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    Free Essay
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    Your first set of golf clubs

     

    Buying you first set of golf clubs is never easy. Some people keep asking me if irons and woods have to be the same brand, or if they should clone names. My answer is usually always the same, as long as you know their composition and they fit your weight, length, shaft and flex requirements. While you can always buy used clubs or older models, these won’t give you the high quality of training clubs offered by the larger name brands. But before you buy anything, you should definitely try out the product in question and make sure that it performs up to your expectations on the golf course. A lot of your decision will have to do with the handling and feel of the vehicle, each brand will drive differently. Make sure you take the models you're interested in for a test drive and see how each of them handles. In a society that is increasing name brand conscious, many of us are tempted to simply buy what everyone else seems to be buying. Selecting the proper golf clubs, however, is something that you shouldn't do without having a good idea of what types are available and what the specific use of each club is. Too cheap golf club sets don't have the same calculated technical qualities as the discount womens irons and woods manufactured by the big brands and wellknown custom club makers. They spend lots of time to research for example the proper head sizes and forms of a woman golf club. Alternatively, you can even trade in used golf clubs for a brand new golf clubs or another used golf clubs. Choosing a used golf club sets can be as simple as going to the nearest golf store and buy a set of clubs off the shelf with the golf brand that you want. Or, go to any garage sales, try a few swings and then take them to the tee right away. The goal when buying golf clubs should be to own the best golf clubs you can afford, whether they are name brands, used, or a reproduction of one of the name brands. Golf clubs can be purchased at many different types of establishments such as discount stores, buying clubs, specialty shops, catalogs, or the Internet, which offers an almost limitless variety of clubs and bargains, including used golf clubs. Most will focus primarily on brand, clubhead look or shaft strength. No matter what brand you decide on, you should definitely never buy golf clubs that are outside of your skill level. This is the most detrimental thing that you could possibly do. Some people raise their self-esteem by buying a name brand club for more money. Whether you choose to shop from a golf equipment catalog, or visit top-notch pro shops, you'll want to be informed about brands, manufacturers, and all the new and innovative equipment. The best way to do this is with golf equipment reviews. So do your research and ask other golfers, sometimes just asking is the best way to find the best golf clubs.

         
    Your golf score is determined by feel

     

    Copyright 2006 Craig Sigl Today, let's get down and dirty about the word "feel" and how I apply it to golf the "Without Practice" way so you can shave some strokes effortlessly this weekend. You know deep down if not at the top of your head, that when you feel good, you will perform or act your best in anything right? Most of us struggle with our feelings because we just let them occur based on whatever is happening in our lives at the time. For instance, if you just get news that you got a raise at work, you are going to have a great feeling for some time after correct? This is a great time to get out on the course as your bio-computer (brain) is now in the optimum conditon for performance. Nobody denies this and yet we go out on the course and choose to say and do things that destroy our optimum performance potential. I am becoming more and more convinced the longer I play this game that how we "feel" during our round determines the variation from our average score more than anything else. What I mean by feel is our STATE. STATE is physiology plus internal representation. It's short for "state of being." So what if we can do things to affect our state just the same as receiving the news that we got a raise at work? We can! Recently, I shot my best round of the year at 1 under par. As I teach people to really dig into how they "felt" when they played a great round, I took notes and after the round really went over the things I was thinking, how my body was responding, what did I eat, what were my eyes seeing, etc. You need this information to help build your optimal state. Once built, you can rebuild it in the future since you now have the blueprint or instructions. WE need to pay far more attention to when we play well than when we don't! Many golfers completely dissect their rounds afterward replaying their bad shots over and over in their minds trying to figure out what went wrong. This only serves to implant suggestions in our unconscious mind that that is how we play. Not good for future rounds. Remember: "as a man thinketh, so shall he become" and other quotes like that? It all stems from the concept of the duality of our mind; the subconscious and the conscious functions. Once we get this, we can do a lot toward the mental side of our game to reach our potential. I used to take advice from the magazines that say you have to keep track of your Greens in regulation, how many putts you had, how many sand saves etc. and then "identify" my weaknesses. Again, not good since putting the focus on the negatives only gives them power and the repetition of thinking about them starts to solidify in your unconscious. Remember that your unconscious doesn't know the difference between a positive or negative thought, it just accepts that which it is most convinced of by repetitive thought or action. And besides, I don't need a scorecard to remind me of my weaknesses on a given round. I know what they are after every round and I can usually pin it down to something I did or didn't do prior to hitting the ball in my pre-shot routine as I discuss in my "Without Practice" system. What you need to start doing right now, next round, is really zero in on the things that go well. Make little celebrations in your mind (be humble with your partners) when you hit a great shot. Turn on the positive emotions and show a big smile when you sink that long putt! Take mental, if not paper and pen, notes on anything worth remembering when you do anything that puts you into that "feel good" state. Create an anchor that you do every time you hit a shot exactly the way you planned it just like the ringing buzzer that Pavlov's dogs were trained to salivate to. When you have bad shots, immediately analyze it afterward, see what you can learn from it and then FORGET IT! It will do you no good whatsoever to hold onto it. You know that your swing is different from day to day as all the pros also complain about. So what benefit can be gained from going over bad shots that could be gone the next day without even trying? Save the analyzing for the range if you do have time to practice. If not, then just keep pounding your subconscious with images of you accomplishing the little things you had trouble with until your next round. That is the "Without Practice" way.

         
    Your perfect golf vacation conclusion

     

    Your perfect golf vacation with your friends starts and stops with you. Toss the vacation package brochures in a heap and design your own ideal golf getaway. This is the final of four articles to assist you in providing an outing for yourself and your friends that will make you want to do it every year (as we have for 19 years running). From the last article, you are now at the minus one month point. So far you have rallied the troops, picked the dates, selected the lodging and golf courses and are in the final preparation stage. You will soon see your friends smiling faces at the airport baggage claim. The final preps and smoothly running the whole show are child's play. The tough part was getting your bunch of friends to buy the tickets to enjoy the event. Here are a few things you will want to do before the scream of the aircraft's tires on the tarmac. 1. Transportation. The limiting factor is arrival and departure from the airport due to clubs AND suitcases. If you can just barely stuff everyone in the vehicles at this point, the rest of the week is gravy. From your experience, you know that when you pack up four guys to go golfing locally, you will entirely fill the trunk of a full sized car. With that in mind, you should plan on a full sized car for every three people. We use one minivan/SUV augmented with cars for our adventures. Just make sure you allow for the limiting case. You need to arrange these rental vehicles ahead of time, but you can only drive one yourself. Here is the minus one-month mandatory. When you figure out your vehicle requirements, contact the group to arrange among them and you who will contact and rent the remaining vehicles. There will probably be some in your group that have existing discounts and can score a great rate. Hash this one out via email. 2. Entertainment. Unless you are going to the deserts in Arizona or get exceedingly lucky, you will have a rain day or two. You will also have a bunch of time at night after golf (after you have all told your lies). We suck that time up pretty effectively watching the golf channel, ESPN, playing cards, or watching videos. The latter is what you can address ahead of time. We have a guy that is pretty good at selecting movies to watch and we task him to bring them with him. Movies like "Gladiator", "Miracle", etc. are big. Some of your group may even have an adult video you may want to avail yourselves of. On severe rain days, we also have gone bowling (a real hoot), done the local movie theater, and toured the area. 3. Checklists. After about ten years of being asked twenty times per day where we were playing the next day, or when we had to leave, or what was for supper, or who stole my teddy bear, I finally started typing out these things. I make a copy of each and post sporadically throughout the house. I make individual laminated cards and hand to each golfer. Know what? It reduced the questions to half and now when asked, I say that I can't remember, let me walk over to the frig and read it for you. Here are the things I prepare ahead of time. - Listing of course, tee times, course contact number, and departure time. I base departure time on MapBlast directions and factor in a stop for ice for the coolers and if we will need to hit range balls. - Listing of the menu for the evening meals. If this is your first time, keep the menu simple and make sure you have the recipes in hand. With any size group, you are going to have a chef or two and this won't be a big deal. - Multiple copies of the "order sheet" for sandwiches. For most of our noon meals between rounds, we dine on our self-prepared, gourmet sandwiches prepared the night before. As you saw from the previous articles, I solicit what the group wants and have that on the shopping list. What winds up being the least confusing way is to have some sheet for people to circle or fill in to specify what sandwiches they want for the next day. You rotate the preparers (two is best) every night and with that sheet, they manufacture the gourmet feast. (Don't discount this! The sandwiches you make will be superior to anything short of the full meal at the course AND you will not have to wait on it if you are pressed for time between your rounds.) - Biggy! We did not keep a record of our scores for our first few years. Big mistake. What great history we tossed out. Keep a record! I prepare a hard copy sheet to fill in as we go. It allows us to follow who is the overall stroke leader and gives us all ammo to use in negotiating the next day's bets. I take this home and plant it permanently on our golf website. - Expenses. I pay for everything with minor exceptions. That keeps it simple. I currently use a spreadsheet to administer this. It works great. I would provide this for you, but this article format doesn't allow. Before that, I simply used pen and paper and got it to within a penny. My point is that from the minute you start your adventure, keep a tally of what you have spent! Streamline course check in by paying for everyone, buy all the food and drink, buy all the gas, etc. If someone pays for anything, log it in immediately. If you are religious in this, you will have no complaints, only praise. 4. Things nobody else will bring but you. - Several decks of cards, poker chips - Cribbage boards - Screw driver and pliers (you never know) - Pens, pencils and permanent markers (you will need all) - Over the counter pain killers - Band-Aids - Game 5. Arrival. So here you have a rambunctious group of friends descending on the Mecca of golf. You have motored to the house your staying in and it is the mad dash to the best room to be found. NOT. To avoid any hard feelings between the lodger that got the queen bed and the lodger that got the twin bed, simply set up a quick draw out of the hat. For subsequent years, do the same, but use the seniority system. Once a person misses, he goes to the end of the list. 6. Once you have dumped your bags in the drawn rooms, it is time to go shopping. With the template I gave you in the last article, and with your modifications based on menu and orders, grab one or two volunteers and get what you need. This is the conclusion of my recommendations on how you can have the best golf outing or outings you have ever had. Since I have folks coming to enjoy my preparations for 19 years should be testimony to you. At least give it a shot once. It won't be perfect, but my guess is that it will be superior and more remembered than anything you can buy as a package. Go for it!

         
    Your perfect golf vacation step 3 the conclusion

     

    Your perfect golf vacation with your friends starts and stops with you. Toss the vacation package brochures in a heap and design your own ideal golf getaway. This is the final of four articles to assist you in providing an outing for yourself and your friends that will make you want to do it every year (as we have for 19 years running). From the last article, you are now at the minus one month point. So far you have rallied the troops, picked the dates, selected the lodging and golf courses and are in the final preparation stage. You will soon see your friends smiling faces at the airport baggage claim. The final preps and smoothly running the whole show are child's play. The tough part was getting your bunch of friends to buy the tickets to enjoy the event. Here are a few things you will want to do before the scream of the aircraft's tires on the tarmac. 1. Transportation. The limiting factor is arrival and departure from the airport due to clubs AND suitcases. If you can just barely stuff everyone in the vehicles at this point, the rest of the week is gravy. From your experience, you know that when you pack up four guys to go golfing locally, you will entirely fill the trunk of a full sized car. With that in mind, you should plan on a full sized car for every three people. We use one minivan/SUV augmented with cars for our adventures. Just make sure you allow for the limiting case. You need to arrange these rental vehicles ahead of time, but you can only drive one yourself. Here is the minus one-month mandatory. When you figure out your vehicle requirements, contact the group to arrange among them and you who will contact and rent the remaining vehicles. There will probably be some in your group that have existing discounts and can score a great rate. Hash this one out via email. 2. Entertainment. Unless you are going to the deserts in Arizona or get exceedingly lucky, you will have a rain day or two. You will also have a bunch of time at night after golf (after you have all told your lies). We suck that time up pretty effectively watching the golf channel, ESPN, playing cards, or watching videos. The latter is what you can address ahead of time. We have a guy that is pretty good at selecting movies to watch and we task him to bring them with him. Movies like "Gladiator", "Miracle", etc. are big. More risque' titles are optional. On severe rain days, we also have gone bowling (a real hoot), done the local movie theater, and toured the area. 3. Checklists. After about ten years of being asked twenty times per day where we were playing the next day, or when we had to leave, or what was for supper, or who stole my teddy bear, I finally started typing out these things. I make a copy of each and post sporadically throughout the house. I make individual laminated cards and hand to each golfer. Know what? It reduced the questions to half and now when asked, I say that I can't remember, let me walk over to the frig and read it for you. Here are the things I prepare ahead of time: - Listing of course, tee times, course contact number, and departure time. I base departure time on MapBlast directions and factor in a stop for ice for the coolers and if we will need to hit range balls. - Listing of the menu for the evening meals. If this is your first time, keep the menu simple and make sure you have the recipes in hand. With any size group, you are going to have a chef or two and this won't be a big deal. - Multiple copies of the "order sheet" for sandwiches. For most of our noon meals between rounds, we dine on our self-prepared, gourmet sandwiches prepared the night before. As you saw from the previous articles, I solicit what the group wants and have that on the shopping list. What winds up being the least confusing way is to have some sheet for people to circle or fill in to specify what sandwiches they want for the next day. You rotate the preparers (two is best) every night and with that sheet, they manufacture the gourmet feast. (Don't discount this! The sandwiches you make will be superior to anything short of the full meal at the course AND you will not have to wait on it if you are pressed for time between your rounds.) - Biggy! We did not keep a record of our scores for our first few years. Big mistake. What great history we tossed out. Keep a record! I prepare a hard copy sheet to fill in as we go. It allows us to follow who is the overall stroke leader and gives us all ammo to use in negotiating the next day's bets. I take this home and plant it permanently on our golf website. - Expenses. I pay for everything with minor exceptions and collect everyone's share the final evening. That keeps it simple. I currently use a spreadsheet to administer this. It works great. I would provide this for you, but this article format doesn't allow. Before that, I simply used pen and paper and got it to within a penny. My point is that from the minute you start your adventure, keep a tally of what you have spent! Streamline course check in by paying for everyone, buy all the food and drink, buy all the gas, etc. If someone pays for anything, log it in immediately. If you are religious in this, you will have no complaints, only praise. 4. Things nobody else will bring but you: - Several decks of cards, poker chips - Cribbage boards - Screw driver and pliers (you never know) - Pens, pencils and permanent markers (you will need all) - Over the counter pain killers - Band-Aids - Game 5. Arrival. So here you have a rambunctious group of friends descending on the Mecca of golf. You have motored to the house your staying in and it is the mad dash to the best room to be found. NOT. To avoid any hard feelings between the lodger that got the queen bed and the lodger that got the twin bed, simply set up a quick draw out of the hat. For subsequent years, do the same, but use the seniority system. Once a person misses, he goes to the end of the list. 6. Once you have dumped your bags in the drawn rooms, it is time to go shopping. With the template I gave you in the last article, and with your modifications based on menu and orders, grab one or two volunteers and get what you need. This is the conclusion of my recommendations on how you can have the best golf outing or outings you have ever had. The fact that folks have been coming to enjoy my preparations for 19 years should be testimony to you. At least give it a shot once. The first time may not be exactly perfect, but my guess is that it will be superior to and more remembered than anything you can buy as a package. Go for it!

         
    Your perfect golf vacation step two

     

    You are only going to have one major golf vacation with your pals per year. Make it the best possible by designing it yourself. Forget the standard golf package and do it yourself. In our last article we got to the minus two months point of your schedule. You have researched and found the ideal location, picked out the perfect house, sent out the word to your pals, and settled on the dates. By this time, you should have a confirmed group, any of which would just as soon lose their right arm as miss the event. Let's lock in the rental house. You DO need to get this done as early as you can. If you are setting up your vacation during the off-season like I do, you are in the driver’s seat. Talk directly to the property manager and negotiate a better rate. Here is a summary of my discussion a few weeks ago. "Hey, Tiffany. Randall here. It's that time again but our group is smaller. We really like the house at ….. but it is more than we need. We will be staying a full week. I figured the owner would rather have a bird in the hand and rent the house for a full week instead of taking the chance of renting it for just a couple days or not at all. We can afford $xxxx. I can pay you today." The result of this little conversation was that she immediately lopped twenty percent off the advertised rate! You will never know until you ask. Shoot for about a thirty percent reduction and go from there. I slapped the deposit on my credit card and emailed the group. (Yes, I was looking for praise.) You can dust off the smaller details like arranging linens (if not provided in the rate) and final payment later. Time to grab tee times. What I recommend is setting up early morning tee times for each day. You will have to get up earlier than you may like, but scheduling tee times around 8:00 to 8:30AM will accomplish several things, including: - Being close to first off the box on rain or frost delays (allowing a second 18). - Finishing your round early enough to grab a second 18 with lunch in between 18’s. - Allowing easier to change to later tee times if desired rather than to move them earlier. Over the Internet and by talking with local pros on the phone, you have come up the courses you want to play. As with the house, you DO need to get this done as early as you can so that you can get the tee times you want. When scheduling tee times, I prefer talking directly to the head pro. In general, you will find more flexibility on prices. Other bonuses like getting a second set of tee times while only paying for a replay fee are easier. The head honcho is also more likely to bend the rules to allow advanced tee times if you are beyond the time window normally allowed. Granted, this may be your first time in the location you picked, but you can use about the same language as I do. I have just locked in our tee times for February. I associate myself with a golf course to let them know I am a "player" and the pros seem to be more deferential in talking with a "player". Here is a summary of a standard call: "Hey Bucky, Randall from Snee Farm here. It’s getting to be that time of the year again for our annual golf vacation. You have always treated us so well and given us such a great rate in the past. The guys love the challenge of your outstanding spread. I was just wondering if you fit us in again on February 23rd. We are looking to play 36 and would appreciate anything you could do for us." With that or something similar as an opener, I forecast that you WILL get a great rate from most of the courses. Don’t make a second set of tee times at this point unless you get them for just the replay fee. If you are playing during the on-season and want to play 36, you may have to make and pay for a guaranteed set of afternoon tee times. Some of the courses may have events already scheduled when you want to play that particular course. You may have to juggle this slightly and change already made tee times, so complete your tee time set up within a couple days. Now you have your group, your house and your tee times. It is time to get down to real business. Now is the time to get the financial commitment. Send an email spelling out the accommodations and the tee times. Ask for your troops to send you at least half of what the final cost per man will be. Our total per man is normally around $900 for all the lodging, transportation, golf, food and beverages for the week. Dining. In general we fix whatever breakfast we personally want, make sandwiches to eat between rounds, and fix our own gourmet supper (with loads of snacks to wreck our appetites during the entire day and night). You can see our 2006 evening meals by clicking on 2006 Schedule at the sample website eye-mind-tricks/golf . To support all this, you will need to know what the group wants and prepare a shopping list. This year, I used a free survey website and built a fill-in-the-blank survey for the troops. You can see that at: surveymonkey DOT com/s. asp? u=256691624905 (Replace the "DOT" with a ".") You can use surveymonkey like that or ask the same questions in an email. To give you an idea of what your shopping list will look like for a group of eight and assuming you follow our general plan, I put a close copy of last year’s shopping list at the above eye-mind-tricks website. Substitute the word "shop" for "golf" to see it. With your shopping list built, you will either grab the goodies before the flights of the group arrive if you live locally, or have the troops assist on the way to your house. You are now at the minus one month point of building the perfect golf vacation. The next article will provide recipes, administration details, entertainment ideas, and odds and ends.

         
    How to practice golf properly

     

    Practicing your golf game properly is vital to improving. Knowing how to practice increases self-confidence, reduces scores, and lowers golf handicaps. It also increases the fun of playing as you see your scores drop on each round. I consider it so important that I discuss how to practice with all my students during golf lessons. Unfortunately, some students don’t always follow my advice. They either focus on the wrong things during practice or they practice without purpose. Some students do both, preferring instead to flail away with the driver on a driving range time and time again. When their scores don’t drop as quickly as they’d like, they stop practicing, forfeiting any chance of improving. You have only so much time to practice, so you must make the most of it. To optimize practice time, try organizing your sessions into a structured program with specific goals clearly in mind. The program needs to focus on fundamentals and address your weaknesses. Developing an organized program speeds learning, maintains focus, and cuts strokes from you golf handicap. Here’s one organized practice program I suggest in my golf lessons: Adopt a set of exercises and drills to practice at home. They should concentrate on grooving your fundamentals, like your takeaway or your backswing. My golf tips highlight drills and exercises that fit nicely into a program. The phone book drill, for example, improves your putting stroke: • Drop two phone books on the floor. Position them far enough apart so your putterhead just squeezes through them. Place a ball between the books, assume your putting posture, and make your stroke. Use the books as a visual guide to match the lengths of your back stroke and forward stroke. This approach ensures a smooth stroke with perfect tempo. You’ll find it difficult to guide your putter between the books unless your stroke follows the intended line. If you strike the side of either phone book, your stroke strayed off-line. Go to a practice range as often as you can. Split your time between your short game and your long game. If you can’t work on both in one session, try working on the short game in one session and the long game in the next. Your goal might be to perfect your pitching in the first session and to master long distance driving in the next. Also, organize your time within each session. An organized session could look like the following: • Hit some warm-up shots for five minutes to loosen up your muscles. Start with a short iron, then move to a mid-iron. In my golf lessons I suggest starting with a pitching wedge, then dropping down to a 7-iron, but you can use other clubs as well. Hit several shots with each until you feel comfortable swinging the club. • Next, spend about 15 minutes or so working on areas of your short game needing improvement, like chipping. Try dividing the time into four 15 minute mini-sessions, with each mini-session devoted to one phase of your short game — pitching, putting, chipping, or bunker play. Use drills during the 15 minutes that focus on improving weaknesses within that phase of the game. For example, use this drill to practice chipping from the rough shot: • Place a ball just outside the first cut of rough on the green’s fringe. Make sure the grass is about one to one and one-half inches in length. Instead of hitting the ball, practice just sweeping the tips of the grass. Use a low sweeping motion employing just your arms and shoulders. After ten sweeps, move immediately to the ball and chip it using the same motion. Then move the ball back to higher grass and repeat the sequence. In the next hourly session try focus on your long game. You can work on hitting your woods and long irons during this session. Spending 5-10 minutes on warm up shots, then 10-15 minutes each on your woods and long irons. Once again, use drills should be designed to improve a specific problem. Work in some realistic game situations in your practice sessions. For example, try chipping over a wading pool in your backyard to practice hitting over an obstacle on the course. Another good technique is to actually play holes on the driving range. So, let’s say the first hole you’re going to play on Saturday is a 440 yard par four. When practicing during the week or prior to the round, you would actually “play the hole” but starting by hitting your driver, then maybe a 6 or 7 iron for your approach shot and then maybe a small chip in case you missed the green. The more of these you can program into you session, the more you’ll prepare yourself for hitting a shot under the pressure of actual game situation. This program is just an example of how you can structure your practice. It might not be appropriate for every golfer, but I think you get the idea of how to organize a session or session. Developing an organized program—and following it closely — produces results. The more you work on it, the more you’ll build self-confidence, reduce scores, and slash your golf handicap.

         
    How to practice your golf game in the winter

     

    Now that the cold weather is upon us, it doesn't mean that you should hang up the clubs. Sure, you may not be able to play very often but it doesn't mean that you can't keep working on your game. Here are a few tips so you don't have to re-learn the game once the spring rolls around. Grip A great swing starts with a great grip. Learning the proper neutral grip can be very uncomfortable. The easiest way to work on it is while your watching your favorite TV show. Before the show starts, take a practice club (preferably with a training grip on it) and place your hands on in perfect position. While you are watching, you will be concentrating more on the TV show than your grip. As a commercial comes on, take your grip off. Once the show starts again, re-place your hands on the club again. Because you are watching TV, you won't be thinking about how uncomfortable it is to learn the proper grip. If you keep doing this regularly throughout the winter, you will have the proper neutral grip mastered as the new season rolls around. The Set Up The proper athletic set up position takes effort. After a long lay off, your body will try to set up in a position that takes very little effort. This means that you may end up in a position that is all hunched over or not athletic. To remedy this, try to set up a practice station at home using a full length mirror (these can be purchased cheaply at Home Depot or Wal-Mart). Once you have your mirror(s), take your proper set up position and have a friend or spouse place masking tape on the mirror indicating your spine angle, and hip and knee flex. Throughout the winter, keep doing your set up and look to see if you match the masking tape when you are in your set up position. This is an easy way to make sure you don't get lazy and lose your set up angles throughout the winter. The Full Swing A long lay off effects your full swing as well. Making a great swing requires you to coil and uncoil your body properly. This action takes effort. After taking time off of this game, you will want to hit the ball the easiest way possible. This means you will just try to hit the ball with your arms as opposed to coiling and uncoiling your body. To keep your body coiling and uncoiling properly, just take one of your clubs, a broom stick or a weight lifting bar (no weights) and hold the ends of the object as you place it across your shoulders. Then, take your athletic set up position. From here, simply coil the shoulders back in a circular, clockwise motion, while resisting your hip turn. Once you are tightly wound up, uncoil in a counter clockwise direction by turning the lower body the other way. If you do this drill properly, the object on your shoulders will resemble the twirling blades of a helicopter. If your club is moving in an up and down see saw action, you are not coiling and uncoiling properly. Just remember to make sure that you mimic the helicopter blades and get the tight feeling as you coil back. If you do, you will maintain the proper coiling and uncoiling of your body so that you won't just try to hit the ball with your arms next season. The Short Game As you know, the short game is a very important part of the game. Unfortunately, a long lay off really causes you to loose any touch you have around the greens. All you have to do to keep your short game sharp, is practice a little throughout the winter. First, you should set up a putting station. There are plenty of inexpensive putting devices out there that will create an artificial golf hole that you can set up at home (some even include indoor outdoor carpet for those who don't have the proper surface). Try to practice putting as often as you can (especially the short putts). If you have a friend or spouse that likes to play golf, try to have putting competitions on a regular basis. This will help you to keep your putting sharp when the new season rolls around. Secondly, you can use this same putting station to practice your chipping stroke (if you don't have the proper chipping surface, simply find a 1x1 piece of higher pile carpet and lay it on the ground to chip from). If you do use a piece of carpet as I suggest, you can move it closer or farther away from the hole, to vary your chipping distances. When next season begins, you will be able to get the ball close to the hole instead of leaving these chip shots short of the green. Finally, pitching can really be difficult if you haven't practiced in a while. What I used to do in the winter, was to practice hitting pitch shots into an old upholstered chair. This game me a specific target to aim for. If you don't have an old chair like this laying around, you can always get a small pitching net at any golf store. Just set up the net or chair in an area that you won't break anything. Then, use your small piece of carpet to pitch from and you will be sure to keep your touch around the greens. In order to eliminate the beginning of the season frustration, it just takes a little creativity and practice. Hopefully, you will set up a practice station at home and try a few of the drills I mentioned. It does take a little effort, but once the new season rolls around, you will be glad you kept working on your game. Until next time, Paul Wilson

