The power backswing: 3 musts for longer drives   Leave a comment

The game’s longest hitters do a tremendous job loading and storing energy in the backswing, which they then unleash into the ball. The result? Mammoth blasts. The modern power player doesn’t hurry on the way back—it’s a smooth, gradual accumulation of power. Here are three power backswing moves you can make to help you launch your biggest drives ever.

1. TRACE A WIDE SWING ARC

 STRAIGHT HITTER  As you swing back, try to keep your left arm as straight as possible without locking it in place. The goal is to get your hands as far away from your right ear as possible at the top of the backswing. This creates width—and the wider your swing arc, the more time the clubhead has to travel and accumulate power-generating speed.

Make your backswing arc as wide as you can, for more stored energy in the downswing. A simple way to do this is to focus on keeping your hands as far from your right ear as possible without locking your left elbow.

2. KEEP THE RIGHT KNEE FLEXED

 STRAIGHT HITTER  Few backswings are longer than John Daly’s, yet he never loses his balance or posture. That’s because he keeps the flex in his right knee. This creates a stable platform for your hips to turn around, and it shifts your weight onto the inside of your right foot, making it easier to rotate your hips and shift your weight forward on the downswing.

Don’t lock your right knee in the backswing. Maintaining some flex here helps you load a max amount of energy into your right leg, fueling bigger hits.

3. MAKE A FULL SHOULDER TURN

 STRAIGHT HITTER  Make the biggest shoulder turn you can in your backswing while still maintaining your posture. This creates more energy and perfectly positions you to swing down on a powerful "inside-out" path. To promote a full shoulder turn, place a shaft on the ground just inside your right foot, and, with a driver lodged across your chest, turn until the butt end of the grip points behind the shaft on the ground.

To get a feel for a full shoulder turn, hold a driver across your chest and swing back until the butt end points at a clubshaft on the ground near your back foot

Posted 9 July, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf.com

How to spin your wedges   Leave a comment

Crisp contact, not a big divot, creates backspin

Spin basics: To make your shot check up, swing on a steeper path, and keep your hands and wrists firm through impact.

swing_impactDetail

Spin is a tricky thing. When you’re trying to avoid it — say, on a tee shot, where sidespin puts you in the trees — it’s easy to make it happen. But what about on a short-iron or wedge shot, when you want the ball to check and stop?

The good kind of spin — backspin — comes from hitting the ball cleanly, then making a divot after impact. The biggest mistake is trying to pinch down on the ball and ripping out a big divot, often hitting the ground before the ball. You’ll dig up some turf, but you won’t create much backspin.

To really put stop on it, take one less club, so you’re making a more aggressive swing. With a steep angle of attack, hit the ball while keeping your hands and wrists firm. Your divot should be a shallow scrape pointing straight at the target — not a worker’s trench.

Your impulse might be to play the ball back. Don’t. Play it an inch in front of center with a short iron so you can hit it higher. A high shot will come in more vertically and roll out less, enhancing the effect of the backspin.

Posted 9 June, 2017 by E. Marino in Tips

Backspin your pitch shots like a Pro   Leave a comment

timthumbWould you like to get your golf balls backspinning after they land on the green…just like professional golfers do?

Well, as you read this article you’re going to learn how to do that.

First a cautionary point. If you’re not getting your pitch shots up to the hole now then learning how to get backspin on your shots is not going to be much good, is it? You get your pitch shots up to the hole and you want to learn how to spin them so the ball stops next to the hole.

One of the first things you need in order to spin your pitch shots is wedges with new, fresh grooves. If you’re using old clubs with worn out grooves then it’s going to be next to impossible to spin your pitch shots, no matter what you do. So you need pitching clubs with clean, sharp grooves.

The next important element needed to spin pitch shots like a pro is the right type of golf ball. If you use a softer golf ball rather than a harder golf ball then that will make it much easier to spin your pitch shots. Sure, you may lose a bit of distance – but you’ll make up for it with your increased control around the greens.

Now let’s look at the pitching swing itself.

Resultado de imagen para backspin golf shotOne of the most important aspects needed in your pitching swing is to contact the ball first with a descending blow. You need to contact the ball first and then make a nice sized divot afterwards.
So getting a clean, crisp contact with the golf ball first is critical if you want to backspin your pitch shots.

Having said that, it’s a lot easier to get backspin when the ball is lying on very short grass than if it’s lying in the rough, because there is no grass to get between the clubface and the golf ball. The only trick with a shot from a close lie is that you must hit the ball first. There is no margin for error.

Ok, let’s sum up what you need to get backspin on your golfing pitch shots. First you need to make sure you’re using golf clubs with fresh, sharp grooves. Then you need a ball conducive to getting backspin, i.e. a softer ball. You need to swing down sharply into the ball and make sure you contact the ball first.

If you can do all of those things and you have a clean lie and a receptive green then you will see your pitch shots having backspin on them. Have fun!

Posted 9 June, 2017 by E. Marino in Tips

Look up, not down, to hit it high   Leave a comment

b psgecIf you don’t hit the ball very high, you’re going to have a tough time landing it softly and holding the green, especially on longer approach shots. Fortunately, the solution is simple: Look up! This simple setup adjustment will have you flighting your irons and hybrids higher than ever.

