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Are you struggling with your chip shots? Are you finding yourself hitting way behind the ball or sculling the ball over the green? These miss hits can totally destroy your confidence and cause your frustration levels to rise. There is an easy fix and it can be corrected with just a few of the following key tips.
First, we must identify and understand the problem and the reason why this happens. These miss hits are a result of improper positioning with your weight and improper positions your head and spine. To better clarify, please refer to the following photos and you will be able to see what an incorrect and correct position would be at set up and at the impact position. The incorrect photo shows a set up with my weight favoring the right side of my body with the spine and head tilted back to the right. This position will increase your chances to hit behind the ball or to come up and catch the middle of the ball with the club head resulting in a sculled shot.
Distance and direction are the two variables for putting success. Direction is important for shorter putts. Distance control is vitally important for longer putts. Inconsistent distance control leads to the majority of 3-putts for golfers off all skill levels.
Are you having trouble with distance control on the putting surface? If so, use the following helpful drill to improve your distance control and putting touch. Take your normal set up and putt a golf ball from various distances to a target or hole. Start off the drill from the shorter distances: 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet, and 6 feet.
Now, do the same from 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 feet. Note: we are incrementally increasing distances.
In previous golf lessons I discussed how to hit a golf ball from an uphill lie and how to hit a golf ball from a sidehill lie with the ball below your feet. Here is a golf lesson on how to hit a golf ball from a downhill lie.
When you face a downhill lie, the ball lies below your feet. The address position relating to the ball and clubhead positions should be the same as a level lie. Ball position should be in the center of your stance. Because of the downhill lie, your body will need to bend more at the hips to reach the ball.
Because the excessive bending is uncomfortable when finishing your backswing, golfers have a tendency to straighten their posture similar to a level lie. The straightening of the posture results in thin shots and in some cases…topping the ball. To alleviate this problem, widen your stance slightly. The wider stance will make it easier to reach the ball.
Does your plan of hitting an extra long drive backfire more than succeed? Usually when we’re trying to get a little more distance out of our drives we end up creating more tension in our swing, resulting in slower clubhead speed and less distance.
If you find this to be the case in your golf swing, try the following tips.
First, try producing less pressure and tension in your grip. Gripping the club too tightly will cause your forearms and shoulders to become restricted, thus resulting in a shorter turn in the backswing. The grip pressure is similar to taking a banana, peeling it, and gripping the banana without putting any fingerprints on it. When done properly, you will feel more relaxed in your arms when gripping the club in your set up.
In our previous golf lesson article I discussed how to hit a golf ball off an uphill lie. Hopefully, you had a chance to practice hitting balls off the uphill lie. Now, I will discuss how to hit a golf ball from a sidehill lie with the ball below the feet.
When you face this type of sidehill lie, the ball lies below your feet. The address position relating to the ball and clubhead positions should be the same as a level lie. Ball position should be in the center of your stance. Because of the sidehill lie, your body will need to bend more at the hips to reach the ball.
The uphill lie and stance can be confusing for golfers. The awkward lie angle naturally changes the swing plane. Here’s a good method to hit a golf ball off an uphill lie with better precision.
When you face an uphill lie, the golf ball lies above your feet. The address position relating to the ball and clubhead positions should be the same as a level lie. Ball position should be in the center of your stance. Because of the hill, your body will be in a straighter or more erect position. Grip down on the club. By gripping down on the club you can be closer to the ball and the steepness of the hill grade is reduced.
Are you looking to make a bigger shoulder turn in your backswing? If so, try this drill next time you are on the practice range.
Simply take your backswing and stop, as illustrated in the first picture. Once you have stopped, take a look behind yourself. As you rotate your head to the right to look behind yourself, your shoulder turn will increase significantly. Notice how much my shoulder turn increased once I looked behind myself. Do this several times in your practice swings and you will be amazed at the increase in your shoulder turn.
The golf grip is a point of confusion for many beginning, novice and high handicap golfers. How to grip a golf club is a question students have asked me many times on the lesson tee.
A proper grip is essential to playing good golf consistently. The hands are the only part of your body that touch the golf club to provide a "connection". Your golf grip will influence the clubface angle at impact and how fast you are able to swing the club.
A good grip helps return the clubhead square to the ball at impact without hindering the natural centrifugal force generated by the swinging of the golf club. As the late Tommy Armour stated, “The basic factor in all good golf is the grip. Get it right and all other progress follows”.
Throughout my years of golf instruction, I have taken a fundamental, simplistic approach to the golf swing. For a proper golf grip, I stress the importance of the three P's. Placement, pressure and precision.
I’m often asked how to hit a down hill shot, especially after our members play the Conservatory. As you know, the Conservatory can be very challenging with the down hill, up hill, and side hill lies. For today’s tip, let’s get started with how to hit a down hill shot on the golf course, which I believe gives people the most trouble.
