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    Free Essay
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    Play better golf through exercise

     

    Play better golf. Isn’t that what every golfer thinks about 24/7? Golf can be the most humbling game you will ever play…but we keep coming back for more. To play better golf consistently you need to look at the source. Do you really think it’s your equipment? How much money have you invested on new equipment only to see the same game show up on the course? No it’s not your equipment. How about lessons? I am a firm believer in swing mechanics to play better golf. If you don’t have a clear understanding of them, you will never improve. But have you taken lessons only to get more frustrated with your game? What I mean is…you just took a lesson and you’re excited to go play. You get to the course and can’t “find your swing”. You’re thinking of too many tips and become locked up on the course. So what’s left? One guess? You’re looking right at it. YOU! In order to play better golf your body has to have a reasonable level of strength, flexibility, endurance and ENERGY! You can’t get this hitting more balls; taking more lessons; or buying more equipment. You attain this “off the course” through exercise. I know what you’re thinking…ugh. No…wait…it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t need to get a gym membership. You don’t have to spend hours a day. You don’t have to kill yourself. You just have to devise a plan that is efficient and tailored to YOUR needs. If you really want to play better golf…this is the only way to achieve it quickly. How many times have you walked off the course in disgust? You know you can do better, but your body just won’t do what your brain wants it to do. I hear this all the time. In fact, I’ve received hundreds of emails saying just that. My answer is the same every time! To play better golf you’ve got to improve your range of motion specific to golf, as well as your strength for all phases of the golf swing. The most important aspect for improving distance is rotational strength and flexibility. The ability to rotate back to a full 90 degree shoulder turn; store up all that energy in your core; and then unleash it during the downswing…crushing that ball. Now that’s a fun game when that happens. So focus on improving your range of motion and strength from a rotational standpoint. That doesn’t take a gym or fancy equipment. All it takes is simple equipment like dumbbells (hand weights), an exercise ball and exercise tubing. With this equipment you can literally break down the swing into multiple phases and do golf exercises for each phase. You won’t find many of these exercises in the “so-called” golf fitness books in the store. All you’ll see is the golfer “sitting” in a machine in a gym. That’s not fitness for golf; that’s “general fitness” Not altogether a bad thing, but won’t help your game at all. I hope I’ve given you food for thought. The ultimate goal is to “play better golf!”

         
    Play golf right get the basics right

     

    : Golf is a game of inches, you might have heard that term before but the theory of golf is equally important as the mechanics of the game. Knowing about the basics is even more important while deciding upon whether to purchase the equipment, especially the golf clubs, or go for the rentals. For the beginners one little advice would not be out of place here, go for the golf clubs available on rent as they are very expensive to purchase and takes some time to getting used to. So let’s start knowing about the Golf. Golf Course First thing that one encounters is the golf course. A course is made up of a series of holes, each comprising of a teeing area, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the green with the pin and cup. A typical golf course consists of eighteen holes, but many have only nine. Hole Holing a ball consists of hitting a ball from a tee on the teeing box and once the ball comes to rest, striking it again and again until the ball goes into the hole. A hole is classified by its par, the number of strokes a skilled golfer should require to complete play to the hole. Traditionally, a golf hole is either a par-three, - four or – five, though some par-six holes exist, but are not usually found on golf courses. The par of a hole is determined by the tee-to-green distance. But these distances are not absolute rules in themselves. There can be variations depending upon the prevailing rules and practices. Handicap A handicap is basically rating of an amateur golfer’s ability to play golf over 18 holes. The 2 main formulas used in the game are stroke play (also known as brutto or medal) and match play. In the Stroke play formula an individual competes against the par of the course to determine his/her handicap. The match play formula is a game during which two players compete with each other. In other words, your score per hole depends on the other player's score. Clubs Golf clubs are used to hit a golf ball. They basically fall into three broad categories namely • Woods: Earlier they used to have wooden heads, hence the name, and are used to propel the ball for long distances from a tee or fairway. They have varying degrees of loft (angle of club face relative to vertical). Now these come with titanium or composite heads. • Irons: Originally with metal heads also with varying degrees of loft. • Putter:they are used to propel the ball short distances along the ground with optimum accuracy, usually on the putting green. While the variation of clubs can differ greatly between golfers, a set can have no more than 14 clubs and generally consists of three woods, two wedges, a putter, and eight irons (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 irons, plus a pitching wedge.