         
    How to practice your golf swing

     

    In a normal day of teaching golf I walk back and forth to the range numerous times. On this journey, I usually watch the different variations people have when they swing the golf club. Some of the swings are quite good and others need a lot of work. I usually think to myself that if only they could change the way they practiced they would become so much better so much faster. What do I mean exactly? Well ... 99.9% of all golfers I see on the range are just whacking golf balls out there. If this is you, I've got some bad news ... you will never improve. So what should you be doing? If you are working on your swing, you have to work on your swing. This means you should forget about trying to hit every shot perfectly on the range. No pro can do this or even attempts to do this. It is called a practice range because you are there to practice what you have learned so you can take it to the course without having to think about it. If you have just been whacking balls on the range and not improving you should follow the outline below. Find a Teaching Method That You Can Relate To If you think you can figure out the golf swing on your own without lessons, books or videos you're kidding yourself. What you think you're doing is never what you are actually doing. Just when you think you have it, it's gone. Wouldn't it make sense to follow a step by step method that takes you through the various parts of the swing and explains them in a manner you can understand. There are many different teachers out there with many different thoughts on how to swing the club properly. I myself, teach the golf swing based on the 3 elements of the Iron Byron swing machine that was modeled after the swing of Byron Nelson. In my many years of trying to figure out the swing, I didn't see it clearly until I say Iron Byron hit a golf ball. Once I understood the simplicity of the machine and I related it to my own swing, the pieces started to fit together. If this sounds appealing to you then following my method would be a great idea. If not, lessons from your local pro or a quick search at a bookstore or on the internet will give you many other choices. Create a Neutral Grip Your grip is your connection to the club. If your hands are not placed on the club in a neutral position you're really making the game much more difficult. I say this because if you have a faulty grip your shots will spin one way or the other. If this is the case, how do expect to consistently hit the fairways or greens? Once you learn the proper grip, you will not only be copying the pros but you will also narrow down the possible cause of your inconsistent shots. If the grip is not the problem, it must be something else that is causing your wayward shots. So now you can move on to fixing the other parts of your swing. Square Alignment is Critical In my last tip I explained the importance of proper alignment. To sum it up, it's vital that you align squarely to your target. I say this because if you are aimed way out to the right or left and you hit a perfect shot it would go in the trees, water, bunkers or out of bounds. This means you need another flaw in your swing to get the ball on target with a faulty alignment. To make sure you are aligned squarely to your target, lay one club down on the ground pointing directly at your target, then place another club parallel to the first club about 1 foot away. Finally, pick up the first club you placed on the ground and hit balls from that spot with your feet parallel to the second club. This is known as being aligned parallel left of your target. Do Tons of Practice Swings Once you have chosen a teacher and a method it is time to practice what you have learned. Again, it's not as simple as just whacking balls out there. You have been shown certain positions that you need to incorporate into your swing. The best way to do this is by doing tons of practice swings in a mirror or at the range. By doing plenty practice swings, you will re-enforce your new swing positions so you can do them consistently when you hit actual shots. The whole point of making a change is to make the change. By just whacking balls out there you will continue to do your old swing that's full of flaws. Hit Different Shots Once you have made the necessary changes to your swing it's time to hit various shots. Golf is not a just a game of hitting the ball 300 yards down the middle with your driver. The game also requires good fairway woods, long, mid and short irons as well as a great short game. Try to practice all parts of your game with all of the clubs in your bag especially the clubs you dislike the most. If you keep ignoring certain clubs you will continue to hit them poorly. Take Your Time Building a great golf swing takes time. If it could be achieved in a week everyone would be pros. If your changes are minor a few weeks or a month of consistent practice and practice swings should ingrain these new positions. If you are totally re-building your swing it may take you a couple of months or longer. This is because your new swing will present new problems like hitting the ball over the green or through the fairway because you are not used to your new distances. Once you have hit enough better shots you will be able to choose the appropriate club for the situation and you score will finally come down. If you want to become a good golfer it's time to change how you are currently practicing, understand what it takes to get better and create a game plan that you will follow religiously. If you start to make these changes now, you are on your way ... if you start next week, you are week behind. Until next time, Paul Wilson

         
    How to prepare for a golf tournament

     

    Preparing for a golf tournament, as golf instruction explains, is one of the keys to playing your best golf. If you play in golf tournaments, develop a pre-tournament routine that prepares you for the day ahead. One challenge when preparing for a tournament is time. You might not have much before teeing off, so make sure you get to the course early as possible. A pre-tournament routine gets the most of the time you have and lets you work on a lot of things in a short amount of time. Structure in practice is something that golf lessons preach anyway. Many routines start with stretching. It warms you up. It helps prevent injuries. And it loosens the muscles. Many golf tips describe stretches you can incorporate into a sound stretching sequence. Include stretches that focus on those muscles receiving the greatest stress during your swing. Target areas are your trunk, thighs, arms, shoulders, neck, and back. The sitting trunk rotation stretch and the shoulder-and-thigh stretch are two good stretches to include in your routine. These stretches may not lower your golf handicap, but they will help you avoid some common injuries as you get older. A pre-tournament routine also includes time on a practice tee. Before hitting, take two or three clubs from your bag and swing them a few times, just as many golf tips suggest. This exercise warms you up and prepares your muscles before hitting a ball. Next, start hitting balls. Begin with a wedge to get a feel for your swing, then move to a mid-iron. Work on swing technique while you hit the wedge and mid-iron. Concentrate on your swing trigger, if you have one. Approach it the same way you would your golf lessons. After a few minutes of working on your swing, start hitting the ball. Imagine yourself out on the course and in a specific situation. Use your pre-shot routine. Visualize each shot. And hit it as if the shot counted. Note the distances you hit each shot that day. Knowing how well you’re hitting a club helps during the tournament when it’s time to choose a club. Select specific targets and try to hit them. It’s important to play target golf, even on the practice tee. In fact, play target golf whenever you hit a golf ball, unless you’re working on a specific swing fault. It helps you get the most out of each practice session, as many golf lessons explain. Work on those shots that you might encounter during the tournament — punch shots, fades, and draws. Practice any type of shot that you think might help during the tournament. Hit a few of each. Use the same techniques emphasized in golf instruction manuals. Finally, a good pre-tournament routine includes putting. The star drill helps you get the most out of your time on the tee. Find a hole on the practice green that has a slight slope to it. Then take five balls and spread them in a star pattern around the hole about 3 feet away. Practice putting from this distance. Them move the balls out to 4 feet, always keeping them in the star pattern. By spreading the balls out in a star pattern, you get the most common putts you’ll face on the course. Pick out a target line. Visualize the ball going in before putting. Then putt the ball. Do it just the way golf lessons recommend. Also, try lagging a few long putts, just to get the feel for it. Spend about 15 or 20 minutes putting, if you have time. There are other drills you can use in place of the star drill. The key is finding one that works for you. Golf lessons tell you to keep your head down when putting. Use your pre-tournament routine to work on keeping your head down on putts 5 feet or less. The earlier you look up on short putts, the more likely it is you’ll miss. Many professional golfers, including Nick Faldo, wait until they hear the sound of the ball hitting the bottom of the cup or know the ball has definitely missed the cup before looking up. It’s a good way to force yourself to keep your head down. Another challenge when playing in a tournament is that you might be playing a course for the first time. If that’s the case, find someone who has played the course and ask him or her how it plays. Find out as much information about the course as you can. That knowledge will help you during the tournament. Actually, this is good advice anytime you play a new course. Good course management can help you lower your golf handicap. Playing in golf tournaments is fun. It’s a chance to play different formats and different courses, ones you might not play otherwise. It’s also a chance to play against golfers with a variety of golf handicaps. To play your best golf, develop a pre-tournament routine and follow it the day of the event.

