Tag Archives: Short Game

Golf Tip: Love Your Game

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!         

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Are you average?

Mike LaBauve working with Cheyenne Woods at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, AZ.

Mike LaBauve working with Cheyenne Woods at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, AZ.

I recently had the pleasure of spending time with my golf coach, Mike LaBauve at his golf facility at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mike was working with Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Wood’s niece. Cheyenne won the Ladies Australian Open last year and is off to qualifying school for the LPGA Tour. Cheyenne strikes the ball beautifully, but wanted to improve her wedge and putting game. Note these Tour statistics: 30% of tour players are good ball strikers with average short games. 65% are good short game players with average ball striking. 5% are fortunate enough to be good at both!

Look at your own game now, are you average or less than average with your short game?

The average score in amateur golf is 100, 40 strokes are in putting, 25 strokes are in the short game and 5% are due to penalties (ball in water, playing the wrong ball, etc.).

If you want a better full swing, work on your ball striking.

If you want a better golf game, become better than average in your short game and putting.

Chipping Technique: 3 Lefts Make a Right

Golf is an incredibly challenging game, from the physical and technical aspects through to the mental side of the game.

How does one remember how to properly handle the many situations they will encounter in a golf game?alt

One method that can be helpful for memorizing technique when it comes to chipping is to think in terms of “3 LEFTS” (for right handed players) or “3 RIGHTS” (for left handed players).

In chipping for right handed players, the “3 LEFTS” include:
  1.  Aiming your body more to the left than your regular full swing set up.
  2.  Leaning on your left leg/foot in the setup, maybe a 70-30 weight distribution.
  3.  Hands and handle of the golf club are angled more to the left of the ball.

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Although your body is aiming more left, the club head is aiming down the intended target line.
Keep that weight on your left foot throughout the swing and avoid transferring it back and forth.
This set up will create a more downward strike with the club, whether you are using a sand wedge, pitching wedge or a less lofted club such as the 7 iron.
There is less chance of hitting the ball “thin” or as some call it “sculling it”, which will lead to more solid contact.

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There will be a minor follow-through with your body turn and the hands are still in front of the clubhead.
Your goal is to think of a 3 foot circle around the hole.
Get your ball inside this 3 foot perimeter and you have a very good chance at a one putt!