Golf – Improving Your Pre-Shot Routine

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 82,918
    Chuck Will, PGA Director of Instruction at the Chuck Will Golf Academy, demonstrates how to improve your pre-shot routine.

    Charles Will

    Chuck Will is originally from Rockville, Maryland. Being the son of a State Department Official he had the opportunity to live and travel abroad. He played his junior golf at the former Washingtonian Country Club in Gaithersburg, Maryland where he quickly developed a love for the game. A three year varsity letterman in golf and captain of the team at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland was highlighted by qualifying individually for the Maryland State High School Championship in 1973. He graduated from Salisbury State University in 1977 with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. Having played all four years on the university’s golf team he earned the honors of team captain, most valuable player and held the school’s low scoring record. He began his golf professional career as an Assistant Golf Professional to Ernie Teague, an accomplished player and well known teacher, at Hyland Hills Country Club in Southern, Pines, North Carolina and Pine Lake Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was during this time that he developed his interest in the mechanics of the golf swing and a love for teaching all levels of golfers. He returned to the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 1980 to accept a position with Jack Walker as Teaching Professional and Assistant Manager at the newly opened Herndon Centennial Golf Course in Herndon, Virginia. During this period, he continued to hone his teaching and playing skills. In 1982 he achieved the singular honor of having the highest test score in the country on the PGA Business School II series exam and was elected to Class “A” membership in the Professional Golfer’s Association of America. Chuck Will - PGA Director of Instruction (cont'd) In 1987, he moved to the Reston Golf Course in Reston, Virginia as Head PGA Golf Professional. In 1989, he was elevated to Director of Golf Operations for both Reston Golf Course and Hidden Creek Country Club, also in Reston, Virginia. During this time he began to incorporate the use of high speed video swing analysis into his instructional programs. He also served as an Officer and Junior Golf Committee Chairman for the Middle Atlantic PGA Section’s board of directors. In 1996, after spending two years as General Manager and Head PGA Golf Professional at the Country Club of Newberry in Newberry, South Carolina, he made the decision to focus 100% of his time and efforts on becoming a “student of the game” and turned his efforts toward teaching full time. During the next couple years, he spent countless hours studying the swings of the world’s best players and researching all aspects and mechanics of the golf swing. His highly productive, result driven instruction style is a culmination of all his efforts. He also created a simple pitching and chipping system that can easily be incorporated into the games of any handicap level golfers. In 1998, with the aid of Dulles Golf Center’s owner, Bob Reiver, he established the Dulles Golf Academy. As PGA Director of Instruction, Chuck was responsible for developing all instructional programs. From it’s inception, Dulles Golf Academy has strived to provide for it’s students the best and most technologically advanced golf instruction available to date! In 1999, he completed a course of instruction with Advantage Golf of Rockville, Maryland to become a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor to further enhance his knowledge, teaching skills and ability to convey a better understanding of the “Body-Swing Connection” in the golf swing to his students. In addition to his teaching prowess, owner Bob Reiver recognized his business acumen by appointing him the facility's General Manager in December 1999. In March of 2004, Chuck and Patrick McGuire, one of his staff professionals, leased the Golf Shop concession from owner Bob Reiver and formed Will & McGuire Professsionals, LLC. Initially focusing on custom club fitting and retail sales, they have recently begun to expand into the corporate logo and tournament prize business. The Will & McGuire fitting center is technologically state of the art featuring the Vector Launch Monitor, Taylor-Made MATT System, Swing View Pro and P3Pro teaching software and this year’s addition of the new 3-D “IClub” Body Motion System for measuring body positions and energy transfer during the swing! Chuck has been selected as one of Golf Range Magazine’s “Top 50 Golf Instructors in America” for 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006, Golf Digest’s “Best Instructors in Your State” for 2007-2008 as well as to the Consumer’s Research Council of America - Guide to America’s Top Golf Instructors! In the fall of 2003, the Dulles Golf Academy officially changed its name to the Chuck Will Golf Academy! Each year as the Chuck Will Golf Academy and Will & McGuire Professionals continue to grow, teaching, however, will continue to be Chuck’s main focus and foremost love! Chuck Will - PGA Director of Instruction (cont'd) PGA Education PGA Business Schools I & II (1978 & 1982) Club Repair Workshop (1987) Playing Workshop (1987) Teaching Workshop (1987) PGA/GSO Merchandising Seminar (1989) Turf Grass Management (1992) PGA Service Middle Atlantic PGA Section Board of Directors Director, Middle Atlantic PGA (1992-1993) Secretary, Central Chapter (1992-1993) Eastern Director, Central Chapter (1991-1992) Director at Large, Central Chapter (1988-1990) Middle Atlantic PGA Section Committees Chairman, National Golf Month (1993) Chairman, Central Chapter Junior Golf Committee (1988-1993) Member, Section Education Committee (1987-1988) Honors and Awards PGA President’s Society (1989-1991) PGA Business School I - Top 10% test scorer in country PGA Business School II - Highest test scorer in country Captain, Salisbury State University Golf Team (1976, 1977) Most Valuable Player, Salisbury State University Golf Team (1975) Golf Range Magazine Top 50 Golf Instructors in America for 2003, 2004 & 2005 Consumer’s Research Council – Guide to America’s Top Golf Instructors 2003, 2004 & 2005 Teaching Philosophy Chuck feels that all golfers given the right combination of swing fundamentals for them are capable of significant improvement regardless of age, skill level or physical limitations. He uses a combination of computerized video swing analysis, a golf assessment and flexibility screening and club path analyzer data to gather the necessary information required to determine the swing type best suited for that individual. By finding the golfer’s best “Swing Type” he can then make the appropriate changes for success without totally overhauling their old swing. As a result, golfers can see immediate improvement by adjusting their old swing and minimizing their errors. Students also will get a greater understanding of what their own “tendencies” or “poor swing habits” are and how to correct as well as avoid them. Chuck uses a number of teaching aids and practice drills, both outdoors and indoors to help the student learn the new swing changes. He also feels strongly that the “On Range Indoor to Outdoor Video Studio” affords the best way to show the student the cause and effect a particular swing flaw can have on the overall golf swing and outcome of the shot. He also has an extensive digital library of PGA Tour Professionals that are used for comparison and to demonstrate the fundamental “common denominators” of all world class players. His use of on course playing lessons, physical conditioning as well as the mental aspects of the game balances out his instructional program and allows students to reach a new level of success and greatly achieve their full potential.

