Beginning the Bertholy programs. Questions, observations, and avoiding pitfalls?

Beginning the Bertholy programs. Questions, observations, and avoiding pitfalls?

Joined: March 12th, 2012, 7:36 pm

March 12th, 2012, 8:12 pm #1

Hello,

This is my first post on these forums. I recently ordered and obtained a copy of GC 101 from Doug on the Bertholy website and began reading and performing the programs this weekend. I see that this forum is probably the best place to talk about Bertholy so I made an account.

As a quick background I'm in my late 20's. I've always been a 90's and 100's golfer up until last year. Prior to the beginning of last year my best score was a 91 back in 2010. In 2011, I decided to go all out. I had read the Dream On book of the guy who shot an under par round in ~362 days. I scrounged up all the cards I had saved at my parents place from 2010 and calculated my handicap. It was ~26 (and those cards were only the cards I wanted to keep. I had thrown the awful cards out after a round.)

I hit the range for the first time April 22nd of last year and started putting in work. I would go to the range, grab a bucket, and take a couple of hours to hit it. As I left the driving range I would often sit in my car with my mind racing, philosophizing about the golf swing, and taking in all the information and feedback I had just received on the range. 1 month later on May 22 I had broken 90 for the first time with an 84 on a par 70. ~6 weeks later on July 2nd, I had broken 80 for the first time with a 78 on a 'par 73' (68.9/114/6003). I bought a membership and began to play ~5-6 rounds a week. I would continually shoot high 70's low 80's. I believe I had gotten my handicap down to a 7._ but lost my phone and lost all my rounds after mid august with it.

--------------------------------

Now, with the season fast approaching (can likely be playing where I live in about 4-5 weeks) I've got the extreme bug again and the 24/7 dedication to want to take this thing as possible, and get it from a 7 to... who knows. My goal for the year is an underpar round.

I had often talked on another forum how during all my "post driving range philosophizing" I thought the best way for me in improving my swing had been holding the club in certain static positions. I later remembered reading a story along the lines of "A swedish lady had come to america and went to a pro to learn golf. The problem was he didnt know swedish, nor she english. He would take her and move her in to the correct positions and have her hold them for a few seconds. He said this was the fastest learning student that he had ever had". Hearing this reaffirmed my thoughts. I would hold the top of the back swing and follow through, but that was about it. Recently, after bringing up the static positions thing I had always bought into, someone mentioned to me Bertholy. I'm surprised I didn't catch it in the Mike Maves video 'The Move' or in the Secret in the Dirt book last year. It somehow totally missed my eye. He can talk fast and I must have been off somewhere else in thought.

Anyway, I've got the book, read the first 5 chapters, and love it. This is something I've always wanted and bought into, and am pleasantly surprised to see someone who has made a program out of this... ~50 years ago.

-------------------------------

I wanted to ask those out there who are on the program... what pitfalls should be avoided. Is there anything you have done wrong, or wish you did differently from the start?

I am currently only doing program one right, and being very anal about it. I've re-read the descriptions of each position more than half a dozen times. I read. Do the program. Read. Program. Read. do the program. Do it again. R. PPPP. R. PPPPPPP. R. PPPPPPPPP. Etc.

Like a photocopy or key cutting, I believe you need to always go back to the source to perfect it. If you keep taking a photo copy of a photo copy, eventually you get a white piece of paper. If you keep cutting the key that was just cut, eventually the key doesn't work. I see the important of the perfection of the first program, and am guessing I will likely be on that for quite some time.

I'm not sure how much I'll get through before I start playing for the season. My main goal though for this year is to almost completely avoid the driving range. With my free time, I plan to spend the majority (80%) working on the short game. If I want to break par, it's going to come from short game.

-------------------------------

One quick question on the keystone position. What is the end goal of this position? I understand being in this position for pos 4, but for pos 2 there seems to be excessive cocking of the wrist. The hands are roughly at the right thing, and the club is way past parallel. However, I notice in Allen's YouTube videos, he does position 2 with the club parallel which I think would be correct. What's the desired position here, and why is the wrist cocking so severe in position 2 in the book?
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 13th, 2012, 2:27 am #2

Hello Chris,

Congratulations on finding Bertholy. I was involved with Moe style golf for many years before I was 'goosed' into looking deeper into Bertholy because Bertholy was Moe's teacher.

A few suggestions/warnings:

1) If you have not done it set up a mirror or video where you can see the monitor in real time to check your positions. Bertholy's studio had floor to ceiling mirrors and the Bertholy school in VA also has large mirrors.

2) You can see video of Harry Mapp, one of the instructor's from the Bertholy school in VA demonstrating one of the drills in the forum video library. They're near the bottom under 'Other Golfer Clips' and have Harry's name. This will give you additional image data so you can compare yourself.

3) Bertholy advised that you start his programs after the end of the golf season to maximize the amount of time doing the programs before starting to play golf so the short time you have to the start of the season is a challenge. The main thing to remember is that you do the drills with 100% mental focus on the details and you play golf with 0% mental focus on those details. Bertholy advised that at most you focus on a good 'rifle barrel' position when actually playing golf.

4) My mistake was in not following #3 and focusing on the details when playing golf. I was still better but I think I would have been better still without that focus.

5) If at all possible find a place where you can actually make divots with the drills where you strike the ground. I did not have this so can't attest to the advantages but another member here who attended the Bertholy school in VA and did have a perfect environment to dig divots (and he reportedly dug a LOT of them) noticed a great increase in the strength of his lead arm and his ability to hit better, cleaner shots. He got to a point where he felt the only limits on his score became short game and putting.

The Bertholy drills train your body to accept a 'fine golf swing'. Like a lot of training the process is more extreme than the final process. The extreme wrist cock of 'keystone' is not the wrist cock you will have in your actual swing but training your body to accommodate that degree of wrist cock makes it easier to maintain more wrist cock for longer in your real swing. Anthropologists and pathologists have found that extreme exercise does result in actual physical changes to your body. Bones get thicker and heavier in addition to increased muscle strength. The Bertholy exercises really are changing your body in proportion to your effort and diligence.

Peter
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Joined: January 13th, 2001, 8:30 am

March 13th, 2012, 3:30 am #3

Hello,

This is my first post on these forums. I recently ordered and obtained a copy of GC 101 from Doug on the Bertholy website and began reading and performing the programs this weekend. I see that this forum is probably the best place to talk about Bertholy so I made an account.

As a quick background I'm in my late 20's. I've always been a 90's and 100's golfer up until last year. Prior to the beginning of last year my best score was a 91 back in 2010. In 2011, I decided to go all out. I had read the Dream On book of the guy who shot an under par round in ~362 days. I scrounged up all the cards I had saved at my parents place from 2010 and calculated my handicap. It was ~26 (and those cards were only the cards I wanted to keep. I had thrown the awful cards out after a round.)

I hit the range for the first time April 22nd of last year and started putting in work. I would go to the range, grab a bucket, and take a couple of hours to hit it. As I left the driving range I would often sit in my car with my mind racing, philosophizing about the golf swing, and taking in all the information and feedback I had just received on the range. 1 month later on May 22 I had broken 90 for the first time with an 84 on a par 70. ~6 weeks later on July 2nd, I had broken 80 for the first time with a 78 on a 'par 73' (68.9/114/6003). I bought a membership and began to play ~5-6 rounds a week. I would continually shoot high 70's low 80's. I believe I had gotten my handicap down to a 7._ but lost my phone and lost all my rounds after mid august with it.

--------------------------------

Now, with the season fast approaching (can likely be playing where I live in about 4-5 weeks) I've got the extreme bug again and the 24/7 dedication to want to take this thing as possible, and get it from a 7 to... who knows. My goal for the year is an underpar round.

I had often talked on another forum how during all my "post driving range philosophizing" I thought the best way for me in improving my swing had been holding the club in certain static positions. I later remembered reading a story along the lines of "A swedish lady had come to america and went to a pro to learn golf. The problem was he didnt know swedish, nor she english. He would take her and move her in to the correct positions and have her hold them for a few seconds. He said this was the fastest learning student that he had ever had". Hearing this reaffirmed my thoughts. I would hold the top of the back swing and follow through, but that was about it. Recently, after bringing up the static positions thing I had always bought into, someone mentioned to me Bertholy. I'm surprised I didn't catch it in the Mike Maves video 'The Move' or in the Secret in the Dirt book last year. It somehow totally missed my eye. He can talk fast and I must have been off somewhere else in thought.

Anyway, I've got the book, read the first 5 chapters, and love it. This is something I've always wanted and bought into, and am pleasantly surprised to see someone who has made a program out of this... ~50 years ago.

-------------------------------

I wanted to ask those out there who are on the program... what pitfalls should be avoided. Is there anything you have done wrong, or wish you did differently from the start?

I am currently only doing program one right, and being very anal about it. I've re-read the descriptions of each position more than half a dozen times. I read. Do the program. Read. Program. Read. do the program. Do it again. R. PPPP. R. PPPPPPP. R. PPPPPPPPP. Etc.

Like a photocopy or key cutting, I believe you need to always go back to the source to perfect it. If you keep taking a photo copy of a photo copy, eventually you get a white piece of paper. If you keep cutting the key that was just cut, eventually the key doesn't work. I see the important of the perfection of the first program, and am guessing I will likely be on that for quite some time.

I'm not sure how much I'll get through before I start playing for the season. My main goal though for this year is to almost completely avoid the driving range. With my free time, I plan to spend the majority (80%) working on the short game. If I want to break par, it's going to come from short game.

-------------------------------

One quick question on the keystone position. What is the end goal of this position? I understand being in this position for pos 4, but for pos 2 there seems to be excessive cocking of the wrist. The hands are roughly at the right thing, and the club is way past parallel. However, I notice in Allen's YouTube videos, he does position 2 with the club parallel which I think would be correct. What's the desired position here, and why is the wrist cocking so severe in position 2 in the book?
Hi Chris,

I think that it is a good idea to make sure that your swing pipe points inside the ball at impact position when you do the drills. In other words leave room for the clubhead. I had a tendency to point the pipe directly at the ball which I think is a bad idea...

Good luck with the program and I hope that you keep us up to date on your progress!

Regards, Herbert
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

March 13th, 2012, 10:45 am #4

Hello,

This is my first post on these forums. I recently ordered and obtained a copy of GC 101 from Doug on the Bertholy website and began reading and performing the programs this weekend. I see that this forum is probably the best place to talk about Bertholy so I made an account.

As a quick background I'm in my late 20's. I've always been a 90's and 100's golfer up until last year. Prior to the beginning of last year my best score was a 91 back in 2010. In 2011, I decided to go all out. I had read the Dream On book of the guy who shot an under par round in ~362 days. I scrounged up all the cards I had saved at my parents place from 2010 and calculated my handicap. It was ~26 (and those cards were only the cards I wanted to keep. I had thrown the awful cards out after a round.)

I hit the range for the first time April 22nd of last year and started putting in work. I would go to the range, grab a bucket, and take a couple of hours to hit it. As I left the driving range I would often sit in my car with my mind racing, philosophizing about the golf swing, and taking in all the information and feedback I had just received on the range. 1 month later on May 22 I had broken 90 for the first time with an 84 on a par 70. ~6 weeks later on July 2nd, I had broken 80 for the first time with a 78 on a 'par 73' (68.9/114/6003). I bought a membership and began to play ~5-6 rounds a week. I would continually shoot high 70's low 80's. I believe I had gotten my handicap down to a 7._ but lost my phone and lost all my rounds after mid august with it.

--------------------------------

Now, with the season fast approaching (can likely be playing where I live in about 4-5 weeks) I've got the extreme bug again and the 24/7 dedication to want to take this thing as possible, and get it from a 7 to... who knows. My goal for the year is an underpar round.

I had often talked on another forum how during all my "post driving range philosophizing" I thought the best way for me in improving my swing had been holding the club in certain static positions. I later remembered reading a story along the lines of "A swedish lady had come to america and went to a pro to learn golf. The problem was he didnt know swedish, nor she english. He would take her and move her in to the correct positions and have her hold them for a few seconds. He said this was the fastest learning student that he had ever had". Hearing this reaffirmed my thoughts. I would hold the top of the back swing and follow through, but that was about it. Recently, after bringing up the static positions thing I had always bought into, someone mentioned to me Bertholy. I'm surprised I didn't catch it in the Mike Maves video 'The Move' or in the Secret in the Dirt book last year. It somehow totally missed my eye. He can talk fast and I must have been off somewhere else in thought.

Anyway, I've got the book, read the first 5 chapters, and love it. This is something I've always wanted and bought into, and am pleasantly surprised to see someone who has made a program out of this... ~50 years ago.

-------------------------------

I wanted to ask those out there who are on the program... what pitfalls should be avoided. Is there anything you have done wrong, or wish you did differently from the start?

