The QATSPY Golfer’s Sports Page: Golf Swing Tips
By: Charles W. Boatright
QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique to Improve the Golfer’s Swing
The golfer to see significant improvement in their golf game, needs to develop a mental coach approach and baseball-style golf swing technique on/off the course. How you play golf should replicate how you practice. One of the best techniques the golfer can use both on the course and in practice is the baseball-style golf swing. In the on-deck circle, the batter uses a donut, or weight (overload training), to help develop power, but more importantly control. The weight gives the golfer more mental control over their golf swing.
Yogi Berra and Bobby Jones, both from different sports, understood the importance of being their own mental coach to develop a great baseball swing or golf swing, respectively. I would think that Yogi would make a great golf swing coach, as well. At least he would have been entertaining you with his Yogi-isms. One Yogi-isms summed up the mental coach part of golf in his reference to baseball. Yogi stated, “Baseball is 90 percent mental, and the other half is physical.” Bobby Jones also made an accurate observation about the importance of being a mental coach in golf. “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears.” If it is played between the ears, it is also should be practiced between the ears to develop the golfer’s muscle memory.
Yogi Berra also had a Yogi-isms concerning muscle memory- How can you think and hit at the same time? The answer is, you can’t. The golfer has to develop muscle memory.
One of the best mental coach method to engage the mind is with mental images and colors. In engineering school, we had a professor who stressed that a great method to solve problems was being able to draw the problem out in color. I still have all of my notebooks from college that contained colorized drawing that helped me solve structural design problems. I used the same approach in my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. The QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique develops a simple mental golf coaching technique to help the golfer develop a golf swing coach perspective in their golf game. One technique I developed in the QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique is using colors from a traffic light to predict the results of three basic swing-types of golf shots– full, chip, and the pitch.
The color codes give me more mental control over each golf shot than trying to execute a chip or pitch shot alone without using color codes. Sports psychologists refer to this process as Sports Mental Imagery. This mental coach technique allows the golfer to treat each shot as an individual shot, because of the color code system used and applied. Color engages the golfer’s subconscious mind, the mental coach, is actually responsible for actually making the golf shot. Here’s how the color code works in my golf swing coach App:
Red– Pitch shot, a shot the golfer wants to make that stops the ball on the green on impact, or even causes the ball to back up.
Orange or Orange- Chip shot, a shot the golfer wants to make where the golf ball hits and runs out on to the green, like an airborne putt.
Green– Full regular shot, a shot the golfer wants to have full range of speed and power off the tee box or from the fairway into the green.
Engaging the Golfer’s Subconscious Mind, The Golfer’s Mental Coach
If the golfer wants to fully engage the strongest component in their golf game, their mental coach, they have to involve the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is most effective by working off color images. You will see a vast improvement in your golf game by using colors and another technique I like to use, using a baseball-style golf swing in my practice. I like to think I’m standing in the batter’s box during these sessions and focusing on the Strike Zone. Because there should be only one person between your ears, or batter’s box, you as the golfer, not your coach, not the golf course, not the conditions, and especially not your opponent. Your batter’s box is yours. No one comes into your box.
An important approach to improve your golf game is to make the golfer’s practices and course play similar by being the mental coach, or what I call the QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique. This QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique can be missing from your golf practice sessions. The QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique is governed by The Mental Rules for Golf No. 7- The subconscious mind always prevails in conflicts with the conscious mind.
If the golfer routinely practices, which is a conscious effort, and relies either on their golf coach or doesn’t use the self-coaching technique; they will not be able to carry their practice to the golf course. Because the subconscious mind detects the difference between practice and the course. So what you practice doesn’t make it to the golf course. Once the golfer is on the golf course, they don’t have the Coaching Factor element available to them. This is because the subconscious mind (the golfer’s mental coach) that is responsible for how the golfer will perform on the golf course is missing.
The Critical Swing Path, Elements of the QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique
The Critical Swing Path is a important part of the QATSPY Golf Coaching Technique that refers to the three key muscles that are used to initiate the golf swing by Syncing the golfer’s elbow and Presetting golfer’s wrists. The Critical Swing Path doesn’t refer to the path that the club head or club handle takes along the certain swing plane. The Critical Swing Path refers to developing the golfer’s muscle memory with the Hypothenar, Pronator Quadratus and the right Brachio-Radialis muscle (in reference to the right hander). The third component, the Brachio-Radialis muscle, is used to take the club up to the top of the golf swing. This allows the golfer to use their elbows and shoulders as gears, as shown in the illustration below, with the blue gear representing the elbow gear and the yellow gear representing the shoulder gear.