         
    How to prevent your golf swing from breaking down with golf fitness exercises

     

    It happens to all of us. We loose our golf swing, make some type of unknown modification in how we swing the club, and everything falls apart. What can we do to prevent our golf swing from leaving us? Remember this saying as you continue to read this article; “Proper Preparation Precedes Success and Confidence”. Think about this phrase for a moment and then keep reading. I write about this subject because of an e-mail I received from a fellow golfer. The e-mail read: “Sean, while out practicing I appear to have injured a muscle(s) in my back just below my left shoulder, and also around the outside of my left side rib cage. I have tried to continue to play golf through this injury, hoping it would get better but I had to stop. Hitting down and through the ball proved to very difficult and I seemed to be pulling out of shots early and topping the ball on my iron shots a lot. Do you have any golf fitness exercises in your book which will heal the injury and prevent a re-occurrence?” Absolutely! I do have golf fitness exercises to help you with the prevention of such an injury occurring. But let’s get back onto the topic of this article and that is the loss of our golf swing. “Loosing” your golf swing can occur for a number of reasons. Typically, they fall into one of 3 categories: 1) Mechanical 2) Physical 3) Mental A loss of your golf swing on the mechanical side of the equation is pretty simple to understand. Essentially, you have made an adjustment in the mechanics of your golf swing causing compensations to occur. These compensations result in poor shots and possibly a great deal of frustration, if you do not know what is happening. Often times the amateur is completely unaware of the changes they have made wreaking havoc on their golf swing. How do you go about solving such a situation? Through proper instruction from a qualified teacher is the first part of this equation. A qualified teaching pro will be able to diagnose the problem and provide you guidance on how to fix it. The ball is then in your court, meaning you must use this information and go practice (remember, proper preparation precedes success or confidence). The second reason for the “loss” of your golf swing is a publicized matter, and it is your body. Remember it is your body that swings the golf club. If your body is unable to swing the golf club properly, the ability to swing it without compensations will occur. The e-mail above is an example of such a problem. The amateur golfer has incurred an injury as a result of the body not being flexible, strong, or powerful enough to swing the golf club properly over a period of time. Keep in mind the golf swing requires certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to swing the golf club correctly. If any one of these facets within your body is not up to par (no pun intended, but it fits real well doesn’t it?), the swing will suffer. Often times body impairments causing you to “loose” your swing are not as severe as an injury (they will get that way if ignored), but rather they are a slight discomfort, muscle pull, or fatigue. Which cause compensations to occur in your golf swing. Again, we can go back to the phrase “proper preparation precedes success and confidence”. You must properly prepare your body for the golf swing. This is where golf fitness exercises are beneficial. Golf fitness exercises develop the levels of flexibility, balance, endurance, strength, and power within the body to swing the golf club properly. Golf fitness exercises prepare the body to swing the golf club just as practice ingrains the mechanics of the golf swing. We finally come to the third category, the mental aspect of golf and fitness. Mental blocks, certain thought processes, or a lack of confidence can directly affect your golf swing. I have found through my work over the years with professional athletes the development of a sound mental approach to golf begins with the body and progresses from this point to swing mechanics. If you develop a strong foundation in your body, it provides you confidence that you can perform the mechanics of the golf swing correctly. Once the physical foundation is developed, you can create the optimal swing mechanics on top of this foundation. Once these two “building blocks” are in place. The mental approach towards the game is confident, relaxed, and focused. Again, let’s go back to the phrase; “proper preparation precedes success and confidence.” Confidence in your golf game can only occur if the physical foundation and fundamentals of the golf swing are in place. To summarize, “loosing” your golf swing can be attributable to essentially 3 different categories. These categories are your golf swing mechanics, your body, and your mental approach to the game. To minimize the possibility of “loosing” your golf swing, develop a flexible, strong, and powerful body to support your golf swing mechanics. On top of this body, develop an efficient golf swing. This will allow your mental approach to be focused, relaxed, and confident. If you are confident in your body’s’ ability to swing the golf club, the mechanics of your swing to execute the shot, the ability to mentally focus will be much easier. This is what separates good golf shots from bad golf shots on the golf course. Sean Cochran

         
    How to read greens like a pro

     

    Ever hit a putt you thought was going in only to have it drift wide right? If you have, chances are you misread the green. My golf lessons teach that reading greens takes skill, good judgment, and experience. Since there’s no formula for determining the direction a ball must start based on the slope of the green and the distance to the hole, reading greens is key to sinking more putts. And sinking more putts, as my golf tips emphasize, produces a lower golf handicap. Let’s talk about ball speed for a second. Ball speed is critical in putting. The factors affecting speed are (1) the type of grass you’re putting on, (2) the direction the grass is growing, and (3) the moisture of the grass. Wet greens tend to slow a ball down. Fast greens tend to drift the ball away from the hole. Reading a green correctly—accounting for how these factors affect your putt — helps you determine not only the speed of a putt but also the direction. To sharpen your skill at this technique, we recommend developing a green-reading routine. Let’s look at the putting sequence before getting into specifics. First, your subconscious mind absorbs all the factors affecting ball speed and direction. Next, you decide how hard and where to hit the ball. Then, you putt. You judge the accuracy of your read by watching the putt. If it goes in, you’ve read the green correctly. If it goes by the hole, you’ve may have misread the green. My golf tips stress that experience contributes greatly to reading a green correctly. But I also recommend that you keep the following in mind as you approach a green: • Start thinking about the line of the putt as you walk to the green. The best view of the green’s slope (whether it slopes to the right or left) is from 20 yards or so away. Standing on the green can’t tell you this. If the terrain surrounding the green slopes to the right, the green probably slopes to the right. If a green slopes in the opposite direction, it creates a basin that collects water. No self-respecting landscape architect will do that. • Check from the side of the green if you have an uphill or downhill putt. You can make this judgment by standing behind the putt. The side provides the best perspective for this and for determining the speed of the ball. For downhill putts, the low side of the green offers the best perspective for judging the terrain’s slope. • Stand behind the hole to judge the area around the hole. This area is crucial because a ball loses most of its speed by the time it gets to the hole. Here, the terrain can really influence the ball’s direction. • Read the green with your feet. Use your sense of balance to determine the green’s slope. It will also give you clues about the putt’s speeds • Stand behind the ball to make a final decision on the putt’s direction and speed. When you stand above the ball, your perspective changes, as does your impression of the line. Behind the ball is the best place to take a final look. Once you’ve made the decision, don’t change it. In addition, here’s a few putting tips I always highlight in my golf instruction: watch the roll of another player’s ball, don’t underestimate the break on a putt, and pay attention to the influence of the wind and dampness. Watching another player’s ball, especially if he or she has a similar shot, provides hints on how the ball rolls. Sometimes, it even provides you with a near perfect line. Also, miss a break on the high side of the hole not the low. That way the ball has at least a chance of rolling in. And it doesn’t roll as far away from the hole on the high side as it does on the low. In addition, a strong wind affects the speed and direction of the ball as does dampness. So factor these elements in. A ball rolls a lot slower on wet grass than on dry grass. Finally, watch the ball if it goes by the whole. Don’t turn away in anger. There’s little feedback before and during a putt, so you can’t check your reading accuracy until after you hit the ball. Key questions you need to ask yourself are: Did it have the right direction? Did it have the right speed? Did it have the right on line? Answering these questions is crucial to improving your ability to read greens and sink more putts. And doing that, as my golf lessons point out, will lower your golf handicap.

