By Brandon Tucker, Managing Editor, Golf Channel Courses & Travel
Meet SwingFix instructor Chris Rowe. Rowe was formerly based at the famous Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth before moving to his present facility in greater Houston at Whispering Pines Golf Club, where he serves as the Head Golf Professional.
1. Tell us briefly about your golf instruction philosophy and how you preach it at Whispering Pines.
ROWE: My philosophy is all about lowering my students score and conditioning them from practice to the course. Nobody ever asks "How is your swing?" They ask what you shoot. My swing philosophy is Target Impact and Rounded Impact. I believe every golfer impacts one of two ways. They either point the club at the target immediately after impact or the club goes immediately left after impact. I explain all of this in one of my teaching articles on our website at www.whisperingpinesgolfclub.com.
2. What attracted you to the SwingFix platform and how effective can this method be for golfers?
ROWE: The SwingFix platform is a wonderful, affordable and convenient way to get a lesson from a quality instructor. You can pick an instructor whom you have always wanted to take a lesson from, but location or cost might prohibit them from ever taking the lesson, with SwingFix this is all now possible.
3. In your opinion, what is the secret to taking the "range game" to the first tee?
ROWE: The secret is practice like you want to play. People who go to the range hit from the same lie, with the same club and usually do not aim at a specific target. I believe the student has to hit the shots like they were on the course with specific goals and targets in mind on every shot. The range is 200 yards wide and the fairway is 35 yards! Of course you are going to hit it better on the range because it is hard to miss it 200 yards offline. When you go to the gym you don't go through the gym randomly grabbing weights or jumping on a machine! You go through the gym with a specific agenda everyday whether it be cardio, lower body or upper body workout. Next time you go to the range have a specific workout for your game.
4. Is there a particular training aid that you tend to use most regularly and with the most effectiveness?
ROWE: My two favorite training aids are a swim noodle that you can purchase for two dollars at Wal-Mart and a medicine ball that you can also purchase at Wal-Mart for $15. The swim noodle can be placed over the student to produce a shallow path or can be laid on the ground next to the ball to produce a rounded impact.
The medicine ball is wonderful to show a proper takeaway using the body along with a wonderful drill I use for rotation. I like to have the student make a backswing holding only the medicine ball and then throw it to me with me standing directly behind them. This gets the lower and upper body turning together and really helps produce a rounded impact.
5. Is there a way students who have worked with you most often dramatically improve and achieve that coveted five-shot drop in scores? Power, consistency, short game, management, playing more golf?
ROWE: Consistency with your instructor is the best way to achieve a five shot drop in their game. The student needs to have an understanding of the areas they need to work, along with drills and pressure situations to be able to reproduce when they go to the course.