The word Espy in my book means to uncover, reveal, or to make known. The term Espy also indicates three natural or Ergo elements mentioned in the previous paragraph used to set up the golf swing. The word ESPY in my book means:
- E– Ergonomics, or Ergo, for natural elements used to sync and preset the golfer’s swing.
- S– Supination, or sync the golf club, thumbs, wrists, and elbows with the shoulders. This allows the golfer to properly coil the core muscles and take stress off the lower back. A lot of golf swings have the hands, forearms, and arms moving with the shoulders and torso. This type of golf swing places a tremendous amount of torque on the lower back. What happens is that the shoulders, arms, forearms, hands, and golf club rotate together, twisting at the lower lumbar area. The better option is to allow the golfer to synchronize their golf swing. This allows the shoulders and upper torso to coil at a different rate than the lower torso, hips, and quads. The hips will coil about a third amount of the shoulders.
- P– Pronation, or presetting the wrists, is placing the hands and the handle of the golf club onto the correct swing plane. This allows the golfer to engage the low-threshold and slow-twitch muscles in the forearms and arms first. This in turn engages the high-threshold and fast-twitch muscles in the torso, hips, and quads. For more information on the various muscle types, please see my article: https://goo.gl/8dlmru.
- Y– Yaw is an aviation term that means a horizontal rotation around a vertical axis. This is the coiling of the torso, hips, and quad muscles when the golfer takes the club handle up along the swing plane. Think about the balsa wood rubber band airplane and how the propeller is rotated with the finger, as the screw turns the rubber band. Most of the tension is near the propeller, or shoulders.
The golfer, the mental coach, can rest assured that if they properly sync, preset the wrists in the golf swing first, the wrists will automatically un-cock right at the correct time and point. Another issue removed from the thinking anxiety as stated by Yogi Berra.
Baseball-Style Golf Swing Technique Applied to the Golf Swing
I discovered that the best method to teach others was to take advantage of what is called incremental, or Context-Based learning. Incremental learning allows the golfer to take advantage of a previous experience, i.e., baseball-style golf swing. From the footage of time-lapse photography that I studied, I detected similarities between the baseball swing and the golf swing that could not be denied or disputed. If the golfer placed a golf ball on an elevated tee, like in tee-ball practice in baseball, the golfer’s swing just got dramatically simplified. This was a technique used by my golf coach, H.Q. Boatright.
As a golf swing coach or golfer, If you want to see the light bulb come on, just take a golf ball and place it on a baseball tee. Baseball swing coaches in the MLB use this form of batting practice with great success and results. The mental coach, the golfer’s subconscious mind, needs to understand how the handle of the club isn’t the bat. Instead, the head of the golf club represents the bat. The shaft is just an extension of the golfer’s arm and forearms. By placing the golf ball on an elevated tee, at waist level, the golfer can understand the Critical Swing Path and know exactly what to do with the bat, or in the golfer’s case the golf club, once they understand this orientation.
The Mental Rule of Golf No. 6 states- Finding proofs to your beliefs strengthens them: During the golfer’s practice sessions, the golfer needs to take a page out of the baseball coach play book and set up a tee-ball practice. This golf practices reinforces the subconscious procedure and routine to make the golfer’s swing a more natural response and reinforce the muscle memory.
How a Vietnam War P.O.W. used His Mental Coach to Maintain His Health and Golf Game
In Colonel Hall’s case, he had to bring the virtual golf ball up from the prison cell floor to his hands. This similar to what a golf swing coach and/or golfer needs to do right off the bat. This allowed the golfer to develop the feel for the mechanics in their golf swing, as Colonel Hall did. This is exactly what the ESPY App does. It allows the golfer to take the baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box. One of the biggest advantages of using the baseball-type swing in golf is the fine motor-skills that are developed at an early age.
What the ESPY App does is that it teaches the golfer how to use the thumbs to indicate the swing plane and control the clubface at impact. The thumbs provide three major components in the golfer’s swing for distance and control– swing plane, horizontal force, and being square at impact.
This allows the golfer to develop critical muscle memory to improve, without the negative effects of nerves or swing thoughts. Swing thoughts are the last thing the golfer wants to have over a shot. Once the golfer steps into the batter’s box at address, they are relying solely on their muscle memory and not swing thoughts. As their own golf swing coach, the golfer needs to develop muscle memory under the same conditions as they will play under.
For more information on how you can become your own golf coach on and off the course, purchase your copy of the ESPY Golf Swing Coach: