Category Archives: Tips and Instruction

Tips for Golfing in Cold Weather

Colder air causes more resistance during the ball’s flight, and golfers often take a harder swing to compensate. But attempting to hit the ball harder alters your swing plane and ruins your shot. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid mishaps when the temperatures are chilly.

Frost on a golf course

 

1. Take a swing that lowers the trajectory of the your ball. Use a shallow sing place and hit farther back in your stance.

 

2. At address, set your shoulders properly. For right handers, your right shoulder should be slightly lower than your left. Your right arm should be relaxed and your elbow should be tucked in. Never let your right shoulder pass the ball.

3. Use more club if you need too.  The ball won’t travel as far in the winter months,  so it may take up to two extra clubs to make up the difference. You
4. Keep your hands warm. While there are many golf gloves on the market that can help keep your digits warm in winter, the best method is keeping your hands warm between shots. Keeping hand warmers in your pockets can help warm your fingers rapidly between shots. can also consider moving a tee closer to the pin than usual.

5. Use colored balls. If you’re playing golf after the longer grass has died, it can be hard to find your ball if it’s white. Using a colored ball will help you keep track of your shots better.

6. Stay hydrated. It is tempting to drink coffee, tea, cocoa, or other warm beverages when you’re out in the cold, but don’t forget to drink fluids that will hydrate you, too!

The cold air affects your body and the ball differently. Consider golfing in cold weather a challenge, and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do as well as you would in the warmer months.

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Left Handed Golf Tips for Beginners

As a lefty, has anyone ever told you to “just take the tips you read for right handed players and reverse them.” Sometimes that can be easier said than done. Here are some left handed golf tips that will have you shooting better in no time.

left handed golf tips are important for beginners

  • Use an extra long tee and tee the ball high. Hitting from a low tee can cause hooks, while hitting from a higher tee can gain you around 12 extra yards by improving your trajectory (hitting a ball that travels at the optimum height for distance).
  • Play the ball 2 ball lengths forward in your stance. Just like the first tip, this will get the ball higher into the air, getting you more yardage per shot.
  • Lead your swing with your right hand and finish with your left.
  • Slow down your swing! Swinging hard and fast can draw your swing offline. Taking a smooth swing will help you hit the sweet spot on the club, resulting in a longer drive. When you hit your swing hard and fast, you tightenyour wrists and arms, which impacts your swing arc (the path your swing takes from back swing to impact) causing hooks and slices.
  • Know the layout of the course. As a lefty, this is an especially important piece of advice. Many courses feature holes that bend to the right (also called a dogleg). Lefties must draw the ball to the right on these shot in order to keep the ball in play.
  • This is probably the most important left handed golf tip you’ll ever hear: Invest in a set of left handed golf clubs. While you can often play decently with right handed golf clubs, you’ll never play as well as you could if you had the proper equipment.

Are you a lefty? Do you have any tips that you’d like to share with your fellow right-brainers?

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3 Chipping Tips Guaranteed to Get Your Game in Gear

Your short game is the majority of your score in golf and it’s also the hardest. Try these chipping tips to help you lower your strokes near the pin.Chipping tips can help you improve your score

Preshot Routine 

Using a preshot routine every time you approach a shot makes you comfortable and prepares you for your shot. The familiarity of your routine can physically relax you before a swing.  Awhile back, we posted a helpful article on creating a preshot routine.

A few things to remember during your preshot routine:

  • Line up your shot just as you would a putt.
  • Don’t choose a club until after you have examined your shot. This will help you determine the proper club for your shot.
  • Always take a practice swing.

Club Selection

When selecting a club for your shot, there are several things to consider:

  • If you have very little distance from your ball to the pin, you want to give the ball a little more loft than you would for a longer distance. Try a pitching wedge for this shot.
  • If you have a long distance of green, try using an 8-iron (or a 5-iron if the shot is especially long). An iron will will give your ball a lower trajectory and more roll.
  • Is your shot uphill? Using a low-lofted club like an 8- or 5- iron will allow you to hit the shot in lower and roll it up to the pin.
  • Downhill shot? A pitching or sand wedge to give the shot loft instead of distance to allow it to roll downhill toward the hole.

