Rip One Golf- Golf Instruction, Golf Coaching, Golf Classes and Golf Lessons in Austin, TX

Garry Rippy Golf offers golf lessons, golf coaching, golf instruction, golf classes and golf schools in Austin, TX. This blog contains golf instruction articles, golf tips and golf instruction videos by Garry Rippy, PGA.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Barton Creek Golf Academy named as "Top 10 Winter Golf School Destination in the U.S."

We were recognized as a Top 10 Winter Golf School Destination in the U.S. by Golf Advisor.
Click on the link below for the article.

Call us (512-396-5805) for more information on our schools or we can customize a program for individuals and groups.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Toss to a Better Swing

This is a great drill for the beginning golfer as well as the golfer that may be in a slight slump.

Sometimes you just have to let go of all the mechanical thoughts and relate the swing to something we have all done.  That "something" would be tossing a ball underhanded (using your dominate hand).  The motion used for tossing is very similar to the golf swing as there is arm swing, body turn and weight shift.

There are four parts to this drill.

The first part of the drill is to toss a ball underhanded to a target about 20 yards in front of you.  The ball should be tossed nice and high and come down soft.  You can see how my weight is shifting to my left side prior to starting the downward motion of my right arm.  At the finish, my weight is totally on my left leg and I am in balance as I face the target.

The second part of the drill is to take your set up position and toss a ball underhanded to the same target as above.  From the top of the backswing to the finish, the body must rotate so you can finish with all of your weight on the left leg as pictured. 

In the third part of the drill you will replace the ball in your dominate hand to a wedge.  Before hitting a ball take numerous practice swings until you can finish in balance.  Once you can accomplish this, tee up a ball and hit some shots with only the dominate hand on the club.  Grip down on the club so it won't feel quite so heavy.  The goal is the hit the ball about 30-50 yards depending on your coordination and strength level.  You should "clip" the ball off the tee without a divot.

The finish of your swing is the most important part of this drill.  These two finishes would be incorrect and indicate more work is needed to finish in balance.

Now you are ready for the fourth and last part of the drill.  Using a wedge, hit balls as normal and see how your positions match up to the prior drills.  Again, the finish is the most important part!  In this portion of the drill you are trying to hit your shots about 75% of your full swing.  In fact, for a better balanced finish, you are going to find a smooth swing makes it easier to accomplish.  Look how the positions below match up to tossing the ball underhanded.

I recommend spending about 30-45 minutes going through all four parts of the sequence.  Before long you will begin to feel your swing develop as you focus more on rhythm and balance.  Another benefit of this drill is you will learn to feel the correct hand action through the swing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Find your Perfect Backswing!

This is a great drill to help you find "your" perfect backswing.  This drill will help you establish more width and will help you find the proper length of backswing.  Depending on your body build and flexibility, this drill will allow you to only go back as far as you comfortably can. 

One of the biggest issues I see is allowing the left arm to over bend on the backswing.  This is usually due to tightness in the shoulders and what happens is left arm bends to allow you to make a bigger backswing.  This over bending causes consistency issues!

I would rather see a golfer with a more compact backswing which provides more control, than an overly long backswing which is difficult to time.

Enjoy the video!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Alignment Sticks can help your Golf Game

Just as plastic spikes in golf shoes changed the face of golf, so have the brightly colored alignment sticks you see in almost every tour pro's golf bag.  The pro's use these to help them with many parts of their game.  In fact, as an instructor, they are an important part of my "medicine" bag I carry to the lesson tee. 

Following are a few "basic" uses for the sticks.  I will break it down by different parts of the swing which you may be trying to improve upon.



Alignment:  Use two alignment sticks as pictured and form a "railroad" track to the target.
After some practice, remove the rods and you should be able to visualize the path to the target.

In the pictures below I have added a third stick for proper golf ball position.  For the irons and hybrids, the ball should be positioned under the front cheek and for the driver and fairway woods, the ball will be positioned near the front arm pit.


Path:  Use two alignment sticks, one for the stance line and the other on the target line.  The stick on the target line will be set at about a 30 degree angle into the ground.  Tee the ball about 1" toward you and about 1' from the back of the stick.  By teeing the ball you will not have to keep moving the sticks.  On your take away, if you tend to take the club on an outside path, the rod will stop the club.  The club should be swung slightly to the inside of the rod on the take away. 

On the downswing, if you come over the top, you will strike the stick on the target line.  The goal is too start with small swings and avoid hitting the stick on the target line.


Back Swing Coil or Wind Up:  Put one alignment stick through the belt loops on the front of your pants (or shorts).  With your lead hand, hold an alignment stick on the chest.  Use your trail hand to make a back swing.

Now make a back swing with the trail arm.  Note how the shoulders turn 90 degrees from the address position and the hips turn about 45 degrees.

At the impact position, the hips have rotated to an "open" position yet the shoulders have only opened slightly.  You must have this "separation" between the hips and shoulders to attack the ball from the inside and not come over the top.

