Top Tips with Jack O’Keefe

 Jack O’Keefe, Assistant Golf Coach here at Ole Miss gives us his top three tips for beginning, intermediate, and advanced golfers. 

For Beginners:

Tip 1: The Grip.  The grip is the most important part of golf. A good grip helps in every aspect of the game. The 3 most common types are: 1. Overlap grip, 2. Interlock grip, 3. Baseball or 10 finger grip. Ask a golf professional to show you these in person or search the web for videos or pictures of correct grips.

Tip 2: Hit Chips First (Mini-Swings)- After establishing a correct grip, start with some small swings (CHIPS- with a 9 iron or Pitching Wedge) and make sure you can make contact with the ball. After making contact, be sure you are getting the ball in the air a short time as this is the correct way to CHIP.

Tip 3: Make Full Practice Swings without a Golf Ball in front of you– After learning a correct grip and making some small swings first (CHIPS), the player is now ready to make some full swings. The best way to learn a full swing is to see a golf professional. Otherwise you can emulate the PGA Tour players on TV

For Intermediate Golfers:

Tip 1: Tempo- All good players have good tempo in putting, chipping, iron play, fairway woods and driver. A good way to improve Tempo is to count 1-2-3 as you make a practice swing. A metronome is also a way PGA Tour players work on their tempo for chipping and putting.

Tip 2: Lag Putting– The best way to reduce your score is to putt better. Try and average 2 putts or less per hole to help improve your score. Lag putting is critical for all golfers. To practice Lag Putting, putt from 15-20 feet with you eyes closed and see how close you can roll the ball to the hole. Experiment with shorter and longer putts too.

Tip 3:Hybrids– Hybrids are the future of golf. If you don’t have at least one in your bag you need to get one now. Hybrids are great clubs that eliminate long iron play. These hybrids help players get the ball in the air easier and are much easier to hit from the fairway than a fairway wood or long iron. You can’t have too many hybrids in your bag.

For Advanced Golfers:

Tip 1: Short Game- A great short game is the best way to improve your scores. 67% of your shots are from 150 yards and in so you should know what to practice now. Spend your practice time wisely on the short game and your scores will improve immediately.

 Tip 2: Course Management– The 2nd most important part to shooting the lowest scores is Course Management. The player that makes the fewest mistakes (BOGIES) usually wins on the PGA Tour. You don’t have to make the most birdies, just fewer bogies to win. Start by playing the par 5’s more conservatively by ensuring a birdie putt each time and you will make fewer 6’s.

Tip 3: Mental Game- The third most important way to improve your score behind Short Game and Course Management. The Mental Game is good, positive self-talk to yourself and also thinking the right things in certain situations. There are many good books out there to help with the Mental Game. Go to your nearest book store and find the right mental strategist for you.

Until next time, good Golfing,

Jack O’Keefe

To learn more about Jack, read his bio on OleMissSports.com.

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