I am currently only doing program one right, and being very anal about it. I've re-read the descriptions of each position more than half a dozen times. I read. Do the program. Read. Program. Read. do the program. Do it again. R. PPPP. R. PPPPPPP. R. PPPPPPPPP. Etc.

Like a photocopy or key cutting, I believe you need to always go back to the source to perfect it. If you keep taking a photo copy of a photo copy, eventually you get a white piece of paper. If you keep cutting the key that was just cut, eventually the key doesn't work. I see the important of the perfection of the first program, and am guessing I will likely be on that for quite some time.

I'm not sure how much I'll get through before I start playing for the season. My main goal though for this year is to almost completely avoid the driving range. With my free time, I plan to spend the majority (80%) working on the short game. If I want to break par, it's going to come from short game.

-------------------------------

One quick question on the keystone position. What is the end goal of this position? I understand being in this position for pos 4, but for pos 2 there seems to be excessive cocking of the wrist. The hands are roughly at the right thing, and the club is way past parallel. However, I notice in Allen's YouTube videos, he does position 2 with the club parallel which I think would be correct. What's the desired position here, and why is the wrist cocking so severe in position 2 in the book?
Bertholy is long on doing and short on instruction. The drills are designed to teach you a classic golf swing without a lot of thinking. If you perform the drills as instructed, you will get better.

Don't be in such a hurry to move to the next exercise. Get the first exercise, then the next. Use video to confirm your corect positions.

Here's some links of some video I made -

Program One:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyWCxHbpEiI

Golden Exercise:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj-i4dXU ... AAAAAAAjAA

It is REALLY important to learn how to disengage your conscious mind when you are executing the swing. You should learn how to play without THINKING ABOUT YOUR MECHANICS. Find a mental method or approach that teaches you how to do this. I recommend Clearkey ®.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1bScx0AyJk

Best wishes...you will be able to build a good classic golf swing action by following the programs - if you don't quit !

Kevin
The Authentic Golfer
A Blueprint For Golf Excellence
The MGS Approach
The MGS Forum



Never quit til you have a swing you'll never forget!
Last edited by mcirishman57 on March 14th, 2012, 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 5th, 2002, 1:33 pm

March 13th, 2012, 3:27 pm #5

Hello,

This is my first post on these forums. I recently ordered and obtained a copy of GC 101 from Doug on the Bertholy website and began reading and performing the programs this weekend. I see that this forum is probably the best place to talk about Bertholy so I made an account.

As a quick background I'm in my late 20's. I've always been a 90's and 100's golfer up until last year. Prior to the beginning of last year my best score was a 91 back in 2010. In 2011, I decided to go all out. I had read the Dream On book of the guy who shot an under par round in ~362 days. I scrounged up all the cards I had saved at my parents place from 2010 and calculated my handicap. It was ~26 (and those cards were only the cards I wanted to keep. I had thrown the awful cards out after a round.)

I hit the range for the first time April 22nd of last year and started putting in work. I would go to the range, grab a bucket, and take a couple of hours to hit it. As I left the driving range I would often sit in my car with my mind racing, philosophizing about the golf swing, and taking in all the information and feedback I had just received on the range. 1 month later on May 22 I had broken 90 for the first time with an 84 on a par 70. ~6 weeks later on July 2nd, I had broken 80 for the first time with a 78 on a 'par 73' (68.9/114/6003). I bought a membership and began to play ~5-6 rounds a week. I would continually shoot high 70's low 80's. I believe I had gotten my handicap down to a 7._ but lost my phone and lost all my rounds after mid august with it.

--------------------------------

Now, with the season fast approaching (can likely be playing where I live in about 4-5 weeks) I've got the extreme bug again and the 24/7 dedication to want to take this thing as possible, and get it from a 7 to... who knows. My goal for the year is an underpar round.

I had often talked on another forum how during all my "post driving range philosophizing" I thought the best way for me in improving my swing had been holding the club in certain static positions. I later remembered reading a story along the lines of "A swedish lady had come to america and went to a pro to learn golf. The problem was he didnt know swedish, nor she english. He would take her and move her in to the correct positions and have her hold them for a few seconds. He said this was the fastest learning student that he had ever had". Hearing this reaffirmed my thoughts. I would hold the top of the back swing and follow through, but that was about it. Recently, after bringing up the static positions thing I had always bought into, someone mentioned to me Bertholy. I'm surprised I didn't catch it in the Mike Maves video 'The Move' or in the Secret in the Dirt book last year. It somehow totally missed my eye. He can talk fast and I must have been off somewhere else in thought.

