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Bare Down Bears!

I hope everyone has had a great summer and that you have started to reach your playing goals.  The upcoming months of fall and winter are a great time to really commit to your game and make some life long changes to your game.  I will be in Chicago throughout the fall and winter. I hope everyone has a great fall and enjoys the fall newsletter.  Go Bears!

Daniel Gray, PGA


Individual Private Lessons
These sessions are great for taking a closer look at your iron swing, wedge game, or driver swing.  This system allows us to numerically measure areas of your game that we cannot capture in a video session.
Individual/Group Practice Sessions
This will allow players to use the system between lessons, as long as all parties' schedules allow.  Great for seeing the ball flight and for double checking swing mechanics between lessons during the fall/winter months of indoors practice.

FlightScope Information

I recently purchased the SwingGuru Pro system to help players train over the winter and help make lasting changes in your golf swing. Swinguru Pro is the ultimate markerless 3D golf swing analysis and training software.  This training system will help players train between lessons to gain a higher level of muscle retention in their golf swing.  The ability to measure a player's center of gravity during his/her swing is a great way to create efficiency in the golf swing.  This will help players understand how to properly load and transition their weight to maximize their clubhead speed.Watch the following YouTube video to see how the matching feature works, just one of the great uses for Swing Guru.  SWING GURU VIDEO

Swing Guru Information

Putting is the one area that all players can reach a high level of ability, granted it takes purposeful practice, it's much easier than picking up 100 yards on your driver.  Most players could save up to five strokes per round with better putting.  This article will discuss the significance of the initial putter face alignment, consistently square putter face to the target line, and a few ways to ensure your alignment is correct. Putter face alignment is something that most players take for granted and think that they are "close enough" to make most of their putts.  Considering we are trying to roll the 1.68" ball into a 4.25" hole with slope and sometimes with green speeds as high as a 12 on a stimpmeter, clubface alignment and speed are all we have.  Speed is another discussion, but alignment is something that must be practiced and double checked often.  I find that most players are "fairly" good at reading the break, but when aligning the putter towards the target line they are rarely consistent. 

Occasionally a student will ask, "is the alignment of the putter face at address mandatory for good putting?" and I always say that impact is the only thing that really matters.  HOWEVER when the player has to manipulate the alignment of the putter face back to a square position at impact, typically this causes negative effects on the roll of the ball.

The negative effects that occur when the putter face is manipulated through impact to square the face to the target line are:

- Draw or fade spin - causing the ball to seems as though it was pulled or pushed
- Added loft or delofting - causing the ball to hop, which makes distance control difficult
- Heel or toe impact - causing left and right misses and distance control issues

Three of the most important things you can do with your putting are to ensure initial alignment, lower the rate of face rotation during the stroke, and square putter face at impact position.  Since we are focusing on alignment, and the putter face, the major determining factors are:
- Grip
- Setup posture
- Putter selection (face balanced or toe balanced)

When lining up the shaft of the putter with your forearms in your setup, you should not be taking a normal 7 iron grip.  The reason is, when you are gripping a 7 iron, for right handed players, the heel pad of your left hand sits on top of the grip.  In doing this, the putter sits at an angle to your forearm.  The way I teach the putting grip is to have the putter grip run more in the life line and the palm of your left hand.  The left corner of the putting grip fits into the life line of your left hand, now the putter shaft and your forearm can match-up on the same plane.  The reason so many players on the PGA Tour benefit from this type of grip and setup position is that it allows them to tilt their chest over the ball more, which in turn allows them to have less horizontal shoulder rotation in their putting stroke, which ultimately allows them to have less putter face rotation during their stroke.  With less putter face rotation in the putting stroke there is a much higher probability that the putter face can return to the initial alignment position.

putting grip

Notice the Stroke Path and Rotation category below and how most of the face rotations are between 3 and 5 either way.  This is a great thing to know about your stroke to ensure more consistent roll on your putts.  This program is a putting software I use to help players see certain things about their stroke.  A straight 10' putt will allow for a 1.0 degree variance and go in, so think about how important the face rotation is to the Alignment at Impact. To learn more about Tomi Putting sessions go to TOMI...  (article continues at
tomi 2

Putting Article

During January of 2014, I will be in Palm Beach, FL at The Breakers to host destinational golf schools.  These schools can be tailored to match the group's individual needs and focus points.  Please contact me if these dates work for you and you would be interested in attending.

Dates:  January 25th-February 1st
Details:  3 Day Golf Schools, 4 player max, 9 holes on course each day
Facility:  The Breakers West Course and Learning Center
Notes from the BMW Championship

The BMW was a great opportunity for many of you to get out and witness first hand how the best players get it done.  I was able to capture some great slow motion video of a few of the players that might interest you, so please take a look at my YouTube page.  The link to the video is on the homepage of my website. 

Some of the things I continue to notice while at a Tour event is great tempo.  As cliche as that is, imagine every player trying to start their downswing on a particular plane with a particular clubface position requires a certain amount of "caution" or "deliberateness".  These are not words the players or instructors would be using, but considering you do not hit the ball in your backswing, why not slow the take away down to create a perfect starting position for the downswing.  I always think about baseball, they get to start in the position that fits them best and as golfers we have to place ourselves into a position to then swing the club. 

The other area that I see players focusing on is slow and purposeful practice.  Each player was doing some form of slow motion practice.  This type of practice is how everyone gains muscle memory and ultimately alters a dynamic movement. Players were "rehearsing" the positions they are trying to accomplish.  This is how I see most players see quick results to altering their golf swings, so its always a great reminder that this is how the best players in the world also go about making small alterations in their golf swings.
DGCoach YouTube
Congrats to Skokie Youth!
I wanted to congratulate the youth players of Skokie that were able to make their high school teams.

Jack Hedstrom - Varsity NT
Nicole Wetoska - Varsity LA
Margaret Hickey - Varsity LA
Ethan Schmitt  - Fresh/Soph NT
Jack Kenter - Fresh/Soph NT
Connor Hansen - Fresh/Soph NT
Peter Hindsley - Fresh/Soph NT
James Connors - Fresh/Soph NT
Andrew Nummy - Fresh/Soph NT
Ben Odle - JV LA
Peter Hickey - JV LA

* LA - Loyola Academy
* NT - New Trier

All players have shown the ability to shoot in the 70's this summer.  A few highlights from the summer include Nicole Wetoska (Sophomore) winning the IJGA Al McLean Open with a 78, also she made her varsity team for the second year at Loyola, and recently shot a 78 in a high school tournament.  Jack Hedstrom (Senior) shot 70 and 71 in his high school matchs and was named captain of the New Trier varsity team. Jack has shot several rounds this summer around par in his tournaments.  Also, a special player Margaret Hickey made her varsity golf team as a freshman at Loyola Academy.  She was able to shoot a 79 on her first round at tryouts on a par 73 course.  Connor Hansen was able to place T-2 at Sportsman this summer with a score of 79 and has played well this summer.  James Connors was also able to make the Freshman/Sophomore team at New Trier which is a step above what most freshman make, so great playing.
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