Posture and stance are very key to the success of this shot. Our overall goal is to make your body feel LEVEL to the slope of the ground throughout the whole swing, even beginning in the set up. First, take a little wider stance so that you can keep your balance easier. Next, feel the overall weight of your body positioned more towards the front leg. You will have the sensation that you are slightly open to your target. In regards to club selection, choose a club that is one less, so in other words, if the shot requires a 7 iron, hit an 8 iron. The downward nature of the slope will automatically take off loft of the club you select. The shaft of the club should feel as if it is leaning forward.
The month of January has been unseasonably cold with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s. Playing golf in these temperatures can be miserable if you’re not dressed properly. On the other hand, if you are dressed properly, playing in the cooler weather can be quite enjoyable and you will also have an upper hand on your opponents. Here are a couple of suggestions that I have for battling the cold weather on the golf course.
Losing a lot of distance lately?
More than likely you’re losing your posture somewhere during the backswing. You could be straightening up in your knees or standing up in your waist. Either way, losing your posture will translate into losing power.
If you feel like you’re losing your posture, try to have the sensation of slightly bowing to your right knee as your body is turning during the entire length of your backswing. The proper sensation will have you feel like your belly button is going to make a slight motion to the top part of your right knee.
Try this drill before you hit balls on the range to get a better feel for this power move. First, put your hands on your hips (1st photo), and then simply bend from the waist to your right knee. (2nd photo). This drill will help you get the feeling of maintaining the proper powerful position that is required to add more distance to your shots.
Have you ever wondered how far you should stand away from the golf ball before you hit your golf shot?
To find the correct distance from the ball, I like doing the “hand span” test. Simply take your stance, make sure the sole of the club is sitting flush to the ground, with the toe and the heel of the golf club are level. Make a slight “hand span” and place between the butt of the club and your body, where the pinky of your right hand is placed near the butt of the club and your thumb is near your body. Your goal is to be a “hand span” away from the butt of the club after taking your address position.
This is a great, simple little measure to consistently get you to stand the proper distance from the ball, which in turn will promote better balance and weight shift throughout the swing.
You may snicker at the title of this tip as a buried lie shot the bunker can be intimidating and just getting out could seem impossible. I would like to show you a technique to not only hit the shot, but to be able to hit the shot with some height to it so that you can clear a high lip if necessary.
The reality of it all is that this is really a pretty easy shot, if you understand the proper technique. In fact, most of our fear is a result of a lack of knowledge. If we have the proper knowledge on how to execute, our confidence increases. So let’s increase your knowledge and confidence so that you have a positive attitude in approaching this shot.
The secret to hitting great golf shots is to develop a consistent and proper impact position. Being in the proper impact position will greatly enhance our ability to hit solid golf shots. All my lessons are geared to get our students in the proper impact position. If you look at all the PGA Tour players, they may all have different backswings and different finishes, but they do have one thing in common: a consistent proper impact position.
Here are the characteristics of a proper impact position:
Having the ability to hit more consistent short wedge shots will lower your score significantly. The 30 to 50 yard wedge shot falls right into our scoring zone area and is crucial to execute for scoring well. This shot is typically challenging for the mid to high handicappers because the swing required is 1/2 to 3/4 of our regular swing, which becomes difficult to gauge.
So, if you find yourself hitting this shot too far, fat, short or if you feel like you’re totaling guessing as to the distance of this shot try the tip below the next time you’re practicing.
This tip will help you with a tricky shot that happens all too often.
This tip takes us to the base of the green on hole #2 at the Conservatory Course at Hammock Beach Resort. If your second shot comes up short of this green, your ball will more than likely roll back down the fairway cut and into the tightly mown collection area. With the green and pin located well above the ball, the impending shot is daunting for the majority of golfers.
This shot is difficult as you are challenged to get the ball up and over the false front of the green. Many times I see players trying to lob the ball up over the hill with a sand wedge, resulting in leaving the ball short and rolling back to the golfer’s feet.
The key to consistent ball striking is balance. Balance, whether good or bad, affects your golf swing in numerous ways. If you improve your balance, you will hit a higher percentage of straighter and longer golf shots. Proper balance is a skill that can be developed and should be practiced on a continual basis.
One of the best balance drills is not golf specific, but can have a dramatic impact on your golf swing. Practice standing on one foot for as long as you can. Start by standing with your weight on your right foot. Then, stand with your weight on your left foot. You might be surprised with the difficulty of this seemingly simple exercise. Begin with a short goal of 20-25 seconds on each foot and try to improve your times daily.
Getting into the correct backswing position is very critical for hitting a great golf shot. If you are inconsistent and find yourself either pulling the ball and/or blocking your golf shot to the right, you may want to try this golf tip.
At the completion of your backswing, feel like you are holding a tray in your right hand. By doing so, you will create the proper rotation of the arms that will allow you to have a square clubface at the top of your backswing. A square club at the top of the backswing equals a square clubface at impact as well. This position will increase your chances of hitting your ball more on target. This is an excellent tip to feel the correct position at the top of the backswing. When people get into a rut where the ball is going way left or right, it’s because they are either in a closed position or open position at the top of their back swing. Holding the tray is a great way to feel the correct backswing position and this is a tip that is easy to take onto the golf course.