         
    How to set up a golf fitness program to improve your golf game

     

    Professional golfers on the PGA Tour understand the connection between golf swing mechanics and the body. The most notable players in the world have regimented golf fitness programs they adhere religiously too. The benefits of such programs have been well documented in the media. Press clippings from Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, and Phil Mickelson all refer to golf fitness exercises being a component of their regular practice schedule. The amateur can learn a lot from the pros. They can learn the importance the body has in relation to the golf swing, how golf swing mechanics and the body are intertwined, and improvement in the golf game requires the implementation of a golf fitness program. Where most amateurs get “off-track” with their golf fitness training is the components and exercises incorporated in such a program. Golf fitness programs are quite different then “general” fitness or “weight training” programs. A golf fitness program is designed to develop the golfer’s body around the golf swing. In order for this to occur certain parameters and exercises are required in such a program. First and foremost the amateur golfer must understand the connection between the golf swing and body. The golf swing is a complex series of biomechanical movements execute by the golfer. In order for the golfer to execute the biomechanics of the golf swing correctly. It is necessary for the golfer to have certain physical parameters well developed. These physical parameters are flexibility, balance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and muscular power. High levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power are required to execute the golf swing correctly. Often times the amateur golfer is not flexible enough, strong enough, or powerful enough to execute the golf swing correctly. This results in the golfer developing compensation patterns in their golf swing. The result being poor shots and high scores on the golf course. Bottom line is a physical foundation of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power is required to develop an efficient golf swing. If the amateur golfer is lacking in anyone of these categories the foundation upon which the golf swing is being built will be insufficient. Once the amateur golfer understands the connection between the golf swing and the body it is necessary to implement a golf fitness program, A golf fitness program is different than “traditional” training programs in such this type of program develops the body around the golf swing. A golf fitness program trains the body to the positions, movements, and requirements of the golf swing. A golf fitness program is not concern about “beach muscles” or how one looks in the mirror. Rather a golf fitness program has the primary goal of improving the scores on the golf course and play of the golfer. This type of improvement is a result of using exercise to develop the physical parameters of the body relative to the golf swing. A golf fitness program will include flexibility exercises, balance drills, muscular strength exercise, endurance training modalities, and power drills. Exercises from all of these categories are included in a comprehensive golf fitness program. Understand the exercises and drills within each of these categories are not necessarily traditional type of exercises. For example, flexibility exercises for golf are less concerned about touching your toes, and more concerned about completing a full shoulder turn. Flexibility exercises for golf are geared towards developing the flexibility within your body to execute the components of the golf swing correctly. The same can be said about every other category of exercise and drill incorporated in a golf fitness program. The balance drills in a golf fitness program are designed to improve the golfer’s balance capacities relative to the golf swing. Power exercises in a golf fitness program are designed to improve clubhead speed. Where as power drills in other programs may be geared towards improving how fast you run. Once the amateur golfer understands the connection between the golf swing and body, the elements of the body needing development relative to the golf swing, and the components of a golf fitness program. The final component of understanding is golf fitness training order. Often times the amateur golfer desires more power (i. e. clubhead speed) in their golf swing. As a result they perform only exercises to enhance the power components within their body. What the amateur golfer fails to realize is developing golf strength, endurance, or power is useless if they do not have the flexibility or balance capacities to execute the golf swing. Developing the body for the golf swing requires the amateur golfer to follow a specific order relative to their training programs. It is necessary for the amateur golfer to first develop their flexibility for the golf swing. Secondly proceed to increasing their balance capacities in relation to the golf swing. Continue the process with developing strength and endurance for the golf swingpleting the process with power drills to enhance clubhead speed. This guarantees the effort placed within a golf fitness program will enhance the golfer’s swing. It becomes a simple process once the golfer is educated on the relationship between the golf swing and the body. The benefits a golf fitness program has upon the golfer’s swing, and how to implement golf fitness exercises correctly. Sean Cochran

         
    How to take strokes off your golf game by mastering the mental part of it

     

    The game of golf can be broken down into two parts: muscle memory and the mental game. Muscle memory is simple. So long as you have a decent swing you can lower your handicap by increasing your muscle memory and you do that by, of course, putting in range time. By contrast, the mental game is something that is as complex as the human mind itself and even professional golfers who have muscle memory down could endure occasional breakdowns of their mental games. How, then, is an amateur like you supposed to master the mental game? Well, a number of mental practices you can put in your bag will shave more strokes off your game then any gimmicky golf ball. The mental game has multiple layers of depth just like the human mind. First, let’s discuss your rational mind and what it has to do with course management. If you don’t play very often, or even if you do, you have probably noticed a heightened sense of awareness on the golf course at times; not just when you notice the birds chirping or the wind blowing – it’s more than that. You get in a zone of thinking like a pro. That means you know your exact yardage, which way the wind is blowing, out of bounds is to the right, sand traps are short left, long is bad, you have a flier lie, the air is heavy and last time you hit a seven iron from the same spot you came up short. Making this mental address to the golf ball is every bit as important as hitting the right club. Smart folks say that what determines a decent round is not how good your good shots are, but rather how bad your bad shots are; you must take every measure to increase your chance of success if you don’t hit a perfect shot. Next, you have to tackle you harsh golf superego and subdue its power. Often your golf superego can make you suffer from a “Tyranny of Shoulds.” If you are like most of us, you have probably suffered from an inter-dialogue on the golf course in which you berate yourself for not performing the way you should. Not only is this a surefire way to ruin a good time, it will have a tremendous effect on your stoke average. Thinking too far ahead on the golf course can actually put you behind and will most certainly throw you off your game. Perhaps the most bankable skill possessed by great golfers is their ability to quiet the mind. To them, every single shot is a new game of golf. This advice may seem contradictory to tips given the prior paragraph, but it is not. On your rational surface level, you are considering golf course management, but now you are a level deeper in focus, the rational brain has said its piece and you are focused solely on making the shot. Just like all good decisions are born from a peaceful and focused mind so is all good shot making. However, none of these states of mind are achievable if they are not built on a solid foundation of gratitude. What does that mean? Someone once said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” It sure can be if you don’t cultivate a mentality of gratitude. When you get to the first tee box take a minute to appreciate all that is taking place; you are playing a game with your buddies for a few hours, the air smells fresh, you have 18 holes in front of you to make good shots and a 19th hole if you need to drown a bad outing in a whisky sour. Regardless of anything, you are privileged to spend a few hours of life playing one of the greatest games on earth. If you can truly achieve that feeling inside your body, that my friend, is the fulfillment of your deepest level – the golfer’s soul.

