Archive for the ‘GolfDigest’ Category

Putting   Leave a comment

imageThe three of us put our minds together to really determine the most important aspect of sinking a clutch putt. A soft grip and a smooth stroke back and through matter.

But kept coming back to as the key to holing a crucial putt is a steady head. Any excessive head movement can cause you to roll the ball on a different line than you intended, or alter the face so it’s no longer square to that line.

You’re anxious to see where the ball’s going, and it’s hard not to track the movement of the putter or ball with your eyes. But to make sure you give yourself the very best chance of making one, you’ve got to check your head. Keep it as still as possible.

Just remember not to tense up simply because you’ve got this feeling of being in lockdown with your noggin. In fact, when you stand over the putt, don’t make a stroke until you feel your shoulders and jaw bone relax. When the tension is gone, hit the putt and don’t look up for at least a full second.

You don’t need to see it go in. It’s way more illin’ to hear the ball rattle around as you stare at your opponent.

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Posted 10 December, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Putter

Approach shots   Leave a comment

approach-shotsWhen it comes to hitting greens down the stretch, nothing is more important than distance control. Think about it. Even a shot that’s 20 yards off line might still be on the green if you hit it pin high. That’s why you should really focus on solid contact when hitting your irons in the clutch.

Here is a simple tip that will cure a common negative tendency with your irons. When you get into your address position, focus on the front of the golf ball—the sliver closest to your target. Then, when you swing, stay focused on hitting that part of the ball.

This will help delay the release of the club, so you make ball-first contact with a delofted clubface. That gets the iron to continue moving downward even after the ball is struck. You’ll compress it.

A sure sign you’re hitting your iron shots powerfully is the look and feel of the clubshaft at impact. It should be leaning toward your target like I’m demonstrating.  Note how the left eye really looks like it’s fixated on that front edge of the golf ball. That also will help get your mind off the weight of the moment.

Posted 10 December, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest

Weekly challenge: speed reader   Leave a comment

short-gameThe key to hitting a good pitch or chip is to minimize the role of the hands. Instead, use a more reliable method of turning your body toward the target to propel the club along the ground before and after impact.

In other words, keep your chest turning through. Like the visual of pretending there is a long club with its grip attached to your chest. Your mission is to hit the shot by turning your body. If you don’t turn your chest, the club doesn’t move.

If you do turn, the butt end of the club should be pointing at your stomach at the finish.

Another thing that will help you hit short-game shots is how you set your hands. At address, lean the shaft slightly away from the target, so your left wrist feels slightly cupped and your right wrist flat. Maintain those wrist positions as you turn your chest toward the target, and you’ll pull off the shot every time.

Posted 10 December, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest

Approach shots   Leave a comment

When it comes to hitting greens down the stretch, nothing is more important than distance control. Think about it. Even a shot that’s 20 yards off line might still be on the green if you hit it pin high. That’s why you should really focus on solid contact when hitting your irons in the clutch.

approach-shotsYou can get a simple tip that will cure a common negative tendency with your irons. When you get into your address position, focus on the front of the golf ball—the sliver closest to your target. Then, when you swing, stay focused on hitting that part of the ball. This will help delay the release of the club, so you make ball-first contact with a delofted clubface. That gets the iron to continue moving downward even after the ball is struck. You’ll compress it.

A sure sign you’re hitting your iron shots powerfully is the look and feel of the clubshaft at impact. It should be leaning toward your target. Note how the left eye really looks like it’s fixated on that front edge of the golf ball. That also will help get your mind off the weight of the moment.

Posted 30 October, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips

Short game   Leave a comment

Clutch short-game players are the envy of us all. One of the most obvious things you’ll notice when they hit these shots is they swing with no fear of nuking one 30 yards over the green. They keep the clubhead moving long after the ball has spun off the face by using good body rotation—way more than the average golfer dares to turn, especially when it’s a big shot.

short-gameThe key to hitting a good pitch or chip is to minimize the role of the hands. Instead, use a more reliable method of turning your body toward the target to propel the club along the ground before and after impact. In other words, keep your chest turning through. I like the visual of pretending there is a long club with its grip attached to your chest. Your mission is to hit the shot by turning your body. If you don’t turn your chest, the club doesn’t move.

If you do turn, the butt end of the club should be pointing at your stomach at the finish.

Another thing that will help you hit short-game shots is how you set your hands. At address, lean the shaft slightly away from the target, so your left wrist feels slightly cupped and your right wrist flat. Maintain those wrist positions as you turn your chest toward the target, and you’ll pull off the shot every time.