    ) Clubs can either be purchased or are available on rent. To repeat, beginners are better off with rented out clubs not only because they are costly but companies like GolfRentalandSales GolfRentalandSales provides the facility of insurance against any wear and tear (which is unavoidable for beginners.) So far as the rules are concerned, the rules of golf are internationally standardized and are jointly governed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the United States Golf Association. In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also follow a set of guidelines called Golf Etiquette.

         
    Playing the golf swing punch shot

     

    The golf swing punch shot has always impressed me out on the golf course when it has been executed properly. It has been one of the most interesting golf shots that I learned to play and have watched others perform. It requires the art of timing and touch to master the art of a soft landing punch shot or a bump and run. This type of shot saves golfers a number of strokes from time to time, and is quite effective in a tough situation. The punch shot is pretty much the only golf shot that you must quit on the follow through. Feeling the club head is very important in executing a good punch shot. The golf shot is lead by the left forearm (right-handed golfers) and requires little arm movement and more wrist action. To visualize this shot, imagine throwing your forearm wrist and club head at the ball and quitting the follow through at impact. Depending on the distance of the shot needed determines the golf club selection and how far to take the club back, mainly with the wrists. Both wrists and forearm control the distance of the club going back and through as the club picks up speed coming down towards the ball with your knees and hip starting the down swing, and only to quit the golf swing punch shot after impact. I have seen players perform and play this shot using a driver right through to a pitching wedge. The loftier clubs are needed to get the ball up quickly. The club selection is very important on accuracy on how far and how high the ball will come off of the clubface. There are a number of reasons to quit on the follow through on this type of golf shot. One situation would be a restricted golf swing because of a tree stump ahead of your swing path and or a branch where the golfer has to keep it low for a certain distance. Another reason would be to simply control the distance of a particular golf shot. One may want to use a 3 iron for a more restricted golf swing and keeping the golf ball closer to the ground to clear the branches before it starts to rise. The 7 iron would help pick the ball up right away to go over a tree stump or clear a branch, but one would have to use the power of the forearm and wrist for distance when using loftier clubs. Another golf swing punch shot to practice would be an uphill mound facing you with a green sloping away from you and the pin tucked closely to the front with no green to work with. Take out a 7 iron and close the clubface a little and punch the golf ball off of and against the slope face of the mound to make it fly straight up and land softly onto the green. The mound in front of you must have a considerable amount of slope for this golf shot to work, but it is a very impressing punch shot to perform. Practicing and mastering this golf swing punch shot will save you strokes and help lower you handicap. There are good golf swing instruction manuals on the Internet that will help you master this punch golf shot when needed in a pinch.

         
    Playing the miniature golf

     

    Among the many forms of golfing, miniature golf or mini golf has started to become a popular past time among busy professionals and family alike who are either popular fanatics of the game or prefer to take on a regular gaming activity in the comfort of their own homes. History Perhaps, miniature golf was created due to the increasing demands of golf courses that do not occupy a significant land area but still able to provide all the amenities expected of the more conventional golf courses. This midget type of golfing became surprisingly popular before World War 1 in 1910 and the early 1920's. It was originally termed as “Garden Golf” due to the usual scenery characteristic of a golf landscape. Contributors Thomas McCulloch Fairbairn was the first to completely initiate change in the way mini golf courses were designed and played. He takes on a new role in introducing anatomical changes to the then current details of midget golf courses. He was to contribute to the dramatic advancement of mini golf landscape by replacing the usual objects typical of conventional golf courses, to artificial greens and physical hazards. A mixture of color dyes, cottonseed hulls, tree landscaping, and the creation of artificial bunkers, curves and rolls and water hazards (miniature lakes) have successfully replicated the more traditional golf sport into a geographically manageable level. Ensuing Years The late 1930's further revolutionized the production of golf courses when Joe Taylor and Bob Taylor added new features to the then mini golf architecture. They put up more obstacles that serves to make mini golfing a more fun game to play. Wells, castles and windmills were installed along with other physical deterrents. With their increasing efforts to create a more ideal midget golf course, a number of industries catering to the production of these merchandises created the first National Association of Putting Course Operators, Manufacturers and Suppliers in 1961 in association with Arnold Palmer and Don Clayton. Al Lomma together with Ralph Lomma, his brother, of Lomma Enterprises, Inc. in 1955 introduced a more robust feature and broke away from the more conventional straight putting. Current Developments Mini golf tournaments are now being aired on television especially pn ESPN suggesting the game’s thriving economic status. More and more people are beginning to appreicate the value of mini golf courses and statistics show that more than 45% among the players of this popular game are families or groups of friends. With this renewed and thriving interest in mini golf games, the US ProMiniGolf Association, the officially recognized affiliate organizations in the World Minigolf Sports Federation was instituted to take over initiatives related to the game.

