This month marks a celebration of 23 years Jeff Coston Golf Academy at Semiahmoo Golf Club! Being here with the members, staff and this super facility has been my honor and privilege! Thank you Semiahmoo for allowing me to spend much of my life here and hopefully much more.
Everyone wants to hit the golf ball further, no doubt! Hitting the golf ball straighter helps also. These last 23 years most everyone communicates, “I want to be more consistent; hit it farther; hit it straighter.”
We have, and will continue to, write about the proper plane, path and club face. We often over these 23 years have focused on shallowing the shaft on the downswing (most golfers have to steep an approach).
We have and will continue to communicate most golfers would be benefit with a slightly stronger grip in the fingers. Golfers also aim thier feet to the right of target and shoulders left; where feet left and shoulders right would be a better habit.
The 2017 Golf Schools took place June 22-23 and June 24-25, 2017. This was the 21st year of Jeff Coston and Mike Bender teaching the Golf Schools program at Semiahmoo Resort! Golf Schools will return in 2018.
I have been playing and coaching golf my entire life. Golf has been my passion since age 12. I have sought to play and coach golf as well as it can possibly be done. This passion in my life and journey has taken me to the PGA Tour, winning on the Web.com tour, playing the Champions Tour and having the most major wins in the history of Pacific Northwest Golf. I say that to say this, “I am a better coach than I am a player!” Golf is not what I do but rather who I am.
I leave for the Hawaii State Open next week. To win, one must make putts. I’d better win to pay for this trip! Here are some principles, drills and mindsets I use and coach to help players putt better. (myself included)
1. Great speed on any putt is a non-negotiable.
I would say proper speed on a putt of 15-40 feet is a wonderful first step to more success on the greens. Golfers focus 80% of their mind on line and 20% on speed. I believe it should be reversed. 80% speed/20% read. If a player has great speed they will eliminate many 3 putt greens. Golfers leave putts short and long, that is why they 3 putt. If a player has great speed, they can believe and trust much more. Hit 40 foot putts and “just roll your golf ball” like throwing a horse shoe or a baseball.
Get target focused and aware. Get more “out of your head” and “into the target.” Think athletic more than technique. A good image, “long putt, longer backstroke.” Not necessarily a longer through stroke.
Begin your putting practice with speed drills from long distance. 30-40 foot putts.
2. Get a good set up at address
See photo at left:
Hands below your shoulders.
Most people would do better with a shorter putter. Come see me and get a proper fit. Choke down on your putter, will be helpful.
Bend forward with your spine.
Hands forward at address (also keep them forward through the stroke)
3. Make more putts 5 feet and under
See photo at right:
Put a tee at 5 places on the green 3 feet around a hole. (3′, 5′, 7′) Call it the star drill. Take 5 golf balls and make 3 of 5 at each spot before you move on. Do the same drill at 5 feet and 7 feet at your 5 spots around the hole. You will improve.
4. Be mentally ”’TOUGH”
Commit to your read from 5 feet and in. Even if you are unsure of the break, get sure before you putt.
Develop a repetitive, reactive routine
Line the blade
Line the body
Hit the putt on the sweet spot of the putter each time. The sweet spot is the line on your putter. If you hit all putts solid on the sweet spot your ball will roll better and your speed will be more consistent.
Jeff Coston is a 20-time Pacific Northwest PGA Player of the Year. Jeff can be reached for appointment year-round by calling Semiahmoo Resort at 360-201-4590. Jeff also has a warm, dry academy building for year-round instruction.
As I write this, I’m on the flight back home from Orlando, Florida. I lived in Orlando while playing the PGA and Web.com Tours. It’s funny how Orlando does not seem like home although we lived there for over 15 years. Semiahmoo is home.
This week I played the National Senior Club Professional Championship in south Florida. I won 10 years ago! It doesn’t seem that long ago! Ouch! This year I shot 69-72-70-73 and finished T18. If you know me, you know I imagined better. Over 300 players from every state. With my finish, I qualified for The Senior PGA Championship next May in Washington D.C. This will be my 11th Senior PGA. I must be old!
I defend The Hawaii State Open for a week in December and celebrate 40 years of marriage with Diane! I know, she is amazing for putting up with me. December through February if you bring a new client to my warm and dry academy building for a lesson, you will receive $50 off your next lesson and your friend will also!
The winter is a super time to improve our golf! I know I will be improving my skills along with you.
Jeff Coston interviews Canadian PGA Pro Brian Jung.
Q1) You played division 1 college golf at Oregon State University, a very fine college career. Now you have turned professional. Have any aspects of your game improved since college? If so, what; how and why?
Brian: “Yes. The mental side of my game improved the most since I turned professional. It all started when I went to see Jeff Coston for the first time. Everytime I go see him, we would spend the first 10-15 minutes talking about the previous golf tournament.”
“I used to go to a golf tournament having high expectations and goals which made me anxious and nervous. But I learned that I cannot block these feelings or thoughts. The only way to overcome those interference was by telling the truth:
I have a great golf swing. I can start the ball somewhere and curve it. Depending on my game on that day, I can make that range bigger or smaller.
I have great speed on the green. I see and visualize the line and I simply react.
No hole, shot, or putt is more important than what I practice.”
“Knowing those truth, I am much freer on the course and golf is much simpler. I can just enjoy my time out there which translates to better mental game.”