John Barge

Hidden Trails Country Club

John Barge

Gateway PGA, Life Member
Hidden Trails Country Club
Dexter, MO

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Keep it simple

Most beginners swing with their arms, instead of rotating to shift their weight. (Back to the target and belt to the target.) That brings us to #2…They think more about the backswing than the delivery. You see some great players with unusual backswings but they swing to the target line and finish in balance.

Working the ball and putting

Overall, Bryson De Chambois. Long and works the ball. The student of the game that seldom loses focus and can putt. That is what it takes to play Masters.

Keep it simple

Pitch and run is a stroke of brushing the grass, Stop and little forward motion or even backspin is the same motion. The arc becomes more abrupt on the takeaway and more of a punch and hold on the down swing.Light grip , as in putting, gives you feel, but see your spot where you […]

Keep it simple

The backswing positions the club and your plane. Low and slow is good advice for most. The shoulders will set your plane and most will depend on your stature. Better yet, I like the the drill that Justin Rose often uses. Hold your angle close to impact and all will be okay. Repeat and repeat.

Man has to know his limitations

I tell students to play within your confidence level. That means understanding the risk vs. reward on your shot selection. You must be able to see it, feel it and trust it in order to think positively and convert.Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan said the game was played between your ears. In competition, never try […]

Alignment and optics

The path on which you swing the club is where the ball will initially launch, as your ball flight. If you are not hitting the ball on your intended line of flight, you probably could be lining up wrong. You get comfortable with a set up and swear your okay, but it is an optical […]

Long off the tee and putt with passion

Bryson Dechambeau fits the headline. In my heart it deserves to be Rory. Once in a while you have to shape a shot, like #11,13 &18, so the best of the best in this department is the Bubba. That’s what Dutch Harrison used to say, “is a pretty good Trifecta “!

Many unusual putting techniques

Over the years, players have tried all sorts of ways to get the ball in the hole. The long putters eventually could not be anchored, but you had to practice with it for weeks before you had the confidence to put in into competition.Sam Snead used a short putter and straddled the line of the […]

Evolution of the swing

As a senior player, I was taught to play the ball off my left heel… This was Nicklaus and Watson. My teachers were Dr. Gary Wiren , Bill Strausbaugh and Paul Berthaly. Now there is no lateral shift of the hips . Most players take the club steeper or more upright and place the ball […]

Keep it simple

Close to the ground whenever possible is the key. Always putt, when you have a relatively good surface. Next look for the 6 or 7 iron pitch and run. Many players use a putting stroke, but brush the grass and it is a player preference as to the grip and approach to this stroke. Most […]

Long and straight

Hitting fairways deep, is always the history of the Open. Dustin Johnson seems likely, but I think somebody that may rise like Simpson or Day might surprise. When all in it will be fairways hit.

Get the gimme range

Three putts are one of two problems. Either you don’t lag putt well or you have the”yips”. Both can be controlled from over thinking and negative vibes. Try one drill for both problems. Once you have aligned your stance and the putter face to your intended launch line, look at the hole instead of the […]

Distance,distance,distance !

The most often question asked on the practice tee is this question on how to get more distance.The answer will vary on the students development. Assuming you have no obvious flaws, then we can address the core objective. Fitness should require a personal trainer, because you only want to build your golf muscles. DeChambeau took […]

It is easy

I grew up listening to my golf pros in the Pro Shop. Telling stories about the tour or local tournaments. They gave me golf tips , as well, but listening to them was like reading the Bible. Dutch Harrison was able to mix humor with education,as one. I hung on every word. Pros can emanate […]

only the positives

It is hard to teach positive thinking, but everyone can act to overcome jitters . A dress rehearsal on the practice tee of envisioning being on the first tee and the shot you are about to hit will help. Do it several times. Chewing gum may also relax you. Look how many greats chew gum. […]

remember basics

I do not use video but corresponde in a phone call. Students always start by checking the 4 address principles of grip, club face alignment, stance and posture. Then I may remind them of a drill or drills that we have used once they explain the problem that needs to be solved. For example, swinging […]

The length of the swing will regiment itself, if you simply apply the mental preparation of "See it, feel it trust it".

The short game is, of course, precision. Apply a light grip, relax your muscles and use a calm swing tempo. The length of the swing will regiment itself, if you simply apply the mental preparation of “See it, feel it trust it”. Just as you want to see the cup in your mind’s eye when […]

If a less recognized player has a great week, it is just his dream come true and our pleasure to watch it happen.

Our tour is primarily made up of people seeking the dream. When someone has a chance to break through, most viewers may find themselves interested to see if this could be that player’s day. It is always nice to see the big names that we root for. They also set the bar, that a win […]

My all time choice would be Tom Watson... I'll take Bruce Koepka today

As great golfers are positive thinkers, I select my favorites by how they represent the game in the face of adversity. My all time choice would be Tom Watson, as he even smiled when he hit a bad one. The closest most tour players can do is to keep their dissatisfactory reactions to a minimal. […]

Just tape it and use any available application

I love videos . Though I was in retirement mode and did not invest in the new technology, I loved any videos that my students would provide. Simply coming in the Pro Shop and asking what I saw, my student could get a simple explanation in front of their eyes. Just tape it and use […]

I especially liked what they did with the FedEx Cup scoring.

I really enjoyed the many changes . The season is completed before football season starts. Moving the PGA to earlier in the year with one Major every month, keeps the big names in more events. Ticket sales and viewing audiences broke records while the players purses have grown. I especially liked what they did with […]

Over the years, clubfitting has taken on a science of itself.

Over the years, clubfitting has taken on a science of itself. Long ago, we worried about the proper swing weight,length and grip size. Golf has evolved to a large variety of products, lie and loft angles to your launch angle and ball flight, etc. Most PGA Pros will give you good advice and know their […]

Low handicaps and everyday players are now averaging every two years

Over my career. the industry standard had been regrip only when showing wear. But in the last two decades, through commercial awareness of Golf Pride, this has changed. Low handicaps and everyday players are now averaging every two years, as an average. Once a week players or less can go many years, but many of […]

Cog Hill G.C. in Lemont, Illinois.

Eliminating resort courses, the best public course for me was Cog Hill G.C. in Lemont, Illinois. The design, complexity and beauty are all wrapped together with great service and a beautiful day.

Start simple by removing the right hand entirely off the grip, using only your left hand.

Most players are trying to lift the ball in to the air. This causes a right hand player to scoop and flick the club upward with their right hand. Start simple by removing the right hand entirely off the grip, using only your left hand. Ford press the butt of the grip to be positioned […]

Pete Dye designed Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic

I have always held Pete Dye designed Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic as two of the most challenging and beautiful courses that I have played. The “Teeth of the Dog” course in particular, has a home that belonged to Pete Dye. It also had a residence for the late fashion designer, Oscar […]

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