Statistics show us that more than 70% of your shots occur inside of 100 yards. This includes putting, chipping, pitching, sand and full swings with shorter clubs. Now some of you are better at scoring compared to your full swings with longer clubs. Most players are worse at scoring than full swings. If you were to play 9 holes at your golf club, but not play from the normal teeing ground and start from 100 yards out, would you score 27 or better? The answer is quite interesting and it is a resounding NO!
Now you have a better idea of where to put your efforts when you practice this winter.
Come and see me over the winter for some private sessions or on a regular schedule with the Winter Coaching Program.
Green side bunker shots or sand shots require a little bit of visualization, a little more set up preparation and a little bit of execution. Notice that the set up preparation requires more time than the other two. Visualize a dollar bill in the sand, the ball sits in the middle of the bill. The leading edge of the bill is in the middle of your stance (where the ball should be on most of your shots). The club head should enter the sand where the leading edge of the bill is.
When you complete the swing, the dollar bill is gone and so is the ball! Remember to keep more weight on your forward foot and keep your buttocks lower to the ground.
I have some dates for our one day golf camps including a playing lesson, please check out my web site for further details.
Would you like to play golf, visit a safari and do some wine tasting, well we have a South Africa golf trip scheduled October 31st to November 19th, 2016. Check out the details on my web site!
Let’s talk about ball flight in this tip today. Many people will set up on the tee box in an area between the markers, which looks the flattest and with the most untouched grass. You should be looking at a target in the fairway and playing for your particular flight pattern. If you tend to slice or fade the ball like the red line below, you will want to set up on the right side of the tee box. Now aim yourself to the left of your intended target. This will make your landing area much larger. If you do not have an established pattern, set up more in the middle of the tee area. The Tour pros use this method as none of them hit perfectly straight shots down the middle with their longer clubs.They get the ball to come back to the middle of the fairway or the green.
Well the time is here to get out the clubs and maybe even get on the course!
Some people say “my best games, are the first games of the year”. How is that possible? Expectations can be certainly lower at this time of year, even if you have been practicing thru the winter. What does this look like?
- Pressure is softer in the hands, arms and shoulders.
- Pace of the swing is generally smoother and easier.
- Focus is narrowed to just “hitting the ball”.
- Poor shots are easier to excuse and forgotten much quicker.
- Short game and putting pressure is kept in check, since course conditions “are not great”, so why should you expect your touch to be.
Once you have played a few games, you then start thinking about how to do things better. This is quite normal to rationalize and practice on the driving range, but don’t take the practice routine and expectations on the course. You will be disappointed!
On the golf course, remember what you felt in the first few games of the season, see the target and hit the ball to the target.
Your game includes the full swing, short game, putting, trouble shots, course strategy and your mental approach. These are not in any particular order, but you will be doing all of them in any given game. This season, try to determine what your strengths are and where is the weakness. If you are a decent ball striker, but you cannot chip the ball within 3 feet of the hole, that is where your focus should be. If you struggle with 50 yard shots, don’t say “well I will not hit the approach shot to that distance, instead I will give myself a full swing from 100 yards”. Work on your short game and your putting average will improve.
Most golfers practice what they are good at, avoiding the weaker areas, hoping they will not encounter the weak areas on the golf course. If you don’t know how to improve your weaker areas, come and see me. Let’s have more fun this golf season and love your game!
Start the year off right and work on the basics such as your posture. The picture on the left represents good posture with a flat spine angle. The middle picture shows “C” posture, rounded shoulders and a rounded upper spine. The right picture shows “S” posture, a distinct curvature in the lower spine. Both “C” & “S” postures cause swing issues and pain in the lower back. Get your shoulders back, bend from the waist with a slight bend in the knees and your arms hang below the shoulders. The distance from the end of the club to your body is about a hand width.
Most metal woods including the driver and fairway woods have curvature on the club face, your irons do not. This is intentionally designed, which helps our ball flight. A ball that is struck towards the heel on the club face will spin to the right (right handers). A ball struck towards the toe will spin more to the left.
When you hit a shot that spins one way or the other, consider where it struck the club face, your path and club face alignment could be fine, but the spot on the club face will make it appear otherwise.
At the Academy, one of the first things I do when measuring ball flight for my students is confirming the contact on the face of the club. I use Dr. Scholl’s foot powder by spraying it on the club face, which leaves the ball imprint more visible after contact.
The next question is why are you hitting the ball towards the toe or the heel?
That’s where I come into the equation, thru the use of video and Trackman radar, I can pinpoint this problem and suggest the change required. Give a gift certificate for golf lessons this Christmas, they can be used over the winter at the Riverside Academy or the summer at the Glencoe Golf & CC. Contact Me to learn more!