         
    Pointers for a good choice of golf school

     

    According to GOLF Magazine, the Phil Ritson - Mel Sole Golf School is included among the top five good – if not best – golf schools in the United States. Every year since 1999, this school appears and is included among the ten best golf academies. The Basis of the Rankings These were according to a variety of reasons which includes the teaching quality of the golf professors, the school program and facilities, as well as the hundreds if not thousands of golf graduates that were surveyed and asked to rate the experiences they had from attending the school. According to this particular school, they help students achieve his or her personal best, always. Teaching Principle The teaching principle in this golf school was formulated by Phil Ritson - he used to be a coach to Gary Player as well as other stars in the PGA – and Mel Sole, who is a veteran of the PGA Tour in South Africa. Good golf schools such as this cater to a host of golfers in different levels of skill, knowledge and expertise. They should also be open to anyone from the golf beginner and the advanced. Also, a low student to teacher ratio is best so that ample time and attention is given to teaching and learning golf without it being too expensive and unaffordable. Visual Aids The selection of the good golf schools as according to GOLF Magazine depended also on the various aids used in teaching the game. However, though computer generated golf swing models are used to illustrate a good golf swing, up to video analysis software that consists of four cameras to capture that perfect or imperfect shot with hopes of further improving on it, and acres upon acres of land range all help in making it conducive to study golf. Still, nothing beats a school’s quality teaching instructions and curriculum. Instructor's Credentials The golf instructor’s teaching credentials is one of the basis in the selection of good golf schools. How many years have they been teaching? How many of these teachers actually are professionals that are included in the PGA, are Class A or belong to LPGA? In GOLF Magazine’s selection, price was not included. They considered this factor as very little in the overall golf school selection since they consider that the primary reason for attending a golf school is for one to better his or her game, regardless of the price it would take for anyone to do so.

         
    Posture for a powerful and consistent golf swing

     

    Many professional golf instructors refer to golf posture as “spine angle.” If you’ve taken lessons or have spent much time learning proper technique to improve your game, you have most likely heard the phrase many times. Good posture for the golf swing can greatly influence your ability to produce power. Without stability of your posture, a powerful and effective golf swing is very difficult and can result in injury and strains. Good functional posture improves your swinging action and lets you transfer more force in your ball strike. Body structure and posture are unique traits, but an improper golf swing can cause certain muscle imbalances. These imbalances might not be obvious until they cause a disruptive physical problem. The body slowly adapts to poor posture, and some body parts, like the neck, shoulder, back, and hip, may be overused to balance for loss of motion in other areas of the body. By performing a few simple exercises regularly, however, you can improve and maintain good posture and thus improve your swinging power. The goal of exercise for posture is to improve both static and dynamic balance to develop functional stability during the swing. The postural muscles are located throughout the body. The primary role of these muscles is to hold the skeletal system and joint structures in proper alignment so the larger and stronger muscles can produce the desired body movements while keeping good balance. Some common problems that are affected by posture are: o Difficulty keeping your eye on the ball during your swing. o Difficulty to transfer force from the lower body to the upper body. o Compromised swing patterns. o Poor club head speed and club control. By performing a golf fitness routine on a regular basis, you will increase overall muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. All of these contribute to your ability to maintain an effective golf posture for a powerful golf swing no matter what the lie. Commit yourself to proper preparation through strength and flexibility exercises designed to address current muscle imbalances and you’ll unleash a whole new level of play.

         
    Power golf exercises that are proven to add distance

     

    Power golf exercises are a unique set of exercises that you do not do in a gym on machines, nor do you lift heavy weights. For that matter, you can do simple power golf exercises right in your home with minimal equipment. You see…to improve the power in your golf swing, you need to look at the mechanics that create the power. It’s not your arms swinging the club as hard as you can! It’s not your legs driving your body through the swing! And it’s not swinging some funky 50 inch shaft with a 600cc titanium head either. It’s quite simple! The power in your golf swing is your CORE! Your core is the engine to your swing. If your core is weak or inflexible, you will never be able to hit a powerful tee shot. This is harsh…but very true! The modern power golf swing is one of being “connected” with your upper body. Not letting your letting your arms get separated from your body. Rotating your upper body as a whole, over a somewhat stable lower body will produce maximum power at impact. So the perfect power golf exercises involve rotational movements with resistance in your core area. The are many exercises you can do that will dramatically improve your driving distance and power…and no gym required! A simple power golf exercise for your core is my Seated Twist w/Dumbbell: • Sit upright in your chair. • Hold single dumbbell straight out from chest with arms fully extended. • While keeping your head focused straight ahead, rotate your arms to the right, then to the left as far as you can go both ways. • Do this non-stop for 20 total rotations. • Pause for 15 seconds and repeat 2 more times. At first you will feel very restricted in your midsection. That’s a sign of how limited your rotational flexibility really is. But do this exercise daily and you will see improvement quickly. The next time you step out onto the course, you’ll blast your drives up to 20 yards further! As you can see above…the key is ROTATIONAL exercises with resistance, whether it be a single dumbbell, exercise tubing or even a weighted golf club. Doesn’t matter what you use, as long as it is up to 5 pounds in weight and you can handle it easily in both hands. If you’re already in good shape go for 10-15 pounds and increase your rate of speed. This will both improve your “fast-twitch” core muscles and also your range of motion for a bigger backswing and a complete follow through. So you see…I wasn’t fibbing! It doesn’t take a gym or fancy equipment to do effective and proven power golf exercises!

         
    Power golf the easy way

     

    Power golf is a game very few golfers can play. What I mean by that is…power golf takes a certain level of golf specific strength and flexibility. There are requirements that have to be in place to maximize your power and golf driving distance. It’s not as easy as getting the ‘latest-greatest’ driver at $500. It’s not buying Titleist ProV1’s at $45 a case. It’s not even taking more lessons (although swing mechanics are very important). The answer is improved strength and flexibility from a rotational standpoint…in your core…to play a power golf game. The golf swing is a turn (rotate back) and a turn (rotate through). If there are limitations that don’t allow you to rotate back fully and store that torque (energy), then you will never play a power golf game. I hate to sound harsh, but it’s the truth…plain-and-simple. Do you currently feel like you can make a full backswing with max torque in your core area? I mean a 90+ degree shoulder turn with nothing more than a 45 degree hip turn…and with both heels on the ground? If you can’t…do you think hitting more balls is the answer? Or taking more lessons? I hope not! It’s about getting off the course and doing some simple golf exercises and stretches that won’t even take 20 minutes to do…a couple times a week. No gym! No fancy equipment! Just simple exercises done in your home with minimal equipment. You don’t have to get overwhelmed thinking it’s a gut-busting, sweaty workout. Although…when you get a taste of what being ‘fit’ feels like…it’s almost addicting. It’s like the ‘runners high’. You start looking a little better. Having more energy. Experiencing less aches and pains. And best of all! You’re killing the ball long and straight! Every exercise you do to create a power golf game should be focused on core rotational exercises. It’s easy! Get in your golf posture and grab a single dumbbell or bag of sugar. Something that weighs about 5 pounds. Now make partial swings…staying in your posture for 20-30 swings. There’s one simple and easy-to-implement rotational exercise. I’ll bet you can handle that one. How bad do you want to play “power golf?” How bad do you want to be the ‘last golfer’ to hit your second shot into the green? How bad do you want all your golfing buddies to be in the proshop after the round talking about one of your LONG drives? Start implementing exercises like the above example and you’re one step closer to playing power golf!

         
    Practicing golf trouble shots

     

    A lot of times on the golf course you will find that you are not in the middle of the fairway, or not in the fairway at all. Putting yourself in and around a tree on the practice range will help your decision making out on the golf course on what golf club to choose, and how to play it. Most good golfers put themselves in trouble shot situations and bad lies on the practice range. Practicing this drill for a month, two or three times a week with a large bucket of golf balls each time, will improve your trouble shot making, and help lower your scores. You will find with practice and persistence you can save a par, or even birdie one or two holes out on the golf course more often than not. Keep in mind, saving a few strokes or better is 50% skill and 50% luck that you will succeed. The odds will increase or decrease depending on how much you practice these golf shots out on the practice range. It is always a good idea to play it safe, by chipping out. By practicing golf trouble shot drills on the golfing range, you will sometimes visualize a prior practice shot taken on the range when you’re confronted with a trouble shot out on the golf course. Visualizing the golf shot from this practice routine requires a little bit of consistent practice. The golf shot will be a lot easier if you have done it many times over. You will need to take six golf clubs, (3 iron, 5 iron, 7 iron, wedge, 5 wood and driver) or your favorite golf clubs to the practice range along with a huge bucket of balls to keep your golf memory in shape. The idea of this trouble shot practice is to memorize distance and ball flight using different clubface ball positions and lies. This is a very enjoyable practice routine and exercise that requires a little patience, imagination and memory. Find a tree between the golf ball and the green. You do not need a green behind the tree. It would be a lot more fun to watch your golf shots land and roll on the green, if there was one nearby. Stand behind the tree and hold the grip of the golf club with your fingers, and rest the club head on the grass with the clubface facing you. Put the bottom of your foot on the face of the golf club and let the grip go. Look and see if the tip of the golf club is pointing upwards and over the tree. Should the grip end of the golf club point at any part of the tree. Chances are, you haven’t got enough club loft to go over. You may need to go under the tree or find a loftier club. You can do this test with any club iron on the golf course. The idea of this drill is to know how low and far you can roll a golf ball out to the fairway or green, and how much distance and loft you need to get over a tree. The key memory for the practice would be the golf club selection for both the loft and distance for the target you’re aiming for. One club may be low enough to get you under the obstacle, but may be too much club for the target area. You may want to consider choking down on the club to take a little distance off the shot. The other club may have enough loft, but not enough distance. Do this routine with different club selections often. For the distant trouble shots try a 1 wood and a 3 iron under the branches of a tree. (Use extra caution for these clubs near a tree. Also look around for other players before attempting any blind golf shot.) With your first 10 balls, practice hitting it low to the ground. Always pick a target and put some kind of obstacle in front of you. Practice with a tree right in front of you or 100 yards away with the imaginary green behind it, if you have no access to a practice green. Try to keep the golf ball from flying into the tree, or make the ball land just before and roll beyond onto your imaginary target or green. You will have to use your imagination for this shot and practice with several different clubface positions. You need to practice playing the ball in front, middle, or back in your stance. You may want to practice going around the tree if you’re a substantial distance from the green. Close the clubface to help it hook, or open the face of the club to help slice it around the tree. There are a lot of good professional teachers, books and videos on the Internet to help you master the hook and slice effect of the ball at will. Practice your chipping distance for certain clubs, by chipping out to the side of trouble. It is a good idea to know how far you can chip a certain golf club so you don’t end up on the other side of the fairway, and or behind another obstacle. Practice your trouble shots in a sand trap as well. Place a group of balls behind a big lip of a sand trap. Move some in the front and back of the trap. Do not forget to stand on a couple of golf balls for that buried golf ball effect. Now take your time hitting the golf balls, keeping in mind for an open clubface, and a slightly closed clubface for those buried lies. Is the sand hard or soft? Take more sand for shorter distances from the flagstick, and less sand for those longer shots. Your target for striking the sand should be 1 to 3 inches behind the golf ball, depending on your distance from the flagstick. Accelerate at impact. Follow through and do not quit on the shot. Again you will find more information on the Internet for mastering these types of trouble shots. Practice until you prefer to be in a trap on the golf course, because it's your favorite golf shot. This will raise your level of confidence when approaching a green on the course with bunkers around it. With enough practice you will actually see the ball drop in the hole coming out of the bunker from time to time. Eventually you will find yourself on the green trying to read the roll of the putting surface before you take the bunker shot. Take out your 5 wood to practice aiming for the tall timbers. Know your distance. The 5 wood flies high and far. Try to put yourself close to the trees and back, to see how close is too close, and how far back is too far back. Do not forget to practice those long high fades and draw shots. When you have practiced this drill enough times, it will almost seem like second nature when attempting these same golf trouble shots. You will either impress your foursome or make them stand there in awe. The other ingredients you will need to benefit from this practice routine are confidence and a positive mindset. The game of golf is almost magical at times. What seems impossible at times can have yourself shaking your head in disbelief and saying to yourself. “I can play like a pro!”