Anyway, I've got the book, read the first 5 chapters, and love it. This is something I've always wanted and bought into, and am pleasantly surprised to see someone who has made a program out of this... ~50 years ago.

-------------------------------

I wanted to ask those out there who are on the program... what pitfalls should be avoided. Is there anything you have done wrong, or wish you did differently from the start?

I am currently only doing program one right, and being very anal about it. I've re-read the descriptions of each position more than half a dozen times. I read. Do the program. Read. Program. Read. do the program. Do it again. R. PPPP. R. PPPPPPP. R. PPPPPPPPP. Etc.

Like a photocopy or key cutting, I believe you need to always go back to the source to perfect it. If you keep taking a photo copy of a photo copy, eventually you get a white piece of paper. If you keep cutting the key that was just cut, eventually the key doesn't work. I see the important of the perfection of the first program, and am guessing I will likely be on that for quite some time.

I'm not sure how much I'll get through before I start playing for the season. My main goal though for this year is to almost completely avoid the driving range. With my free time, I plan to spend the majority (80%) working on the short game. If I want to break par, it's going to come from short game.

-------------------------------

One quick question on the keystone position. What is the end goal of this position? I understand being in this position for pos 4, but for pos 2 there seems to be excessive cocking of the wrist. The hands are roughly at the right thing, and the club is way past parallel. However, I notice in Allen's YouTube videos, he does position 2 with the club parallel which I think would be correct. What's the desired position here, and why is the wrist cocking so severe in position 2 in the book?
Chris, first off welcome to the forum. This is a good place and you will enjoy it. Although I do have GSC 101 I am not working with it. I don't have an off season where I live and didn't want to stop playing golf to work on the Bertholy Method, especially at my age. But I'm sure it would be beneficial to do so and from reading the accounts of those here who have put in the time and work I'm sure, at your age, it can make all the difference in how well you develop your swing. But something I would like to advise you to do if you haven't already is to join a club and establish an official handicap. Also (and please don't think I'm suggesting you do this but many do) don't post only your good rounds, or even worse, only your bad rounds. Post all of them. And study the Rules of Golf and play by them. Otherwise you won't really know how good you are or how much progress you're making. All the best to you.
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Joined: March 12th, 2012, 7:36 pm

March 13th, 2012, 7:02 pm #6

Hello Chris,

Congratulations on finding Bertholy. I was involved with Moe style golf for many years before I was 'goosed' into looking deeper into Bertholy because Bertholy was Moe's teacher.

A few suggestions/warnings:

1) If you have not done it set up a mirror or video where you can see the monitor in real time to check your positions. Bertholy's studio had floor to ceiling mirrors and the Bertholy school in VA also has large mirrors.

2) You can see video of Harry Mapp, one of the instructor's from the Bertholy school in VA demonstrating one of the drills in the forum video library. They're near the bottom under 'Other Golfer Clips' and have Harry's name. This will give you additional image data so you can compare yourself.

3) Bertholy advised that you start his programs after the end of the golf season to maximize the amount of time doing the programs before starting to play golf so the short time you have to the start of the season is a challenge. The main thing to remember is that you do the drills with 100% mental focus on the details and you play golf with 0% mental focus on those details. Bertholy advised that at most you focus on a good 'rifle barrel' position when actually playing golf.

4) My mistake was in not following #3 and focusing on the details when playing golf. I was still better but I think I would have been better still without that focus.

5) If at all possible find a place where you can actually make divots with the drills where you strike the ground. I did not have this so can't attest to the advantages but another member here who attended the Bertholy school in VA and did have a perfect environment to dig divots (and he reportedly dug a LOT of them) noticed a great increase in the strength of his lead arm and his ability to hit better, cleaner shots. He got to a point where he felt the only limits on his score became short game and putting.

The Bertholy drills train your body to accept a 'fine golf swing'. Like a lot of training the process is more extreme than the final process. The extreme wrist cock of 'keystone' is not the wrist cock you will have in your actual swing but training your body to accommodate that degree of wrist cock makes it easier to maintain more wrist cock for longer in your real swing. Anthropologists and pathologists have found that extreme exercise does result in actual physical changes to your body. Bones get thicker and heavier in addition to increased muscle strength. The Bertholy exercises really are changing your body in proportion to your effort and diligence.