Take your normal setup, with the ball slightly ahead of center in your stance, then lift your head and pick out a cloud or other spot high in the sky along your target line. This forces you to drop your right shoulder and increase your spine tilt away from the target, presetting the perfect position for a high launch. When you look down at the ball again, make sure to keep your spine and shoulder tilt in place, then swing away. Setting your shoulders on a steeper angle adds loft to the club at impact, making it easy to hit sky-scraping long-irons that land—and stick—like a wedge shot.

Posted 22 April, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf.com, Tips

How far behind the ball should I hit a bunker shot?   Leave a comment

golf-bunker-shot

This two-step drill will fix your bunker shots for good

Most golfers understand that when playing a short bunker shot, you normally want to hit the sand behind the ball. Unfortunately, many try to achieve this and help achieve loft by striking down into the sand very steeply. This steep angle of attack is doomed to fail.

You need the back edge of the sole of the club to strike the sand first. This allows the bounce of the clubhead to assist the club forwards through the sand, controlling the amount of sand between the ball and the clubface.

This only works when the angle of attack is shallow. When it gets too steep, the sharper, leading edge of the sole hits the sand and the club digs down. This will rob the club of momentum, cause a poor contact, and likely leave your ball sat in the bunker staring back at you.

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 Make a footprint in the sand

Make a footprint in the sand. Your goal with the bunker shot should be to remove the entire footprint. You can only achieve this with a shallow angle of attack. If your angle of attack is too steep, you won’t be able to keep the club moving behind halfway through the footprint.

golf-bunker-shot-ball

Now add a ball

Add the ball to the middle of the footprint and do the same thing. You’ll be amazed how nicely the ball floats out of the sand. On the course, simply imagine the footprint around the ball and do the same thing.

Posted 17 March, 2017 by E. Marino in Bunker, Today´s Golfer

Take control of your tee shots   Leave a comment

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1. Visualize it

It doesn’t matter whether you’re hitting your driver on a long par 5 or hitting your 9-iron on a short par 3. Wherever you are, you need to visualize the shot before you take it.

2. Ask yourself these questions

Does this tee shot require a draw, a fade, or does it need to be sent straight down the fairway? Do I need to keep the ball low because of wind, or can I play with some height? Are there hazards or obstacles that I need to avoid?

3. Select the right club

You must see it and be it, and until you visualize your success, you can’t make the right club choice. That’s why asking the questions above of yourself are instrumental to your success.

4. Understand the limitations of your clubs

Only the experts can smash a ball successfully. For amateur golfers though, that doesn’t work. For more distance, focus on swinging the club faster, not harder. By increasing your clubhead speed, you’ll be impressed with how many more yards you can add.

5. Use the right tee height

Don’t tee your ball up too high or too low. Too low, and you’ll hit the ground or even give the ball too vertical a bias. Too high, and your clubhead will go underneath the ball which results in bad shots.

6. Quiet your mind

Learn to turn off the mental din in your head and focus. Staying calm and quiet is essential to playing a good game of golf. Before each game, go through a routine that calms and quiets your mind. It could be 4 or 5 very simple things you do every time before you step up to your ball. By doing them each time, it will become a ritual and will help you hone in your focus.

Posted 8 February, 2017 by E. Marino in Notes, Tips

Perfect your putting with these five mini games   Leave a comment

 

Make putting practice less of a chore by turning it into a personal competition.

Make putting practice less of a chore by turning it into a personal competition.

Does putting practice feel like a chore? Make it fun — and banish three-jacks for good — with these five easy moves.

1. Throw down a challenge
Grab a buddy and head to the practice green. Your assignment? Challenge him to a nine-hole putting match. The stakes: a dollar, or a beer in the clubhouse—whatever gets your competitive juices flowing.

2. Vary the distances
Start with a "makeable" putt, but no gimme—perhaps a 9- to 15-footer. Give the putt full focus, as you would in a match, and follow your routine as you take turns, depending on who’s away. After both players hole out, select a longer putt—say, from 10 to 22 feet. Then alternate between short and long putts until you complete all nine "holes." Low score wins.

3. Switch between birdie and par modes
The key to winning this game is placing each putt in its proper on-course context. View the short ones as birdie opportunities ("I’ve gotta drain this!"), and the longer rolls as par saves ("I’d take a two-putt from here"). The trick? Favor line over speed on short putts and speed over line on the longer ones.

Make putting practice less of a chore by turning it into a personal competition.

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4. Match your focus to length
Focusing on speed on long putts helps you assure an easy two-putt. And with better speed, you’re more apt to pick the right line, so you’ll hole more longer ones. From short range, prioritize read and aim. If you start the ball on the right line from "birdie" distance, odds are you’ll find the cup, even with imperfect speed.

5. Learn the power of patience
Alternating between birdie and par situations teaches patience; you take your pars in stride until a birdie chance arises. If you’re patient, you’re less likely to "force" a tough putt to drop, which will help you cut way down on three-putts. You’re armed with a smart, actionable strategy. Now, enjoy that cold one in the clubhouse. You’ve earned it.

Posted 4 February, 2017 by E. Marino in Golf.com, Notes