         
    Prepare your shoulders for golf

     

    The golf swing places high demands on the shoulders. The repetition of the swing also helps to make the shoulder a prime target for strain and injury. Stretching and improving the muscular strength of the shoulder area can do much to not only improve and prevent injury, but it can also improve your golf swing. Repeated motion of the golf swing over many years may irritate and wear down the tendons, muscles, and surrounding structures of the shoulder. The resulting conditions may be tendonitis, bursitis, and impingement syndrome of the shoulder. These conditions may occur alone or in combination. As always, prevention is the best cure. Exercises that involve stretching and strengthening the muscles in the shoulder area are a good way to help to prevent common shoulder problems. If one of the above problems is present, once inflammation has subsided, exercises will help to restore normal movement. Stretching your shoulders is important to perform before practice or a round of golf. Most golfers don’t spend adequate time stretching and warming up the muscles before play. This can easily lead to strain, injury, and poor performance on the course. Unconditioned muscles become weak and inflexible causing them to be more susceptible to strain and injury. Here are a few exercises to help strengthen and maintain more flexibility in the shoulder area. Back Cuff Stretch - Place left hand on right elbow and right hand on left shoulder. Gently pull back right arm. Repeat on left. Hold for 15 –20 seconds. Front Cuff Stretch - Hold your hands behind your back and slowly raise your arms. Don’t bounce. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Rotator Cuff Exercise - Do 20 slow arm circles to warm up. Hold a small dumbbell in each hand. Point thumb down and raise arms out to the side and slightly forward. Do not raise past shoulder level. Repeat 10 times.

         
    Preparing your body for golf while you travel

     

    We all know the temptations of traveling… grabbing a slice of pizza while running to your gate at the airport, an elaborate steak dinner with a client, and being so tired at day’s end that all you want to do is fall into bed. Traveling can often create havoc on regular exercise and golf conditioning. Fitness and good nutrition while on the road can help keep you on top of your game. With a bit of planning and creative strategy you can help keep your body ready to hit the golf course. First thoughts about travel, exercise and maintaining good nutrition can be negative for many. Some will think, I don’t have the equipment I usually have, my meals will all be eating out or fast food. Instead of giving up on preparing your body for golf, consider ways to maintain a good portion of your normal fitness and health routine. You’ll be surprised at just how much you can accomplish. Here’s a few tips to help: • As you plan your trip be sure to define your fitness goals while you travel. Keep them specific, measurable, realistic and timely. Consider the constraints you’ll have by your travel schedule and logistics. • When booking your flights and hotel call ahead or check the internet to find details about exercise facilities. If no facility is available, plan alternate activities like an in-room workout. • As you pack be sure to include workout gear as space allows. • If your travel involves time-based appointment, schedule appointment with yourself for your workout. Treat this appointment just as you would any other meeting. You’ll be surprised at just how much you can accomplish even in your hotel room. Stretches, and some exercises are easily performed as no equipment is necessary. With fitness awareness soaring, many hotels have first-rate fitness centers with a full variety of equipment and their own fitness staff. For most travelers, the best way to fit exercise into their day is by simply setting the alarm a bit earlier to accommodate time for conditioning. This helps to leave the remainder of the day free for your other scheduled activities. While exercising regularly is important for your health and golf game, so is how you eat. It is so easy to get off course when you are not at home. Try to pack snacks for the trip and an extra water bottle. Travel can place stress on the body and zap you of your energy. Snack and meal replacement bars are handy for travelers with hectic schedules. While bars are no substitute for real food (i. e., fresh vegetables, fruit, and protein), they’re a certainly a step in the right direction from burgers and fries. As you choose your bars read the label to check calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein content. All bars are not equal. With a little planning and determination, continued conditioning during your travel can keep your body ready for the golf course.