Peter
Nice link of Program 2 by Harry Mapp, the more 'video' I can get of people doing it the better.

I've got 2 mirros set up in my apartment right now for Program 1. One in front of me, and one down the target line.

While unfortunately/fortunately the season is only 3-4 weeks away (probably less, it's getting warm here), I believe I can go about my season and keep conscious thought out of it. Even before finding Bertholy last week my goal was to keep all conscious thought from all swings. If I am on the range and want to hit a draw, just visualize the shot, visualize the trajectory, landing area, everything... step up... and hit a draw. I think m goal of keeping concsious thoughts out of all swings should help me in regards with also doing Bertholy all season long. The real challenge will be... can I keep doing it during the winter. I have a crazy one track mind. Golf season comes and it's all I think about or want to do. 24/7. Playing, practice, putt in my apartment if dark, etc. Then comes winter, and I might very likely get a one track mind for snowboarding. I guess we'll see.

Finding a place to make divots may be tough. The driving range will be the only place, I don't have a yard. My apartment will be my sanctuary for the next 3 weeks anyway. Although I'm only on program 1 right now, and don't plan to move past 2 in the next 3 weeks anyway.

A question about position 3. At the top of the BS, with my left wrist straight, my right wrist is cupped back like crazy. A new feeling. Cool. I definitely see my need to stay with program 1 until I can ingrain that better. However, I'm wondering... is that the maximum I will ever get my wrist back or will the exercises, like you said, change the body in respect to bones and wrist flexibility. Looking at Dustin Johnson at the top of the BS, his left wrist is bowed like crazy. For me to get that, I would have to take a much stronger grip with my right hand (probably right hand V pointing outside right ear). Right now, with my right hand V pointing at my chin, my left wrist just barely gets flat. It won't go anymore. I know this is good, but my right wrist is currently struggling up there being cupped so much. Is this what Mike Maves is referring to in The Move when he talks about... "if the furthest you can rotate it is to square... you're fine"? Link 4:23-4:32 of what I'm referring to.

--------------------

Thanks for the tip on the where I am pointing the club while doing position 4.5 etc. I'm at work now so can't see where I have been doing it, but will make sure I have that part down tonight.

--------------------

I'm definitely in no hurry. Just gonna stick with Program 1 for awhile and perfect the positions. I have a one track mind often as I mentioned above, so I'll likely be posting pictures of all my positions etc to get feedback later on.

I'm currently struggling with the positions. I break a sweat after doing Program 1 just one time and I'm decently athletic. I may have made my swing pipe pretty heavy but I think I'll be fine after a few more days.

--------------------

Here's a couple videos of my swing from last year. Unfortunately I don't have anything current, just a few videos I took at the beginning of last season. I'm pretty excited for this Bertholy program because I can't wait to eliminate my casting of the club and my right shoulder roll.

Left side April 22 of last year. Right side May 4th

Left side June 6, right side June 11 of last year.

Thanks for all the advice. I'm sure I'll be bombarding the site with my positions later on in the week for critiquing.
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Joined: January 23rd, 2005, 12:18 pm

March 13th, 2012, 9:16 pm #7

Hello,

This is my first post on these forums. I recently ordered and obtained a copy of GC 101 from Doug on the Bertholy website and began reading and performing the programs this weekend. I see that this forum is probably the best place to talk about Bertholy so I made an account.

As a quick background I'm in my late 20's. I've always been a 90's and 100's golfer up until last year. Prior to the beginning of last year my best score was a 91 back in 2010. In 2011, I decided to go all out. I had read the Dream On book of the guy who shot an under par round in ~362 days. I scrounged up all the cards I had saved at my parents place from 2010 and calculated my handicap. It was ~26 (and those cards were only the cards I wanted to keep. I had thrown the awful cards out after a round.)

I hit the range for the first time April 22nd of last year and started putting in work. I would go to the range, grab a bucket, and take a couple of hours to hit it. As I left the driving range I would often sit in my car with my mind racing, philosophizing about the golf swing, and taking in all the information and feedback I had just received on the range. 1 month later on May 22 I had broken 90 for the first time with an 84 on a par 70. ~6 weeks later on July 2nd, I had broken 80 for the first time with a 78 on a 'par 73' (68.9/114/6003). I bought a membership and began to play ~5-6 rounds a week. I would continually shoot high 70's low 80's. I believe I had gotten my handicap down to a 7._ but lost my phone and lost all my rounds after mid august with it.

