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Ep. 058 - James Sieckmann

James Sieckmann currently operates the Shadow Ridge Golf Academy in Omaha, NE and instructs eighteen PGA Tour, and LPGA Tour Players who have combined to over twenty tour events. James has been recognized by Golf Magazine as a Top 100 Teacher in America and Golf Digest Top 50, and is a nine time PGA Section Teacher of the Year. James has authored 3 books: Your Short Game Solution; Your Putting Solution; and Cool Under Pressure.

When it came to developing his own teaching philosophy, James took a unique approach. Recognizing his own proficiency in the short game but lacking a clear understanding of why he excelled in certain conditions, he embarked on a study of professional players’ techniques. By analyzing videos of players like Raymond Floyd, Corey Pavin, Jodie Mudd, and Seve Ballesteros, he aimed to identify commonalities and develop a comprehensive approach to teaching the short game. Surprisingly, James discovered that the commonly heard advice of leaning left, keeping the head still, and keeping the hands ahead did not align with what these professional players actually did. Instead, he found that their techniques differed significantly. This realization prompted James to develop his own unique approach to teaching the short game, which has since been widely adopted by other coaches and players.

Trackman and other launch monitors provide valuable data and feedback on every swing, allowing golfers and coaches to measure the impact of changes in technique. For example, if a golfer is struggling with distance wedges that balloon and get affected by the environment, Trackman can show the launch angle and spin rate of the shots. By making adjustments to the golfer’s technique, such as increasing forward shaft lean, coaches can quantify the changes and see how they affect the launch angle and spin rate. This ability to measure and quantify changes in technique is particularly useful in the short game context, where precision and control are crucial. By using technology, coaches can provide golfers with objective feedback on their shots, helping them understand the impact of their technique on the outcome of the shot. This not only improves the golfer’s understanding of their own game but also allows them to make more informed decisions on shot selection.

For more information, listen to the episode here

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