Amber and I returned to the Butch Harmon School of Golf for another awesome experience. Although I’ve had a bit of pain in my joints on my left hand, my shoulder and hand pain was minimal. I was concerned that it would increase, but the coaches at Butch Harmon School helped by creating several solutions that helped prevent this and also some great tips. It’s always a great honor to play and learn from Butch Harmon.
There are several great lessons I learned from Butch Harmon School’s 2 day courses, but the big top 10 take-aways are:
First of all, I learned how to properly hit out of the sand for short shots by keeping my club face open, staying low to the ground, doing a full swing, hitting behind the ball 1-2 inches, but not grabbing a bunch of dirt
Secondly, I learned how to improve my swing a lot with a tighter/stronger grip. Butch told me to make sure I see my knuckles when I swing the golf club.
Third, I adjusted my grip to be a 10 finger grip and it helped me release.
Fourth, I got a great game to play for putting down-hill whereby you try to hit passed an invisible line 1 foot before the hole, but not more than a foot after the hole.
Fifth, I got a new Bionic glove and thick cushy gel-like Winn grips for my clubs. I took the woods, drivers, and sand-wedges of my titlelists, but gripped my old Taylormade irons because they are easier to play with.
Sixth, I learned a bunch of short – game shots for pitching and practiced keeping my face open enough to hit proper shots, including the ginzu shot whereby you pull back after you hit (my wife says Hiya like a ninja when doing this shot).
Seventh, I focused on my release a lot with stretching out my arms further when hitting the ball and towards right field to get the most distance.
Eighth, I focused a lot on body mechanics in my swing, including where Butch made it so that there is a club that could fit between my arms, I swung through 2 boxes on each side of my swing path, and made stronger body rotation with proper weight shift (including moving my pelvis forward).
Ninth, I focused on a calm body on the back-swing and a strong shift in weight and body after on the way down.
Tenth, when doing fairway bunker shots, I imagined the ball was 6 inches passed the ball to let the ball get in the way and get a rocket-ship style of distance.
Overall, I had a great improvement with a regular drive going 180-200+ yards. We had a lot of time to hangout with all of the coaches, all of which helped a lot. During lunch, Amber and I swapped stories with Butch, and we also had a great 9 holes playing with Nick Helwig. It was a great overall experience and I learned so much and was totally exhausted after this 16 hour school. Don Callahan helped a lot with short game. Nick and Don helped with putting. Vic Wilk and Greg LaBelle helped a lot with sand-trap work. Greg was the one that convinced me to trial the 10 finger grip. Shawn Callahan and Dongki Yang with his coach were also there to help out.
It was also a fun experience hearing stories from everyone, including old PGA Tour stories and Tiger Woods learning lessons. Vic had an interesting story whereby he got invited to Day 3 of a Pro-Am at his home course and shot a 65 to help his amateurs win. I also met a few interesting other player students. There are oftentimes entrepreneurs, PGA tour players, Moroccan royalty, and even super-star kids as classmates. Amber and I played with all of them, but we also had a few people that had never played golf with us; however, most of them were not beginners. It was interesting though to compare our skills with each person and show how much we have progressed in golf.
Random stat: I am hitting much further and more consistently from the start of class to the end, but, more importantly, I am extremely glad about the glove and new grips that I believe will help prevent my pain/injury.