         
    Principles of accurate chipping

     

    Here’s a question I sometimes ask when giving a golf lesson. What do pro golfers Jose Maria Olazabal, Tiger Woods, and Sergio Garcia all have in common? Answer: They don’t hit into trouble often, but when they do, their short games save them, and accurate chipping is one of the most potent weapons in their short game. In fact, most players with low golf handicaps chip accurately. The chip shot is one of the easiest shots to learn in golf. It’s also one of the most crucial. In medal play, accurate chipping can save you one or two strokes on a hole, sometimes more. In match play, it can be the difference between winning or losing a hole or a match. And in player rankings, it’s often what separates players with high golf handicaps from those with low ones. Confidence, experience, and imagination all contribute to accurate chipping. But so does good technique. Below are 6 keys to accurate chipping: 1.Decide on a landing spot 2.Use a one-piece takeaway 3.Maintain weight on front side 4.Keep hands ahead of clubhead 5.Hold the clubhead 6.Accelerate the club through the ball Professional golfers play a wide variety of shots around the green. One player may use a sand wedge to chip with from a certain spot, while another hits a 9 iron from the same spot. Regardless of what club they use, they all pick out a landing spot before hitting the ball, which they play the ball off their left heels. Picking a landing spot is imperative, as I’ve mentioned in my golf tips. So is using a one-piece takeaway. In fact, it’s as important in chipping as it is in driving. Since the shot is hit mostly with your arms and hands, it requires little or no weight transfer, so place your weight on your front side and keep it there. Also, keep your head still when hitting the ball. The backswing is important as well. The length determines the length of the shot — the longer the backswing, the longer the shot. Be mindful of your backswing when chipping. Also, take the club back smoothly and slowly, allowing your wrists to hinge naturally. When committing to the downswing, make sure your hands stay ahead of the clubhead to ensure crisp ball-before-turf contact. The objective is to slide the blade of the clubhead under the ball, taking only a sliver of turf in the process. Also, don’t allow your right hand to cross over your left through impact. Known as “holding the clubhead,” the technique keeps the clubface open, creating a high shot that lands softly on the ground. In my golf tips I tell players to finish in balance and with their hands slightly higher than the height of their backswing. Doing so indicates that the golfer has accelerated the clubhead through the ball. The motion is similar to throwing a ball underhanded, which I sometimes have players do in my golf lessons to get a feel for the shot. Change the Club Drill The change-the-club drill is an excellent exercise for practicing your chipping. It simulates hitting from the fringe of the green or fairway when your landing spot is about 3 feet away, but the ball needs to roll about 15 feet or more. The idea is to hit various clubs with the same motion to learn reaction and distance. It’s a golf lesson in itself. Choose a green that’s a challenge. Maybe it has some valleys in it or maybe a significant side slope. Then pick a spot about five feet off the green and drop a ball. Set one club about two and a half feet behind the ball and another club about two and a half feet in front of the ball to give you an idea of distance. With the identical motion hit chip shots with each of four clubs—the sand wedge, 9 iron, 7 iron, and 5 iron. After hitting the ball you’ll notice that the ball runs father as the clubs get lower and lower. Pick the club that will land the ball about two to three feet on the green and run the rest of the way to the hole. Remember to factor in slope and/or the speed of the green when selecting a club. Using different clubs will give you a better feel for which club runs the ball farther and which lands softly and stops, making club selection somewhat easier next time you play. Keep practicing this drill until can get within a foot of the pin every time. By then, you should start seeing the benefits of accurate pitching not only in better scores but also in a lower golf handicap. And that will keep you practicing for better results.

