How to Improve Your Golf Game by Christine Lynn Harvey

If you are looking to improve any aspect of your golf game whether you are a beginner or scratch golfer, one of the best facilities in the Metro area is offered under the direction of Matthew Rosman of Play Golf! located at 1937 Jericho Turnpike, in East Northport, NY. Play Golf, is a service offered at the Training Zone, a full-service personal training and fitness facility located on the lower level of Island Sports Physical Therapy, a physical therapy and sports medicine treatment center.

Golf is a very precise sport and by its very nature can be a very frustrating experience for someone who has never had a lesson, or has tried to teach themselves by watching other golfers or reading magazines. Not that this is a bad thing, but, a self-taught golfer tends to reinforce improper technique that can lead to a very inconsistent golf game.

Each new student is asked to fill out a questionnaire that asks a variety of golf-related questions. Rosman looks at the student's set of clubs for ball impression marks on the clubface and bottom as well as wear marks on the grips. This data shows the overall pathway of motion as it correlates to problematic issues that the golfer lists in the questionnaire. In my own case, the stroke marks were on the outside of the sweet spot towards the toe of the club indicating I might have set-up and/or club pathway problems.

"Lots of things are done unconsciously when we play golf," says Rosman. "If your stance, set-up, grip, club pathway or balance is off in any way, there are compensations we make that manipulate the shot we want to produce, but these are often done without any consideration to efficiency or effectiveness of motion. The golf swing is intended by design to be an easy, effortless movement generated by the body, not solely by the hands or arms," says Rosman.

Prior to golf as his professional occupation, Rosman practiced as a Doctor of Chiropractic until 1996. He holds a Master Teaching credential in the Golfing Machine System, developed by Homer Kelly and practiced by such great teaching legends as Ben Doyle. Rosman is also a co-founder of The Academy of Applied Personal Training Education, an academic organization affiliated with Hofstra University's College for Continuing Education. His golf instruction technique is based on his health care and golf fitness background as well as how the biomechanics, structural engineering, geometry and physics of the swing is dependent on the inherent design of the golf club. He earned his master teaching credentials from friend and mentor, PGA professional and doctoral level instructor in the Golfing Machine System, Michael Jacobs of Rock Hill Golf Club in Manorville, NY.

Rosman videotaped my golf swing from several key angles and played it back in slow motion pointing out the inefficiencies of my swing. I used my arms independently rather than letting my hips and legs create and transfer all the power to my arms and the golf club. Plus, my arms were lifting up too much, causing my elbows to separate and create an improper swing path. Because of a faulty grip, my left lead wrist was breaking down from the release point through impact - all factors that have kept my shots from being solid, my direction inconsistent, my distance reduced and my game erratic for years. "Video allows the student to adjust their internal computer from perceived motion to the reality of actual motion - it shows people that what they are actually doing is often very different from what they think they are doing."

By using a Plexiglas plane board that is adjusted to the angle of my club shaft, Rosman helped me effectively reproduce the proper golf swing path. "In a correct and repeating golf swing, certain parts act and other parts react. People try to make their hands and arms act instead of react. If they allowed the core of the body to act in creating the power, the arms and hands would react as naturally as they swing when we walk."

"In golf, there's a lot of mystery," he says. "Some people look at the really great golfers and think of them as gods. In a way, the greats are in a class of their own. But, what we don't see is all the hard work and practice time they put into their swings. The real learning has to be a process similar to shooting basketball foul shots; it's more a process of using feedback, making adjustments, and being patient. Confidence comes after persistent rehearsal and guidance by a qualified professional. That confidence is something you can reproduce into a belief - belief that you are on your way to becoming a better golfer."

IN PHOTO: Proper position of wrists at impact

For more information, or to schedule a lesson with Matthew Rosman, please contact Play Golf at 1937 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport, NY 11731 (631) 462-5566.