         
    How to use exercise for golf to strengthen your swing

     

    Using exercise for golf to strengthen your swing could be one of the wisest decisions you’ve ever make in regards to improving power and distance. Have you tried those gimmicky training aids in hopes to strengthen your swing? If so, were you successful? I can take a guess, but I won’t get on you too much. Most of the touring pros are now using exercise for golf to strengthen their swing and have seen their driving distance go way up. And yes…their equipment has a little bit to do with it, but can’t take all the credit. I have said thousands of times, “it’s your BODY that plays the game, not your equipment”. Doesn’t that make sense to you? Like any athlete…he or she spends a huge amount of time strengthening their muscles specific to their sport. Why wouldn’t you as a golfer do the same thing? Hopefully after reading this article you’ll give it strong consideration. Using exercise for golf to strengthen your swing entails the use of a stability ball, exercise tubing, handweights and even a weighted medicine ball. These are all inexpensive golf training tools that can have a dramatic affect on your game. I can’t tell you how many golfers (thousands) have emailed me telling me their amazing improvements in power, distance and accuracy from using exercise for golf to strengthen their swing. It’s a very simple approach that won’t leave you sweating like a pig and spending hours upon hours in your gym. In fact…you don’t need a gym to do the kind of golf training I’m talking about. With the above golf training equipment, you can do a simple golf exercise program in less than 30 minutes “in your home”. Now that’s time-savings and even financial savings not having to keep up a gym membership. The premise of using exercise for golf to strengthen your swing is one that warrants quick results with a minimal time requirement.

         
    How to warm up for your golf game in 5 minutes with golf fitness stretches

     

    It is well known that in every professional sport athletes perform a series of flexibility exercises and drills to prepare them to play a game. The game of golf is no different. Unseen to the general public, many PGA Tour players perform a series of golf flexibility exercises to prepare them to play golf. It is done prior to hitting the driving range or putting green. It is a process of getting the muscles and joints of body ready to swing a golf club. Most every golfer on the planet understands the benefit of a warm-up program to get the body ready to play golf or any sport for that matter. Unfortunately for us the time required to perform a comprehensive golf warm-up program with golf flexibility exercises is not reasonable. Not reasonable because of time restrictions on our busy lives. For example, we set our tee time for Friday at 1:30. Our plan when we leave the house in the morning is “I will get to course at 1:00, hit a few putts, chip for 10 minutes, head to the range, and be at the first tee with a few minutes to spare”. Unfortunately, our plans sometimes do not play out as we intended. We get stuck with a client on the phone, a conference call runs long, we get stuck in traffic. Whatever the case may be we are caught rushing to the golf course, getting to the course with 10 minutes to spare, jump out of the car, tying our golf shoes, get to the first tee with 5 minutes to spare, haven’t hit a shot or putted….Do I need to go on? Probably not. It is a situation that happens to us all, and I as am guilty of it as you. However as strong as I suggest performing a good warm-up, and putting yourself in the correct frame of mind for the round, life at times just does not allow us to do it. What are we to do in such situations? I first off would suggest not utilizing the John Daly “grip and rip it” motto if you get to the first tee without warming-up. I have seen this (myself included) lead to a myriad of problems from the get go. I can remember a few years ago I took this approach and I think made a triple bogey on the first hole. My drive went left into the rough, second shot to the right, approach shot over the green into the bunker, bunker shot rolled 20 feet past the hole. Need I go on? Let’s just say I learned my lesson. First and foremost if you are caught in this type of situation lets not panic. Let’s put a plan together to start the round out on the right foot and keep you in a positive frame of mind. My first suggestion is not to rush and attempt to hit 3 putts, pull out driver take a few hacks, and then tee it up. Lets take the 5 minutes we have and get the body warmed-up and ready to swing a golf club. How can we do this? Simply by putting together a series of golf stretches to “loosen” you up. Golf flexibility exercises will loosen the muscles and joints of your body. Preparing them to swing a golf club. They are simple to perform and can get your body and mind more ready to play than just a few practice swings with the driver. This will take a couple of minutes to perform, but it will help you get the body ready to swing the golf club. Once we have got the body “loosened up” lets get the mind in the correct space. I have seen all too often the tempo of a swing is way out of whack when a golfer lacks the time to properly warm-up. Attempt to relax, take a few deep breaths, and get the body to slow down a little. This should definitely help create some better tempo in your swing from the start. Also, take your time. Once it is your turn to hit, take a little extra time. Take a few extra practice swings, relax, find your tempo, and match your first swing to the tempo of your practice swing. This is a tip I learned from Dean Reinmuth (top 50 Golf Digest teaching pros). If you are not comfortable over the ball, step away, take a series of practice swings until you find the “right” swing and then perform that same swing over the golf ball. It has done wonders for my game. I would also suggest continuing to take extra time on every shot until you feel comfortable and have found your swing. This might not occur until the second or third hole, but it is okay. It allows you to relax, make a good swing, and make a good shot. Finally, when you are rushed I think course management can really help. Think about it for a moment. Why not on the first tee pull out 3-wood instead of driver, even if it is a par five. Hit a nice shot into the fairway, lay-up, and play for par? Again, starting off with par or even bogey is a lot better than a double or triple, both for your scorecard and mental frame of mind. So if you are rushing to the first tee to get your golf game going let’s review the protocol. First and foremost lets be smart and utilize the time we have at hand. Lets take the 5 minutes we have to warm-up the body for the golf swing. We will do this through the implementation of a series of golf flexibility exercises. These golf exercises will get your muscles and joints ready to swing a golf club. Once the body is ready the next step is taking your time. Take a few extra practice swings with the golf club. This will allow you to find the tempo of your golf swing. Finally lets be smart with our course management skills. Think about what is the best golf shot to make and play within ourselves until our body and mind is ready to go. Sean Cochran

         
     
         
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