    Hi! My name is Chuck Will, PGA Director of Instruction at the Chuck Will Golf Academy. Today, we are going to go through our pre-shot routine, so that we get set correctly before we hit each golf shot. If you look at good players, they all get behind the ball and they look down towards their target. Here in our teaching studio, we use a mat here that has the lines or the grids already on the mat to allow for us to lineup correctly. If we were to trace a line out of my little stick out to my target down the range, thats going to be our target line. The target line is the most important line in golf; its the line that we use as a reference point throughout our whole setup routine. Okay, we learned the grip earlier, so first thing we are going to do is get our hands securely on the club with the correct grip, then we have to come straight into the ball, facing the ball, we are going to set the club down, bending forward from our hips. We want to keep our back straight.

    An easy way to keep your back straight is to push your chin up and your chest out, bend forward from the hip joint. I am extending my left arm to form the radius of the golf swing, as I measure away from the ball. My left foot or my lead foot is going to be flared to about 15-20 degrees towards the target. I have a six on here, so I am going to have the ball just a couple of inches inside my left heel. I then do my width of stance with my right foot, which would be squared up or perpendicular to my line to the target. My body line, my feet, my knees, my hips and my shoulders, should always be parallel to the line to the target. An easy way to remember that, just railway track. The run railway track is the line of the target the ball is on the other railway track is the line that we are on. And this is for all shots that we are trying to hit straight.

    If we were trying to curve the ball intentionally, we may intentionally line our shoulders left, club face to the target to hit our shot that goes left to right, but for normal straight shots, we want to try to get everything parallel left, or parallel to the target line. So again I get my good grip, I come straight into the ball, chin up, chest out then forward from the hips. Position my left foot for my ball position, my right foot for my width of stance, and then what I do is push down my thighs here. A lot of people try to bend their knees and they end up rocking forward or they bend forward too much.

    The easy way to create the correct amount of hip tilt in your setup, is to push down with your thighs here, you will feel your backside go back a little bit, your knees will bend, but not go forward, and then the last thing I have to do if my weight a little bit on my heels which it is here, I am going to shuffle my feet till they are just a little bit underneath my body. Now I am balanced, my weight should be about fifty-fifty. My right hand is lower than my left, so my spine will be tilted just slightly to the right. I should be able to see the back of the ball. Now I am ready to hit a good golf shot, I am balanced, I am lined up correctly and I am ready to take the club back to start the swing. So again, to review the setup; come straight into the ball, bend forward from your hips with your back straight, chin up, chest out, position your left foot for your ball position, right foot for your width of stance, push down with your thighs to get your balance and then adjust the centre of gravity, till the weight is underneath your body. An easy way to check your posture, if I let my hands hang straight down, my toes should be over or right underneath my hands hanging straight down and my hips should be directly below or directly above my heels. My knees would be flexed over the middle of my feet. Now my center of gravity is where I can keep my balance throughout the swing, very easy for me to rotate back and through; okay.

    Work on your grip, posture, your setup routine, when you hit those shots on the course, it takes a lot of pressure off. You know you are always setup right for a goods shot. Keep working on this, this will definitely help your golf game. Thank you.