Prevent the Sway:  Place one alignment rod on the stance line and stick a second alignment rod upright just behind the middle of the back foot. 


On the back swing, maintain the position of the back leg.  Do not let the back knee touch the alignment stick on the back swing.  If you turn the hips properly, you will not touch the stick. 


Stick an alignment stick vertically in the ground and let your tush touch the stick at set up.  Also place a stick on the stance line.  Tee the ball up so you won't have to keep moving the sticks.

On the down swing, maintain contact with the alignment stick.  This will help you stay in your posture through impact.  In other words, you have not "stood" up through the swing.  The "standing" up can cause shots to be hit on the toe or thin.

After impact, you will still be in contact with the alignment
stick as your hips rotate toward the finish.
At the finish of the swing you will go ahead and move to your front leg and you will lose contact with the alignment stick.


Insert an alignment stick into the grip end of your club (7 or 8 iron) as pictured.  This will not effect your grip of the club.

Now take your set up with a narrow stance and the alignment stick will force your hands to be in front of the ball. This is what you want to feel at the moment of impact...the hands lead and the club follows.

Make a 1/2 back swing and when you start down, allow your body to rotate toward the target.  The alignment stick should not hit you in the ribs if performed correctly.  Note how my arms and club have maintained the letter "Y" from back swing to follow through. 


Post Impact Left Leg Position: Place an alignment stick on the stance line and then stick one in vertical in the ground just outside the front leg and even with the middle of the front foot.

On the down swing, rotate the hips so you do not hit the alignment stick.

After impact, the front leg has not touched the alignment stick.

At the finish of the swing, you should not move the alignment stick.  You should finish "tall"  with the majority of the weight on the front leg.


Finish:  Place an alignment stick on the stance line and also place an alignment stick on the ground just outside your front leg perpendicular to the target line.

At the finish of the swing, your hips should be square to the alignment rod in front of your stance.


Grip an alignment stick as pictured.  Be sure and hold it about 6" above the ground and your grip pressure should be light not TIGHT.

Make a back swing.

On the down swing you want to hear a loud "WHOOSH" as you swing the alignment stick to the finish.  The sound should be the loudest at the bottom of the swing...not too early or not too late.

After you do this drill a few times, take out a driver and when you make your swing, you want to hear the "WHOOSH" at the right time.


There are certainly more ways to incorporate alignment sticks in your practice.  These are just a few which I find I use quite often when helping my students with the full swing.  In an earlier post, I used alignment sticks and my shadow as a training aid.  Give that post a look as well.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finish like a Pro!

Finishing your golf swing in balance is key if you want to strike the ball solidly.  In a good finish, I like to see this criteria met:

1.  The torso should be facing the target with the majority of the weight on the front leg.
2.  The back foot should be positioned on the tip toe.
3.  The upper torso should be "tall" and positioned over the front leg.  
4.  The club will be behind you and fairly level to the ground.

When a golfer is struggling to stay in balance at the finish, the majority of the time the culprit is "hanging" back on the rear foot and failing to rotate the body properly from downswing, through impact and into the finish.

This would be an example of poor body rotation and finish:

1.  Note how my body is falling away from the target and my head is over my right foot.
2.  My right foot is still flat on the ground after impact.
3.  The club face is facing the sky.
4.  My chest is facing to the right of the target.

Following is a great drill which will help you begin to make the correct move from back swing to finish. 

To Begin-  I recommend using an 8 or 9 iron for this drill.

1.  You will need 3 alignment rods or use 3 clubs.
2.  Place two of the rods in line with each other leaving about a 6" gap between them.  These two rods are on your toe line.
3.  Place a third rod parallel and about 8" from the front rod (rod closest to the target).

Set Up-  Take your normal set up with your toes either touching or parallel to the rear alignment rod.

Back swing- Your back swing should be about waist high with little or no wrist hinge.  Note how quiet my lower body is.  There should not be excessive hip or knee movement on this abbreviated back swing.

Impact-  At impact, the club and lead arm are in alignment (no scooping or trying to make the ball go into the air).  Note how my hips are rotating "open" or toward the target and my back heel is releasing from the ground.

Finish-  The goal at the finish is to get your club to stop between the two rods in the front of your stance.  The club will be pointing toward the target if performed correctly.  In addition, the toe of the club is pointing upward.  Since this is not a full swing, you will not finish with the club behind you.  We are just trying to get you to a certain point in the follow through which will ensure you will be able to continue to the proper full finish. 

Note how "tall" my torso is and how my torso and front leg are in complete alignment.  There is no "fall back" in this finish.  Hold this position for 3 seconds after every shot so you can feel and see the correct positioning.

If this had been a full swing, all I would have to do is keep rotating my upper body until the club would be behind me to reach a full finish.

If you are a recreational player or beginner, I would spend the first 15 minutes of your practice sessions performing this drill.  Then, after you have it perfected, I would cut it down to 5 minutes.

Utilizing this drill to warm up before a round of golf or practice session will have you finishing like a pro in no time!