January 2013 Newsletter

Newsletter – January 2013



I am announcing right now that I will have a very special golf clinic on Sunday, February 3rd here at the Chi Chi Golf Range & Family Sports Complex.  It will be a clinic with PGA of America and World Golf Teacher’s Hall of Famer, Manuel de la Torre.  The morning session will be from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.  There will be a one-hour presentation by Manuel with Q & A plus a private 30 minute lesson for all participants.  There is a limit of only 4 participants and cost will be $125 per person.  There will also be an afternoon session from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the same set up.  Call me at (727) 692-4679 to sign up for either the morning clinic or the afternoon clinic.

I also have spots available for my Ladies-Only Golf Clinic on 4 consecutive Thursday mornings (Jan. 3, 10, 17 & 24) from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. which will cover all fundamentals and is great for new golfers.  Cost is only $40 total.

I will again do the Get Golf Ready Ladies 5-Day Boot Camp which will be 5 consecutive days (Wed., Jan. 16 – Sun. Jan. 20) with the Wed., Thur., & Fri. clinics from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Sat. clinic from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and then Sunday, the final day, on the golf course from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Total cost is only $99 and includes everything.

The Junior Golf Skills Challenge will be on Sundays (Jan. 6, 13, 20 & 27) from Noon to 1:30 p.m. where I use contests to teach the skills needed to play good golf.  Ages 8 to 14 only and the total cost is $44.

We will have FREE LESSON FRIDAY in January beginning this Friday, Jan. 4th and it will be from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  We will briefly discuss a certain area of the game and then do free 5-minute lessons for participants.  Topics will be: Jan. 4 – bunker play, Jan. 11 – the Driver, and Jan 25 – iron play.


Now for some help for your pitch shots around the green.  First a question: why does the ball get off the ground when you play a pitch shot with your sand wedge?  Now for a second question: why do so many players hit the ground behind the ball or miss the grass completely and “blade” the ball across the green when attempting a pitch shot near the green?

If you understand the answer to both questions then your pitching should be as good as the time you have to devote to practice.

First answer: the ball gets off the ground because the manufacturer made the clubface at an angle and that angle we call the loft of the club.  Getting the ball up in the air has nothing to do with the golfer.  The golfer just needs to brush the grass and the loft angle takes care of the trajectory of the shot.  Second answer: the golfer has a mental picture of the ball getting up high in the air and the muscles react to this picture by trying to get under the ball, an impossible task because the ground is in the way, or by trying to scoop the ball up thus making the clubhead rise and having the leading edge of the clubface strike the middle or the top of the golf ball sending it racing across the green.

Hitting these “fat” or bladed pitch shots has nothing to do with “picking up your head,” it has to do with the MENTAL PICTURE INSIDE YOUR HEAD!  I want you to picture the ball going low and rolling along the ground to the hole on your next pitch shot and remind yourself that all you need to do is brush the grass with your swing.  Be patient with yourself as you have likely spent a lot of reps trying to lift the ball so it will take some reps to hold the MENTAL PICTURE OF THE BALL GOING LOW.  It may help to visualize a mound or your golf bag lying on the ground a few yards in front of your ball and picture the ball going low and hitting the mound or the side of your golf bag.  First you must get this new mental picture and your swing mechanics will improve quickly on your pitch shots.


As always, email: jh@johnhayesgolf.com or call (727) 692-4679 with your questions or comments and I hope to see you soon on the lesson tee in beautifulClearwater,Florida.