Distance Control

As mentioned above, choosing the right club for the shot will make a vast difference in the distance your ball travels. But to control your chip shot, you’ll need consistent and clean contact with the ball. Your swing through the ball should be longer than the backswing–this forces you to accelerate as you swing. Hold your follow through on the ball until it comes to a stop on the green.

Here are some great drills for working on your distance control.

Do you have any chipping tips? Leave them in the comment section!

Y’all have a good weekend, and hit ’em straight!

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How to Golf Like a Pro: 3 Tips for Taking Your Game to the Next Level

Learning how to golf like a pro takes years of practice both on and off the course. Here are three practical tips to use now to help improve your game.

1. Learn to choose the right club for the shot.

Since the rules of golf state that you can only have 14 clubs in your bag at a time, you’ll need to learn which clubs are appropriate for each shot and how far you hit each of them. Because no two rounds of golf are the same (even if you’re playing the same course every time), you’ll find that, over time, you’ll use all the clubs in your bag. Once you learn how far you hit each club, put that knowledge to use on the course. It’s helpful to write down how far you hit each club, laminate it, and keep it in your golf bag as a reference. The reference is also a great way to gauge how you improve over time, since your distance will increase with each club as you progress.

2. Think about your approach.

You aren’t Bubba Watson. Chances are very good that you can’t hit a shot that doglegs to land on the green for a shot at par. Be practical and take the easier shots. If you miss the green, your follow-up shot needs to get the ball close enough to sink the putt. Think about what direction the green slopes and what it looks like near the pin and adjust your shot accordingly. Understand how you mishit shots so that your well hit balls land on the green and give you a makeable putt but a miss will still give you an opportunity to sink it in two.

3. Stop trying to crush the ball on every drive.

The Tiger Woods video game has ruined many a real-life drive with the angelic sound of swishing and crushing as the ball makes contact with the sweet spot on the golf ball before soaring 300 yards down the fairway. Those shots aren’t likely to happen in your golf game if you’re more concerned with muscling the shot into going the distance as opposed to hitting a steady swing that makes good contact. Hinge your wrists as far back as possible on your backswing, rotate around your body as much as you can, and shift your weight properly. Improving your distance comes with hitting the ball better, not harder.

You’re not going to become the next Rory McIlroy overnight; but learning how to golf like a pro might be a little easier if you’re using these tips.

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How the Stack and Tilt Golf Method Can Help Improve Your Iron Shots

Using the Stack and Tilt golf method can improve your iron shotsThe stack and tilt golf method can be helpful for players with inconsistent iron shots and can decrease your risk of developing golfer’s back.

What is the Stack and Tilt Golf Method?

The basic principles of the stack and tilt golf method are fairly simple. Your back remains vertical over the ball instead of twisting, your weight stays mainly on your lead foot, and your weight never shifts away from the ball. If you reverse pivot–that is, if you shift your weight to your left leg on your backswing–using this swing can eliminate problems such as fat, thin, or weak shots.

Instructions for creating the Stack and Tilt:

1. Setup with the ball in the center of your stance (or slightly farther forward for longer irons)
2. During your backswing, your head should remain centered above the ball. Constantly shift your weight forward, moving about 55-65% of your weight onto your front leg, flexing it while your back leg straightens almost completely. Your shoulders should take a sharper angle, holding your front arm close to your chest. Your trailing arm’s elbow should remain near your body.
3. On your downswing, continue shifting your weight to the front. Your hips should pivot forward powerfully.
4. Your follow-through will be the same as a traditional golf swing—your backside will tuck slightly in and your upper body will have moved forward.

The stack and tilt method may not work for everyone, since all golfers have different swing patterns. Think about your golf game; if you’re struggling with your irons and feel like you can’t find a natural-feeling swing, give this method a try.

