Release the club for great golf   Leave a comment

In the immortal words of the great cabaret singer Engelbert Humperdinck, “Please Release Me Let Me Go. The release, as it is commonly called, is simply the ability to square the club face at the moment of truth — that is, impact.

GolftipsThere are two releases in the golf motion. One is the release of the body. Some call that “turning,” the winding of the pelvic region or the lower body (more to come below). The second release, which seems to be taboo to talk about in today’s modern instruction world  is the release of the hands.

The pivoting of the lower body is at the mercy of a player’s ability to use his/her feet and legs in an athletic manner to create both a rotational force as well as a weight transfer from right side to left side. Learning how to use force against the ground is vital. Have you ever seen a great athlete in any sport with bad footwork? Gretzky in hockey, Jordan in basketball, Jeter at short-stop, an Olympic gymnast, or any world class golfer? That footwork, which progressively leads to great leg work and ultimately an ability to rotate their hips, lends to force being created with which to strike the ball.

The release of the hands is probably a bit more controversial in today’s teaching and coaching arena. Not many like to discuss the hands and arms as primary sources of speed or direction. That said, what do you shave with, eat with, steer a car with, brush your teeth with, write with, type with, etc.?

Your hands! They are well-trained, get lots of reps in daily life and are pretty damn well-educated. Have you ever heard of hand-eye coordination?

Next point: the vast majority of right-handed golfers are in fact-right handed. It’s always been said through time that you wanted to get your trail hand (right hand for right-handed player, left hand for left-handed) out of the golf shot. The trail hand in the case of a right-handed/right hand golfer is The “smart hand,” the left hand is in this case the “dumb hand” (lack of reps, un-educated). That’s why the dumb hand is generally taught to be placed on the club in a somewhat stronger setting while the smart hand is placed on the club in a more neutral setting. The dumb hand needs help. i.e., a head start in the release process; the smart hand does not.

All you right-handed/right-hand golfers, try the following: Take some face-on video swinging a short iron with your left hand only, then take film swinging the same club right hand only. Watch each video in slow motion. With which hand the club face releases more actively and/or sooner? If you can’t seem to release the club and spend your days in the right rough, to go to your local practice facility, tee up the ball at the same height you would on a par 3, take out an 8-iron or other short iron and spend the entire session hitting balls right hand only. It may be difficult at first.

In the photos above and right, He is using a tennis racket to show face release and “letting go” to promote a lack of tension in the arm swing. Notice the racket face is fully released. Imagine hitting a forehand top spin shot.

Master your footwork, learn how to pivot your lower body, and understand and promote the use of your smart hand and you’ll be off to the races. Gain yards, hit more fairways and greens.

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Posted 13 September, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf Tips Mag, Tips

How to pitch it closer and attack every pin   Leave a comment

You play well, but you want to shave those last few strokes off your handicap. Pitching it closer is a guaranteed way to save shots every single round.

HOW TO PITCH IT CLOSE TO ANY PIN

Pin position is everything when it comes to planning and executing an effective pitch shot. Here’s how to attack a short pin, which requires the ball to quickly sit down, and a long pin, which will demand plenty of roll.

SHORT PIN: USE LOFT TO MAKE THE BALL SIT
LOW HANDICAPPER
If there’s little room between you and the pin, take your most lofted wedge, play the ball forward in your stance, and open the face a few degrees.

You’re 20 yards off the green, with a pin cut near the green’s front edge. To stop the ball quickly, use your most lofted wedge and play the ball forward in your stance, to increase the club’s effective loft.

A heads-up: The clubface will want to close and point left of your target, so open the face a few degrees and check that you’re properly aimed.

Posted 9 September, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf.com, Pitch, Tips

For consistent ballstriking, use an magazine   Leave a comment

PLLongDo you struggle to hit good irons consistently, round after round?

You may suffer from a poor setup. To fix this, take an issue of magazine and lay it on the ground, with the front and back covers face up. Assume your address using a mid-iron and position the ball opposite the magazine’s spine, with the instep of each foot opposite the outer edges. Align your hands with the spine so that the shaft leans slightly toward the target.

Bend from the hips enough so that your eyes are over the magazine’s top edge. Your arms should hang naturally from your shoulders, placing the butt of the club over the bottom edge of the issue. Master these setup positions and you can expect to hit a lot more greens.

For consistent ballstriking, use a magazine as your setup guide. Align the ball with the spine, and get the instep of each foot even with the magazine’s outer edges.

Bend from the hips until your eyes are even with the top edge of the magazine, and let your arms hang down.

Posted 9 September, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf.com, Tips

Fat-proof pitching: Stop duffing the short shots   Leave a comment

There’s something about shots from 30 to 60 yards that give a lot of golfers fits. The biggest problem is making a backswing that’s too long, and then, in fear of hitting the shot too far, slowing the club down as it approaches the ball. The typical result is contact with the ground behind the ball—the dreaded fat shot. If this is your issue, here are four ways to make your pitching swing foolproof—or fat-proof, if you prefer.

David-Leadbetter-pitching-drill-step-by-step

Posted 22 August, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Leadbetter, Tips

Stop blading shots   Leave a comment

Put your game on your shoulders

correct-shoulder-tiltPure shots feel way different than mis-hits, obviously, but what exactly is the cause of all those bladed shots and weak grounders?

It’s probably your shoulders.

Shoulder tilt is the inclination in relationship to the ground. Looking at the illustrations above, if you drew a line across the top of your shoulders, it’s the relative angle you’d get. On the left, your shoulders are tilted more toward the ground. On the right, they’re nearly parallel to the ground.

Whether you start with decent shoulder tilt and lose it during the swing or never establish it, you make it really hard to keep the bottom of your swing within a consistent range. And when you can’t put the bottom of your swing consistently in the same place, you’ll struggle to routinely center the clubface on the back of the ball and launch the shot at an ideal trajectory.

To improve your tilt, you first need a frame of reference to establish the correct feel. Get in your stance and hold a club across your chest with the butt end facing your target. Now mimic a backswing.

When fully turned, the grip should be angled toward the ground, not level with it. That’s good tilt.

Posted 22 August, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips

Pitching to a short-sided pin   Leave a comment

Zip through the grass with an open face

short-sided-shotWhen the pin is close to the edge of the green you’re playing from and you’ve got a little cushion of grass, try to put some zip on the ball to make it stop quickly once it lands. By holding off the rotation of my right arm, You can add some real speed to your swing. The added loft from the open clubface and the extra spin it puts on the ball makes it easier to get it close to the hole.

You still need your hands involved with a feel shot like this, but you want them synced with the rotation of your body as you turn toward the target.

If you keep those tattoos skyward, you’ll make better contact and have a real chance at getting up and down.

Posted 22 August, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips

Trigger Your Touch   Leave a comment

How to control distance with two fingers

Initiate movement using your right thumb and forefinger.

magazine-2010-04-maar01-smith-220To create the feel you need to chip it close, use the thumb and forefinger of your right hand to initiate the movement. Those fingers are crucial to controlling wrist hinge, which is the key to hitting accurate distances.

As you start back, squeeze the grip with a trigger-finger action (right), letting your right wrist hinge and the club move slightly inward and upward. Once you’ve done that, simply maintain that hinge as you pivot your body toward the target through impact. Your goal is to keep the shaft leaning forward and to make ball-first contact.

The most common amateur mistake, is gripping the club in the right palm, which makes it harder to hinge the club correctly and control distance.

Posted 12 August, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Putter, Tips