Jordan Spieth -4 $24,500
T42 Mackenzie Hughes -4 $24,500
T42 Brett Stegmaier -4 $24,500
T47 Billy Hurley III -3 $17,578
T47 Vaughn Taylor -3 $17,578
T47 Sam Saunders -3 $17,578
T47 Kelly Kraft -3 $17,578
T47 Keegan Bradley -3 $17,578
T47 J.J. Spaun -3 $17,578
T47 Wesley Bryan -3 $17,578
T47 Denny McCarthy -3 $17,578
T47 Scott Brown -3 $17,578
T56 Ryan Armour -2 $15,680
T56 Keith Mitchell -2 $15,680
T56 Ken Duke -2 $15,680
T56 Justin Thomas -2 $15,680
T56 Hunter Mahan -2 $15,680
T61 John Huh -1 $14,910
T61 Martin Laird -1 $14,910
T61 Steve Wheatcroft -1 $14,910
T61 James Driscoll -1 $14,910
T61 Tom Lovelady -1 $14,910
T61 Nick Hardy -1 $14,910
T67 Daniel Berger E $14,350
T67 Trey Mullinax E $14,350
T69 Cameron Tringale 1 $14,000
T69 Kyle Thompson 1 $14,000
T69 Ethan Tracy 1 $14,000
T72 Dominic Bozzelli 2 $13,650
T72 Martin Flores 2 $13,650
74 Padraig Harrington 4 $13,440