         
    Proper golf attire is good for the golf course establishment

     

    Most golf courses have made rules and regulations about proper dress attire. If you feel comfortable playing golf in shorts and a t-shirt, make sure you call ahead and check the dress code rules. Not all golf courses have a dress code, but the majority does. If you’re on the way to the golf course and your buddy is reading this article from your laptop, you do not have to turn around if you’re wearing your favorite tee shirt and bathing suit. The vast majority of golf courses have a pro shop to upgrade your dress attire. Now if you elected to leave your wallet at home and only bring your license, find a safe place to turn around. Stepping up to the tee box with your best-cut offs and favorite t-shirt is pretty unusual these days. That type of golf wear only looks good on the beach according to a lot of golf courses. Years ago golf courses did not frown upon improper dress attire, because of the lack of golfers. We all know how things have changed dramatically over the years. There is a good reason for mandatory golf wears, such as a collar shirt, shoes and socks. In order to keep other members from taking the high road and going elsewhere, golf courses have made changes over the years to keep golfers and dedicated members, and or potential new members to come back to play their golf course. The golf course is running a business function. In order to set a good impression, both the golf course and members must look good to attract other members to their establishment. Therefore there is a dress code in place at most golf courses. The golf course establishment wants you to feel good and look like a pro. It helps keep existing cliental and attracts other golfers to come back to their golf establishment. After all, if your girlfriend’s parents invited you to one of their business functions. Would you show up wearing cut offs and a t-shirt?

         
    Proper shoes on the course pay off

     

    Too often do I walk on the course and see people playing golf in their Tennis and running shoes. It’s ironic, if you contemplate how much time and money they’ve invested in just getting to the greens and they haven’t settled in a good pair of golfing shoes. Unfortunately it’s more often that I see a female member of the group committing this common mistake. Not only do golf shoes provide the support and balance you need to make the proper shot. Golf spikes offer better traction than offered by sneakers or shoes. The added traction protects you from slippery slopes and the often hilly terrain of golf courses. When trying to improve your game, consider the fact that proper golf footwear will aid in taking off those tricky shots you will encounter two or three times on the green. Factor that in with all the money you’ve invested in your clubs and don’t you owe it to yourself to invest a hundred dollars or less in some golf shoes? What should you look for in a pair of good golf spikes? Well, everyone has different needs but, there are a couple guidelines everyone should follow when choosing the right golf shoe. First, you should consider the course you play at most, this will help you determine how much traction you will need from your shoe. Second, your type of swing can factor in what pair you should look for. If you have a wide stance look for skinnier and more flat-footed pair Nike, is often known for their narrow golf spikes. Is your swing more open faced? Then, you’ll probably be interested in a set of FootJoy’s because of their well-known wide soles they will aid any open-faced swing. Finally, look for comfort and support in your pair – this is obviously one of the most important features any golf shoe can offer. Other things to consider is waterproofing and materials the shoe is made of. So, do yourself a favor and get yourself a pair of golf shoes right away and improve your game. Don’t commit a major golf faux pas and show up in tennis shoes.

         
    Purepoint golf lessons keeping the ball low

     

    Copyright 2006 David Nevogt Hi, I’m Bobby Eldridge, head professional at PurePoint Golf Academy. If you have been struggling with hitting the golf ball low on purpose or high on purpose, then I have some golf lessons for you. Let’s start with the golf ball that you’re trying to hit as low as you can and hit a quality golf shot. Sometimes you're faced with this shot when you’ve hit it off the fairway and you have a tree in front of you. You’re a little worried about, “Can I get to the green and hit the golf ball low on the ground?” The next shot you’re worried about is, “Can I get over the tree and get the golf ball on the green?” Sometimes you try to have your cake and eat it too. These golf lessons are going to tell you how to hit the golf ball low on purpose and then how to hit the golf ball high on purpose. For starters, make sure that when you reach into your golf bag, before you take out a golf club, that you see the picture of the shot you're trying to hit. If you want to try to keep the golf ball in the air as it goes underneath the tree, you’ll want to pick a low lofted golf club, one that has a flatter face. I suggest going with a 7 iron. The method that you want to be really careful of and make sure that you get it right on before you start the swing, is have the ball back in your stance, across from your right foot, a little weight on your left leg, and have the handle over on your left leg. This will ensure that the golf ball doesn’t go up in the air. From here all you have to remember is that it’s a low follow-through. You want to make sure that you keep your weight on your left leg during the backswing, but that you follow through low so the golf ball has a running effect and it won’t get up in the air and hit the trees. This is what a lot of us do. We start on our left side, we go back on our right side, and then we wind up hitting the golf ball up in the tree. One last time: ball back in your stance, handle over toward your left pant leg, weight on your left let, arms up and down. If you follow these golf lessons, the golf ball will take off running and go underneath the tree.

         
     
         
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