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Mastery Concepts. CraftSmith Golf Academy Online Presentation By James F. Smith. Expect to Succeed. 90% of all swing errors are made before the club ever moves It takes zero talent and NO athletic ability to execute ALL pre-swing fundamentals

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Mastery Concepts

CraftSmith Golf Academy Online Presentation By

James F. Smith

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Expect to Succeed

  • 90% of all swing errors are made before the club ever moves

  • It takes zero talent and NO athletic ability to execute ALL pre-swing fundamentals

  • You have 100% control over 90% of the mistakes you will make

  • There is such a thing as a NATURAL swing … your task is to learn how to not fight your own body

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Consistency, NOT Perfection

You don’t have to make a perfect swing to play an acceptable shot

Golf is a game of controlled misses

If the fairway is 40 yards wide and you only slice the ball 15 yards, then you’re still playing from the fairway … it may be ugly, but it works!

A typical green is 30 yards wide by 30 yards deep … select the correct aiming point and if you don’t curve the ball more than 15 yards (a huge amount), then you don’t have to fix anything

Do the same thing, the same way, every time

Fix problems that need to be fixed on the driving range, not on the golf course … there’s a time to practice and there’s a time to PLAY!

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Play Old Man Golf Until You Learn

Old Pops hits his drive 150 somewhere on the fairway … young stud crushes one 300 yards BUT just barely into the trees

Pops bumps his 5 iron 150, the same distance he hits his driver but its just in front of the green … stud dud slashes an 8 iron fifteen feet from the hole, just barely catching the lip of the bunker

Pops chips on 30’ from the hole … our boy wonder finds a uphill, buried lie from which he launches a scud rocket across the green

Pops lags to four feet and “lucks” in a breaking putt … a pitch shot leaves our pro with a five footer and a tap in … they go to the next hole, and the next hole

Along the way Pops cozies up two or three pitches and chips and continues to make every short putt … Bobo, our discouraged and defeated warrior whacks, hacks and slashes his way around the track muttering “I just can’t get a break! By the way, what did you shoot?” Cool as ever Pops says “83.”

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The Laws of Motor Learning Science the MUST be Obeyed

There are three Major Concepts from Motor Learning Science Than Need to Be Known

  • Cognitive, Associative and Autonomous Stages of Learning

  • Whole, Part, Whole

  • Overlearning

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Stages of Learning


You don’t have a functional, fully developed mental picture of correct performance

Every movement is controlled by conscious thoughts about “how” to make the movement

You are controlled by trial and error … mistakes are just as important to your learning as successful shots

Your mind should be focused on gross rather than finer movements (ie. looking at the ball)

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Stages of Learning


Gross movements of the whole swing get broken down into specific positions and specific checkpoints of correct performance

You begin to make kinesthetic associations between specific checkpoints at specific positions and the fully developed mental picture of correct performance

Your mind is focused on specific “ques” … you are comparing what you remember feeling with to what you knew to be correct

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Stages of Learning


Your have practiced the movements of the swing, piece by piece, until you can now correctly execute almost every checkpoint of performance for every sub-position of the gross movement

Conscious thoughts seldom enter into the movement … you have mastered the movements and trust yourself to execute them

Conscious thoughts are associated with the elements related to a specific que or ques related to“timing”

You can concentrate on the strategic elements rather than the “how to” elements

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General Rules for Learning a Skill

What you learn is important, but how, when, and where you learn are also important … you must have a learning plan or you are condemning your own self to years of frustration!

This probably sounds pretty stupid, but what you learn must be correct … meaning there is a lot of bad instruction out there so be careful to whom you entrust your game

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Learning Precedes Skilled Performance

You cannot expect to see results on the scorecard or to consistently execute quality shots until you have made an intelligent, committed effort to master the minimum skills required by the game.

Almost everyone breaks this law. Consequently, 90% or all golfers cannot break 90 if they play by the rules

Learning to play well takes time, effort and a plan, but it doesn’t have to be torture.

