Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

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.

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

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.

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