--------------------------------

Now, with the season fast approaching (can likely be playing where I live in about 4-5 weeks) I've got the extreme bug again and the 24/7 dedication to want to take this thing as possible, and get it from a 7 to... who knows. My goal for the year is an underpar round.

I had often talked on another forum how during all my "post driving range philosophizing" I thought the best way for me in improving my swing had been holding the club in certain static positions. I later remembered reading a story along the lines of "A swedish lady had come to america and went to a pro to learn golf. The problem was he didnt know swedish, nor she english. He would take her and move her in to the correct positions and have her hold them for a few seconds. He said this was the fastest learning student that he had ever had". Hearing this reaffirmed my thoughts. I would hold the top of the back swing and follow through, but that was about it. Recently, after bringing up the static positions thing I had always bought into, someone mentioned to me Bertholy. I'm surprised I didn't catch it in the Mike Maves video 'The Move' or in the Secret in the Dirt book last year. It somehow totally missed my eye. He can talk fast and I must have been off somewhere else in thought.

Anyway, I've got the book, read the first 5 chapters, and love it. This is something I've always wanted and bought into, and am pleasantly surprised to see someone who has made a program out of this... ~50 years ago.

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I wanted to ask those out there who are on the program... what pitfalls should be avoided. Is there anything you have done wrong, or wish you did differently from the start?

I am currently only doing program one right, and being very anal about it. I've re-read the descriptions of each position more than half a dozen times. I read. Do the program. Read. Program. Read. do the program. Do it again. R. PPPP. R. PPPPPPP. R. PPPPPPPPP. Etc.

Like a photocopy or key cutting, I believe you need to always go back to the source to perfect it. If you keep taking a photo copy of a photo copy, eventually you get a white piece of paper. If you keep cutting the key that was just cut, eventually the key doesn't work. I see the important of the perfection of the first program, and am guessing I will likely be on that for quite some time.

I'm not sure how much I'll get through before I start playing for the season. My main goal though for this year is to almost completely avoid the driving range. With my free time, I plan to spend the majority (80%) working on the short game. If I want to break par, it's going to come from short game.

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One quick question on the keystone position. What is the end goal of this position? I understand being in this position for pos 4, but for pos 2 there seems to be excessive cocking of the wrist. The hands are roughly at the right thing, and the club is way past parallel. However, I notice in Allen's YouTube videos, he does position 2 with the club parallel which I think would be correct. What's the desired position here, and why is the wrist cocking so severe in position 2 in the book?
Don't ignore the Deltoid Lifts!

Tom
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Joined: March 12th, 2012, 7:36 pm

March 14th, 2012, 4:50 am #8

Hello Chris,

Congratulations on finding Bertholy. I was involved with Moe style golf for many years before I was 'goosed' into looking deeper into Bertholy because Bertholy was Moe's teacher.

A few suggestions/warnings:

1) If you have not done it set up a mirror or video where you can see the monitor in real time to check your positions. Bertholy's studio had floor to ceiling mirrors and the Bertholy school in VA also has large mirrors.

2) You can see video of Harry Mapp, one of the instructor's from the Bertholy school in VA demonstrating one of the drills in the forum video library. They're near the bottom under 'Other Golfer Clips' and have Harry's name. This will give you additional image data so you can compare yourself.

3) Bertholy advised that you start his programs after the end of the golf season to maximize the amount of time doing the programs before starting to play golf so the short time you have to the start of the season is a challenge. The main thing to remember is that you do the drills with 100% mental focus on the details and you play golf with 0% mental focus on those details. Bertholy advised that at most you focus on a good 'rifle barrel' position when actually playing golf.

4) My mistake was in not following #3 and focusing on the details when playing golf. I was still better but I think I would have been better still without that focus.

5) If at all possible find a place where you can actually make divots with the drills where you strike the ground. I did not have this so can't attest to the advantages but another member here who attended the Bertholy school in VA and did have a perfect environment to dig divots (and he reportedly dug a LOT of them) noticed a great increase in the strength of his lead arm and his ability to hit better, cleaner shots. He got to a point where he felt the only limits on his score became short game and putting.