Learning to play well can be as muchfun as going to the course

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Honest skills assessment, improve golf fitness and go back to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

Correct mental imagery for the whole swing … develop a repetitive whole “ sling” motion

Improve “feel” by developing a deadly short game

Break the whole swing down into its critical positions and correct specific errors

Put the swing back together by improving your “timing” fundamentals

Integrate every phase of your game … putting, chipping, pitching, sand and full swing with one Master Pre-swing Routine

A Six Month Plan for a Better Game

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Open Your Eyes and Learn to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

An essential element of science is observation

In order to understand the golf swing, we will first observe the motions of three pieces of playground equipment

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Learning By Watching to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

These pieces of playground equipment use the same principles of physics you will use to move the golf ball far and straight

Centrifugal Force

Leverage(Correctly Applied)

Angular Momentum

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To Swing Or Not To Swing to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

  • The seat of the swing follows an arc which is described / limited by the length of the rope … your clubhead follows the arc created by your arms and the shaft

  • What causes the seat to move … the tree limb or the child's muscles? So, what causes the club to move … your feet, your hands or your shoulders

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Sling, Don’t Swing to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

The Swing isn’t really a swing … more correctly … you SLING the club

The turning of the shoulders on an inclined plane around the nose creates a very powerful “slingshot” effect

Slinging the club gives the sling motion both power and accuracy

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The to square one with pre-swing fundamentalsMaster Swing Image

“Point your nose at where the ball was and let your arms fly through your nose!”

  • No “Peeking” … the chin comes up when the right shoulder catches it and turns it towards the target

  • Let the club fly away ..“throw” it away with reckless abandon

  • The Master Swing Image combines a mental understanding of what you must do right with a kinesthetic “feel” for the movement

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Four Critical Body Parts to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

  • Look at the ball:  Controlling Your Nose (looking at the ball) gives Your Swing Motion a "Center"

  • Turn tight:  Turning Your Shoulders in a Circle Around Your Nose Creates the Swing (Sling) Motion

  • Elbows down:  Controlling Your Elbows Causes the Swing Motion to Stay on Plane and Path

  • Thumbs up:  Controlling Your Thumbs Causes the Clubface to be "Square" to the Intended Target Line

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Critical Body Parts … Your to square one with pre-swing fundamentalsNose

Where your nose points is where your eyes are looking

Looking at where the ball was creates a stable “center” for the swing motion

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Critical Body Parts … Your to square one with pre-swing fundamentalsShoulders

Turn your shoulders in a circle around you nose

Your shoulders move like a merry-go-round, NOT like a teeter-totter

The muscles of the upper torso, not the arms or hands are the prime movers of the swing motion

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The Teeter-Totter and Merry-Go Round to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

Teach yourself … from your own observation of the golf swing

The motion of which piece of playground equipment better describes the correct movement of your shoulders during the swing

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Critical Body Parts … Your to square one with pre-swing fundamentalsElbows

Controlling the elbows gives the swing direction (swing path)

On each side of the swing, one elbow will be bent and one elbow should be fully extended

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Critical Body Parts … Your to square one with pre-swing fundamentalsThumbs

Controlling the thumbs controls the direction the clubface will be turned at impact

The thumbs are “on top” of the shaft anytime the arms are lower than the shoulders …”Sling the Handle”

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Critical Fundamental: Posture to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

Posture creates the possibility for a NATURAL, FREE-FLOWING SLING

Butt Up … Who’s the fool who keeps everyone “sitting on a barstool”; your knees are barely flexed

Chest Down … Bow over enough that your shoulders can turn in a circle around your nose

Chin and Shoulders Back … get you chin up off your chest; feel like you’re about to do a back dive from the edge of the pool

Arms “Hangle” … don’t “reach” for the ball; allow your arms to hang and dangle from your shoulders

Weight Balanced … on the balls of your feet which is just behind you big toe joint

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Critical Fundamental: Posture to square one with pre-swing fundamentals

Posture creates the possibility for a NATURAL, FREE-FLOWING SLING

It is Easy To Control Your Critical Body Parts

Look at the ball

Turn your shoulders

Allow your elbows to fold

Keep your thumbs on top

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Address … start wrong and you’re playing catch-up the rest of the way …get this right or go play ping pong

Takeaway … you can shoot yourself in the foot before the club moves 12 inches

Half Way Back … every mistake you are going to make can be seen at this point

Three Quarters Back … full weight transfer or big problems

At the Top … same place, same way, every time … put the club in the wrong place and you pay!

What about the “Critical Parts” of the forward Swing? …

Critical Swing Positions

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What about the “Critical Parts” rest of the way …get this right or go play ping pongof the forward Swing? …

There are four positions that can be analyzed for the forward swing … release point, impact, follow-through and finish

Analyzing any of these positions ONLY gives you information about what has ALREADY gone right or wrong … errors seen at this point in the swing are results, not causes

Critical Swing Positions