Academy Blog

You’ll Never Hear, “Excess Leg Drive is Your Problem.”

You’ll Never Hear, “Excess Leg Drive is Your Problem.”

john wrightBy John Wright, RGA Coach

 “You have too much leg drive in your downswing…” is something you’ve never heard an instructor tell anyone – ever. Does that seem strangely true? You’re probably asking yourself, ‘How have I never noticed this before?’

The answer has been elusive because the wrong questions are being asked. We are either asking the ‘What?’ and the “How?” of a golf swing from our instructors, or they most-likely answer any query with “What and How?” answers. The question and answer should be about the “Why?”, again. Why is leg drive never a problem? If leg drive could be a bad thing, we would have heard about it by now, right?

You have never heard of such a thing because leg drive is never a bad thing. It is a positive effect of an underlying cause. That cause is need, as usual. The substance between cause and effect is comprised of a few different disciplines from need to the expression of need. But, for our purposes, let’s assume an Open Stance is the vehicle for getting from the beginning to the end of a straight, solid golf shot.

Leg drive, or leg action, is an athletic substitution for hip-rotation as the chronological, kinesthetic, driver of the downswing. It supplants damaging over-rotation on the leading knee and hip with a smooth, momentum-based power source for beginning the downswing. Why is this necessary from an Open Stance, you say? Because we don’t want our club closing to the plane before impact.

We need to delay the release of the club along our foot-line in order to keep the clubhead square to the target line at impact. The only other way to mitigate the steeper impact of an opened Stance is vertical shoulder rotation. There should be a combination of these two athletic compensations in any golf swing – based on individual physiology.

The reason leg drive is never a problem is because it is either absent already, which make it tough for your friends to diagnose – or it is ample, which makes it beautiful to watch and never to correct. I guaranty that you will NEVER see leg drive like Lee Trevino’s from a golfer who may hit is straight from a set-up that is square or closed.

Watch this video on the topic, and like it if you learn.

RGA Student Paul Peterson wins on the Asian Tour

RGA Student Paul Peterson Wins on the Asian Tour
By Josh Applepaul p fb web

Paul Peterson established himself as a significant player on the international stage when he claimed his first European Tour title at the 2016 Czech Masters, outdueling European Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters by one stroke. That win solidified Peterson’s career and proved that the Raspberry Golf Academy had a recipe for success.

Although Peterson did not have a victory in 2017, the 29-year-old had been steadily showing progress and signs that he would return to the winner’s circle again soon. That win finally came on Jan. 28 when he took down a strong field in the Asian Tour’s Myanmar Open, his first victory on the Asian Tour. He fired scores of 68-66-71-66 (-13) to prevail by two strokes, including a birdie on the 72nd hole to confirm the win.

The momentum from that win carried over to the next week, as he finished T11 on the European Tour’s Maybank Championship the first week of February, with scores of 69-70-65-70 (-14). After those two strong finishes, Peterson reached a new career high of No. 120 in the World Golf Rankings, ahead of many well-known PGA Tour stars.

Peterson originally reached the Asian Tour in 2014 through the Raspberry Golf Academy’s Path to the Tour program. He trained with Patrick McGuire and the other RGA instructors at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, Az., preparing for Asian Tour Q-School. He achieved full status on the tour in his first attempt. Through his work with RGA, Peterson was able to transition from a mini tour player to a very successful Asian Tour player immediately. For Peterson to at last get his first win on the Asian Tour in 2018 was a special experience.

“This victory is very special as the Asian Tour is where I started and to be able to get a win here really means a lot,” Peterson said. “I had to make that transition from Asia to Europe and I was trying to play in as many events as I could. So it just feels right that I’m finally able to have a win under my belt out here in Myanmar.”

Despite playing a busy schedule in Europe and Asia and being from the West coast of the United States, Peterson continues to travel to Leesburg, Va. to work with McGuire at Raspberry Falls. Peterson also works closely with RGA mental coach, Oscar Coetze, and RGA strength coach, Walt Cline. RGA instructor Lisa Deel also provides assistance through her knowledge on K-VEST.

The Raspberry Golf Academy model of a team effort proved it can take an average developmental tour player and turn him into one of the best players in the world. All four of the golfers from the original Path to the Tour program have seen varying degrees of success, but Peterson was the most devoted to the program and continues to be fully bought in to the system, leading to the most accomplishments.

Major Success for RGA Student Hayden Miller

hayden Miller resizeHayden Miller, rising junior at Heritage High School, has been on a meteoric rise since joining the Raspberry Golf Academy team in 2016. He works primarily with RGA Director Patrick McGuire, alongside staff instructor Josh Apple. Miller never competed in tournaments outside of high school competitions and had never shot below a 70 prior to beginning his lessons, yet he has quickly become one of the best juniors in the area and has shot as low as a 66 in competition.

Over the last two months, his list of accomplishments continues to grow daily. It all started in early July at the Bobby Bowers Memorial Junior Golf Tournament when he shot a 71 to qualify as the three-seed for match play, then went all the way to the finals for a runner-up finish. He followed that with a win in mid-July at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s College Prep Series at Maryland, shooting 77-75. The next week, he shot 74-74 to qualify as the two-seed for match play in the Bobby Gorin Memorial Tournament and would go on to win one match.

His success carried over into August, as he shot scores of 34-34-35 in Heritage’s high school tryouts to earn the number one spot on the squad. In the team’s first event, the Curly Licklider at Shenandoah Valley Golf Course, he shot a 69 to win individually out of 118 people, which was the lowest competitive score of his life at that point. His strong individual performance also helped his team get the victory.

He stepped away from high school competition and played in the Hurricane Tour’s Major Championship at Bristow Manor, shooting 75-77 to finish tied for third. He then returned to high school competition in mid-August and fired an incredible 66, the lowest score of his career, in the Loudoun County Public School Open at Algonkian Golf Course. His round was highlighted by a rare 29 on the back nine!

“Pat was definitely instilling the process in my head, which worked well in those tournaments. I was just thinking about the process not the outcome,” Miller said. “The routine and setup help a lot to reduce the stress and doubt, and just going over the notes for the courses more helps. And he’s obviously helped me with my swing. My swing has gotten a lot more consistent. In a span of two months I haven’t shot over 77 and that’s the lowest I’ve ever been.”

Miller began his journey with RGA with an evaluation from McGuire and Apple, as they analyzed every phase of his game, including full swing, putting, short game, process, course management and mental control. They scored his strengths and weaknesses and developed a performance coaching plan to address the areas of need. Much of the focus for Miller has been on areas outside of the full swing, with a heavy emphasis on his process and approach to the game. With increased awareness and knowledge to accompany his talent, the success was inevitable.

“We truly are a team at RGA,” Apple said. “Patrick and I work with players together to give them multiple perspectives and to make sure nothing gets overlooked. Each coach has strengths that allow the student to get more well-rounded and detailed lessons. I also get the opportunity to work with players like Hayden when Pat is away with his tour players. I had a great session with him on putting right before his strong showing at the Bobby Bowers.”

Miller has been on an impressive run and doesn’t seem to be slowing down, as he continues to work with the RGA team on a regular basis. His technical skills have progressed greatly since working joining the performance coaching program, but the mental and process leaps have been the biggest keys for him.

“I didn’t know anything about why the routine and setup mattered, why the process mattered. I would just go up and do something different every time, be thinking of way too much in my head and be thinking about my swing. Now I know my swing is almost never the problem,” Miller said.

Be sure to follow Miller’s success as he continues his high school competitions and plays in Hurricane Junior Tour events throughout the fall. Best of luck Hayden!