Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turn your hands naturally.

One very hard thing for many golfers to do is to let their hands turn naturally in their swing.  By this I mean letting their hands work naturally back and all the way through.  Many people don't let their hands work properly because they are either trying to hit the ball too hard without trusting in their own power or they are trying too hard to hit the ball straight.  Most of the time when you purposefully try to do something it ends up doing more harm than good because it doesn't allow you to trust in yourself. 

A simple drill for this is to take one of your irons and grip it with your normal grip.  Swing the club back to about the height of your knee or little higher in the backswing.  From there swing through to about the same height on the other side without trying to swing hard.  Your hands will naturally move properly because of the short swing and the absence of trying to hit it as hard as you can.  Do this over and over to develop a more natural hand movement in your swing.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Know your distances.

I have heard many golfers on TV and on the range say that they honestly don't know the distance that they hit their clubs.  They might now a general distance but not a very specific one.  I heard somebody say once that they hit their 8 iron anywhere from 135 to 150.  This caused a major problem because when you are out on the course, you never know which club to use.  Part of the problem is that many people's swings are not even close to being consistent.  One day they try to just hit the ball solidly and the next they try to just hit it as far as they can.  It comes down to being the same golfer everyday instead of constantly changing.  Here is a list of what amateur golfers average distance wise in yards with their clubs so you can compare. 

Driver (Men 200-260) Women (150-200)
3-wood (Men 180-235) Women (125-180)
5-wood (Men 170-210) Women(105-170)
3-iron (Men 160-200) Women (100-160)
4-iron (Men 150-185) Women (90-150)
5-iron (Men 140-170) Women (80-140)
6-iron (Men 130-160) Women (70-130)
7-iron (Men 120-150) Women (65-120)
8-iron (Men 110-140) Women (60-110)
9-iron (Men 95-130) Women (55-95)
PW (Men 80-120) Women (50-80)
SW (Men 60-100) Women (40-60)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When practicing, always choose a target.

Far too many golfers go out to practice at the range and they just beat balls over and over without picking out a target.  NEVER HIT A PRACTICE SHOT WITHOUT PICKING A TARGET!  This is one of the most important practice tips because in a real round of golf, every shot has a target that you are aiming for so why should your practice be any different?  A good way to practice this is to make imaginary targets if there are no specific practice greens to hit.  Pick a specific area of the range to hit balls instead of just beating them everywhere.  Also with the driver, imagine a tight fairway that you must hit your ball in instead of randomly hitting your driver 15 times and saying you are done.  This will truly change your game and you will get your moneys worth when you go to the range.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What to do in the winter?

Many people are stuck inside most of the winter because it is just too cold.  What do you do then when you want to practice your swing but you can't go outside and you don't want to pay a load of money to go a dome or indoor driving range?  The first thing is obvious, find a wide open area such as a garage or basement and just practice swinging.  You don't even have to be hitting a ball to be doing some good for your swing.  Practice all kinds of swings such as your full swing with all your clubs and even practice some pitch and chip shots.  Secondly, the most overlooked part of practicing inside is the ability to putt.  You can putt year round in your house.  You just need a target and preferably tight carpet.  This is the biggest thing that somebody can improve on over the winter and it will make a huge impact on their game. 

How to get better ball striking without spending any money.

Everyone knows that better ball striking increases accuracy and distance.  Most people know that they are supposed to hit down on the ball but don't really know how to.  Well there is a simple drill and all you need is a towel, club, and a ball.   Take the towel and lay it down flat on the ground about 2 inches behind the ball.  Set up to the ball and take your normal backswing and on the downswing, focus on coming through without touching the towel.  This will cause you to swing down on the ball with forward shaft lean instead of trying to flip or sweep it up off the ground.  I know this really helped me and I know it will help you too!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A great way to improve your lag putting.

Lag putting can be one of the most frustrating things to do in all of golf.  You are happy that you hit the green but you have a 45 foot putt.  Your first put sails 10 feet past and now you have a tough putt for par.  You miss that one and tap in for your bogey.  We have all been there.  Stropping the dreaded three putt is one the fastest ways of lowering your score. 

A great drill for helping with this is practicing the mindset that you must have.  It is very difficult to hole a lag putt but too many people try to.  Even for the pros it rarely ever happens.  When you try to make the putt, you put too much emphasise on hitting it perfectly from that far distance in order to make it.  Instead, think of a giant hole like the picture I included.  If you focus on hitting your lag putt inside of the circle, it dramatically reduces your chances of a three putt.  It is all mental when you are out on the course but if you truly focus on the big hole instead of the little one, it will greatly help your game.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is going against the budget theme but hey, it's just food for thought!

I know many golfers who have dream courses that they want to play before they die.  Well, this is one of mine.  It is Punta Espada golf club which is in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  From the pictures I have seen it looks like the most amazing course ever.  The champions tour makes an annual stop here and the greens fees are $320 a person (that includes a caddie...Oh boy)  It is a Nicklaus designed course that reaches 7,396 yards from the back tees and is a par 72.  It has been rated the #1 course in the Caribbean the last two years by Golfweek magazine.  The signature hole is #13, a par 3 that reaches 250 yards from the farthest tee box that requires a shot to carry the crystal clear, blue water of the shores of the Dominican.  Like I said before, this completely breaks the budget aspect of this blog buy hey, we can all dream and fantasize every once and a while right?

Here is the view from #13