The Bertholy drills train your body to accept a 'fine golf swing'. Like a lot of training the process is more extreme than the final process. The extreme wrist cock of 'keystone' is not the wrist cock you will have in your actual swing but training your body to accommodate that degree of wrist cock makes it easier to maintain more wrist cock for longer in your real swing. Anthropologists and pathologists have found that extreme exercise does result in actual physical changes to your body. Bones get thicker and heavier in addition to increased muscle strength. The Bertholy exercises really are changing your body in proportion to your effort and diligence.

Peter
I posted a fairly long response about 8-9 hours ago and notice it hasnt shown up here yet. I noticed that my original post seem delayed too. Is there a delay on posts or have I lost my post?
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 14th, 2012, 3:56 pm #9

That means I have to approve the posts before they appear. The delay is variable depending on my schedule.

Peter
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 14th, 2012, 9:26 pm #10

Nice link of Program 2 by Harry Mapp, the more 'video' I can get of people doing it the better.

I've got 2 mirros set up in my apartment right now for Program 1. One in front of me, and one down the target line.

While unfortunately/fortunately the season is only 3-4 weeks away (probably less, it's getting warm here), I believe I can go about my season and keep conscious thought out of it. Even before finding Bertholy last week my goal was to keep all conscious thought from all swings. If I am on the range and want to hit a draw, just visualize the shot, visualize the trajectory, landing area, everything... step up... and hit a draw. I think m goal of keeping concsious thoughts out of all swings should help me in regards with also doing Bertholy all season long. The real challenge will be... can I keep doing it during the winter. I have a crazy one track mind. Golf season comes and it's all I think about or want to do. 24/7. Playing, practice, putt in my apartment if dark, etc. Then comes winter, and I might very likely get a one track mind for snowboarding. I guess we'll see.

Finding a place to make divots may be tough. The driving range will be the only place, I don't have a yard. My apartment will be my sanctuary for the next 3 weeks anyway. Although I'm only on program 1 right now, and don't plan to move past 2 in the next 3 weeks anyway.

A question about position 3. At the top of the BS, with my left wrist straight, my right wrist is cupped back like crazy. A new feeling. Cool. I definitely see my need to stay with program 1 until I can ingrain that better. However, I'm wondering... is that the maximum I will ever get my wrist back or will the exercises, like you said, change the body in respect to bones and wrist flexibility. Looking at Dustin Johnson at the top of the BS, his left wrist is bowed like crazy. For me to get that, I would have to take a much stronger grip with my right hand (probably right hand V pointing outside right ear). Right now, with my right hand V pointing at my chin, my left wrist just barely gets flat. It won't go anymore. I know this is good, but my right wrist is currently struggling up there being cupped so much. Is this what Mike Maves is referring to in The Move when he talks about... "if the furthest you can rotate it is to square... you're fine"? Link 4:23-4:32 of what I'm referring to.

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Thanks for the tip on the where I am pointing the club while doing position 4.5 etc. I'm at work now so can't see where I have been doing it, but will make sure I have that part down tonight.

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I'm definitely in no hurry. Just gonna stick with Program 1 for awhile and perfect the positions. I have a one track mind often as I mentioned above, so I'll likely be posting pictures of all my positions etc to get feedback later on.

I'm currently struggling with the positions. I break a sweat after doing Program 1 just one time and I'm decently athletic. I may have made my swing pipe pretty heavy but I think I'll be fine after a few more days.

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Here's a couple videos of my swing from last year. Unfortunately I don't have anything current, just a few videos I took at the beginning of last season. I'm pretty excited for this Bertholy program because I can't wait to eliminate my casting of the club and my right shoulder roll.

Left side April 22 of last year. Right side May 4th

Left side June 6, right side June 11 of last year.

Thanks for all the advice. I'm sure I'll be bombarding the site with my positions later on in the week for critiquing.
Your lead wrist getting to flat is fine. it does not need to be 'bowed'. Your trail wrist will need to bend as much as needed and you definitely want to feel 'comfortable' with the degree of bend (if not more). If you aren't, your trail wrist is likely to straighten too early ('trail wrist cast') and that is not good.

While you should take divots on all iron shots at the range, the divot practice I'm talking about will likely get you banned from the range. See if you can find some empty ground with minimal rocks. If nothing turns up you can take divots out of a piece of plywood but it won't be as effective (and use an old iron).

Peter
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