Posted 30 October, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips

Tee shots   Leave a comment

You’re facing the most important drive of the round—or maybe your life—and you gotta find the fairway. What do you do?

Here’s what you don’t do: Don’t make a short, wristy swing and try to steer it in play. This situation calls for commitment, meaning keeping your driver accelerating on a good arcing path low through the impact zone. The type of swing you would make if you were hitting a ball into the middle of a driving range.

tee-shotsHere’s a drill to help get it done when it matters most.

Place your ball on a tee and then stick four or five other tees in the turf on an arcing path on the target side of your ball. The first one should be on your target line and the others about a half-inch apart, arcing just inside of it. Now hit shots with the goal of striking the ball and then clipping as many of those other tees out of the ground as possible.

Not only does this keep your club moving low, so you hit the ball in the center of the face, it gets you to accelerate the club through impact on the correct inside-to-inside path in relation to the target line. Best part? You can use the image of clipping the tees when you play, and that will help take your mind off worrying about the outcome.

Just stick with the process.

Posted 30 October, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips

A key to good golf: Swing in rhythm   Leave a comment

Improve your tempo from tee to green

Whether it’s a drive off the first, a crucial putt at the last, or some other stroke in between, rhythm is an important ingredient to make a shot great—it’s like the salt on french fries. Without it, the fries are OK. With it, your mouth waters before the first bite.

Ever notice how a drive made with less effort produces a tee shot far better than if you take a rip at the ball? That’s because you improved the rhythm of your swing. And though it might be a good idea to take your time when you hit driver, other shots require different rhythm. Take the greenside bunker shot you see hitting here. This shot requires a little more energy. The buzzword you  are thinking about when you hit bunker shots is brisk. That gets you to swing through the sand a little amped up, so the club doesn’t decelerate and leave the ball in the bunker. That’s what you mean about swinging with good rhythm. If you want to improve your game from tee to green, scroll down for some other buzzwords to help improve your tempo on various shots.

DRIVER
BUZZWORD: PATIENCE

Driver tempoGrab a golf ball and toss it up, paying attention to the change of direction when it starts to fall back down. Notice how it seems to hover in mid-air for a moment before dropping. If you emulate this feeling of hovering when you change direction from backswing to downswing, you’ll add good flow to your tee shots. Now for your buzzword. Before you take the driver back, think of the word patience. There’s no rush to complete the backswing or to start swinging down. Look how the left heel has come off the ground like an old-school golfer’s swing. You can use this as a cue to know when to change direction. Let it come off the ground as you swing back, and replant that heel before you start down. It will make your swing feel more in sync.

IRONS
BUZZWORD: SMOOTH

Iron tempoWhether it’s nerves, adrenaline or the instinct to lift the club, a lot of golfers jerk their irons up and away from the ball as they start the backswing. This causes a lot of issues that have to be corrected on the way back down if you want to hit it solid and straight. Mostly, it’s a rhythm killer. Like the patient transition at the top of a driver swing, you want to start your irons back with no appreciable effort. The buzzword here is smooth. The club should quietly trace the turf for a foot or two before you hinge it upward. A great drill to help you get the feel of this smooth takeaway is to address a ball with another ball behind your iron on the target line. Start the swing by rolling the second ball away. You can even use this image when you play—especially under pressure.

WEDGES
BUZZWORD: LIGHT

Wedge tempoShots inside 100 yards are often called finesse shots and require a different kind of rhythm.

A lot of it is determined before you take the club back. Like a shortstop getting ready to field a grounder or a point guard shooting free throws, you should feel nimble when you address these short-game shots. Soften your grip pressure, waggle the club a little, gently shift your weight back and forth between your feet. When you’re ready to hit the shot, set the wedge behind the ball and immediately start the motion. No need to let all that rhythm you just prepped for transform into a rigid, disjointed swing. The buzzword for these shots is light. It reminds to get all the tension out of thebody and make a fluid swing. If you stay light, your touch around the greens will improve.

PUTTER
BUZZWORD: EVEN

Putting tempoAlthough the follow-through in a good putting stroke is twice as fast as the backstroke, most amateurs are all over the place with their putting speed. That’s why theb uzzword for putting is even. Thinking of creating an even-paced stroke back and through will help you make the proper accelerating movement into the ball and control the path. Download a metronome app for your phone. Set its beat interval to the pace of what feels like a good stroke. Then practice to that rhythm. Sometimes think one, two on the backswing, and then boom, boom with the club striking the ball on the second boom. You’ll find the metronome implants great rhythm in your stroke. You’ll probably still hear the beat in your head when you play.

Posted 18 October, 2017 by E. Marino in GolfDigest, Tips