Hit the gas to improve pitching accuracy   Leave a comment

Think miles per hour from inside 100 yards

LeadbetterNeed for speed: Swing speed — not swing length — is the best way to control pitching distance.

The most common way golfers are told to regulate distance on pitch shots is to vary the length of the backswing. But I’ve always found it extremely difficult to get players to know exactly how far back they take the club. How would they know? It’s not like a bell goes off when they get to the correct spot.

Instead of worrying about varying backswing lengths, focus on one length — halfway back, with the left arm parallel with the ground. From there, key on the acceleration factor through impact. For example, if you want to hit a 90-yard shot, think about making a 90-mph swing. If you want to hit it 70 yards, make it 70 mph and so on. Obviously, these speeds are not accurate, but it’s a great mental concept for improving distance control on your pitch shots.

Advertisements

Posted 14 November, 2017 by E. Marino in Leadbetter, Tips

Uneven lies and how to beat them   Leave a comment

A large percentage of shots during a round of golf will not be from a perfect, level lie like you practice on the range.  Understanding what may or may not happen from these uneven lies and making the necessary set-up adjustments are extremely important to executing the shot and minimizing the BIG mistakes.

When executing any of the uneven lies, use these three steps to help.

  • Take several practice swings to get a feel for the slope
  • Swing at 75% tempo
  • Use a three-quarter length swing

UNEVEN LIES: BALL ABOVE FEET

1SET-UP ADJUSTMENTS
  • Choke down on the club
  • Aim right of the target
  • Weight towards the toes
  • Create a more upright posture
  • Use less club to reduce the hook

SWING

The more lofted club you use for this shot, the further the face will point to the left. Using a lower lofted club will point closer to the target at address and reduce the amount of hook on the shot. This lie shifts the ball closer and higher to you than normal, which will steepen the swing plane, causing you to hit too much ground. At impact, feel the club just brushing the top of the grass. The slope, and a flatter swing plane, will create a right-to-left flight.

UNEVEN LIES: BALL BELOW FEET

2SET-UP ADJUSTMENTS
  • Grip up on the club
  • Aim left of the target
  • Weight toward the heels
  • Increase knee flex
  • Use more loft to reduce any slice

SWING

This is by far the hardest of the four uneven lies. Why? In this situation, your swing needs to be more upright than normal WITHOUT changing your posture or knee flex during the backswing.

Opposite of the other lie, the ball is now further away, making is easier for you to thin or top the shot. Keep your chest down and keep your knee flex throughout the swing, including the finish. Use a club with more loft to help increase backswing on the ball which will reduce the amount of slice. Play for a left-to-right shape and stay down.

Posted 14 November, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf Tips Mag, Tips

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

Uneven lies and how to beat them   Leave a comment

A large percentage of shots during a round of golf will not be from a perfect, level lie like you practice on the range.  Understanding what may or may not happen from these uneven lies and making the necessary set-up adjustments are extremely important to executing the shot and minimizing the BIG mistakes.

When executing any of the uneven lies, use these three steps to help.

  • Take several practice swings to get a feel for the slope
  • Swing at 75% tempo
  • Use a three-quarter length swing

The two toughest uneven lies: Ball above your feet and ball below your feet.

UNEVEN LIES: BALL ABOVE FEET. SET-UP ADJUSTMENTS

  • Choke down on the club
  • Aim right of the target
  • Weight towards the toes
  • Create a more upright posture
  • Use less club to reduce the hook

uneven-lies-1SWING

The more lofted club you use for this shot, the further the face will point to the left. Using a lower lofted club will point closer to the target at address and reduce the amount of hook on the shot. This lie shifts the ball closer and higher to you than normal, which will steepen the swing plane, causing you to hit too much ground. At impact, feel the club just brushing the top of the grass. The slope, and a flatter swing plane, will create a right-to-left flight.

UNEVEN LIES: BALL BELOW FEET. SET-UP ADJUSTMENTS

  • Grip up on the club
  • Aim left of the target
  • Weight toward the heels
  • Increase knee flex
  • Use more loft to reduce any slice

uneven-lies-2SWING

This is by far the hardest of the four uneven lies. Why? In this situation, your swing needs to be more upright than normal WITHOUT changing your posture or knee flex during the backswing. Opposite of the other lie, the ball is now further away, making is easier for you to thin or top the shot. Keep your chest down and keep your knee flex throughout the swing, including the finish. Use a club with more loft to help increase backswing on the ball which will reduce the amount of slice. Play for a left-to-right shape and stay down.

Posted 24 October, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf Tips Mag, Tips

Chips from the rough   Leave a comment

DSCF5699Not all of our chips will be from the perfect lie on the fringe, so we need to make sure we practice out of a variety of lies. Next time you practice your chipping, drop your ball in some rough and try to recreate more realistic lies. Here are a couple things you should change in your chipping when you encounter a tough lie in the rough:
• Use more a little more loft then you normal, the extra loft makes it a little easier to get down to the ball and to get the ball up and out of the rough.
• Feel like your backswing is more to the outside, this helps us get a little steeper angle of attack back down to the ball
• Keep the weight left—this is important for all chip shots, but an absolute must when we get into a tough lie.

Continue to practice using these drills and your game will dramatically improve.

Posted 24 October, 2017 by E. Marino in Chip