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The Top Three Reasons for Hitting a Golf Hook–and How to Correct Them

A hook is a ball that curves in a direction away from the dominant hand of the golfer. When the ball hooks the left (for a right-handed player), it bends right-to-left in the air as it flies. To do so, it must be spinning counter-clockwise. And to spin counter-clockwise, the club must swing to the right with the clubface pointing to the left slightly. To determine if you’re hitting a hook shot, look at the direction of your divots. A hook shot produced divots that point slightly to the right—the ball will have ended to the left of the direction of your divot.

Once you’ve determined that you’re hitting a hook shot, take a look at these three aspects of your game to determine the root of the problem.

Check your Grip. Although your grip doesn’t have anything to do with the trajectory of your swing, it does affect your clubface at impact, which alters the path of the ball immensely. And while grips are very individualized, there is a guideline for ensuring your clubface is square at impact.

When you’re in your stance and the clubface is square to the target, you shouldn’t be able to see more than two knuckles on your left hand. Also, check the V’s between your index finger and thumb on both hands. They should be pointing toward–and not farther out than–your right shoulder. If your hands are turned too far to the right, it’s likely the clubface will look to the left at impact.

Study your backswing. When you hook the ball, you usually have one of two problems with your backswing. You’re either swinging too far inside/around OR you’re turning the club slightly counter clockwise. (Or both.)

If you’re swinging too far inside, the club will approach the ball at a shallow angle, which means you’re hitting it too far along the ground. This swing trajectory is the main cause of the ball spinning counter-clockwise.

First, check the top of your backswing, ensuring that your shaft if over your shoulder at the top and not too far behind you. Also be sure that your head is steady during your backswing. Don’t move off the ball to the right; that will cause your backswing to be too flat and inside.

Next, check the position of your clubface. The most common reason for hooking a shot is that your clubface is turning counter-clockwise in the beginning of your backswing, which causes the clubface to close at impact. Your clubface should be open on your backswing along the target line—this is attained by turning your shoulders and torso and not by twisting your wrists. Stop at the top of your swing and check your left wrist. The back of your left wrist should be level with your left arm, so that if you put a ruler under the face of your watch, it would lay flat down your arm and the back of your hand.
If all else fails, look at your downswing. If you’ve corrected the problems above (which are usually a majority of the problem) and you’re still hitting a hook, study what’s happening in your downswing. You should be shifting your weight to your front foot and turning your body, making sure your arms are and hands are tension free. Use softness in your wrists as if you’re just letting the club swing.

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These Three Common Golf Swing Mistakes are Destroying Your Power Shots

Your swing mistakes are killing your drives and accuracy. Here are the top three most common golf swing mistakes and how to correct them:

1. The Over-The-Top Swing

This swing typically results in a pull slice and lessens power because the upper body is leading the downswing instead of the lower body. Instead of pulling the club farther to the inside of your backswing to compensate, take the club back in a straighter line away from the ball so the club doesn’t get too far behind you during your back swing.  This puts you in a better position at the top of your backswing, and you’ll be able to allow your arms to drop into a better position to move your hips laterally in the downswing before they begin to turn. Be sure your lower body is moving first to start your downswing.

2. Releasing your hands too early.

If you release your hands too early in your downswing, you lose power. When your arms are extended in line with the club when your hands are still a foot behind the club, you’re going to hit the ball only with the power from your arms instead of letting the club whip through when your hands are released properly.  While your hands are almost even with the ball in your downswing, your club should lag behind.  Focus on moving your lower body to start your downswing, as above. Then, keep your wrist cocked slightly longer in your downswing.

3. The Reverse Pivot

This happens when you don’t shift your weight to your back foot during your downswing. It’s usually cause when you tilt your hips instead of turning them.  This reduces your ability to shift your weight from back to front properly, reducing your swing speed. Turn your shoulders and hips so the center of your chest  is over your back foot. Bend your back knee, but make sure it’s not bent outside your back foot. As a right-handed player, you should feel your body weight all along your right side.

Swing changes don’t happen overnight, so don’t get discouraged if it take a while to correct these mistakes. As you improve, you’ll notice an increase in the solidity of your shots as well as your distance.

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