Tag Archives: golf

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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Three Drills and Tips on Putting from Over 4 Feet

An astonishing 43% of all strokes in your golf game occur on the green. Here are three tips on putting, as well as drills to help you master the majority ofTips on Putting will help you lower your score your game.

Reading the Green

The break of the green and the grain of the grass is one of the most important things to consider, since the slope of the green and the direction the game grows can affect the roll of the ball.

From 3 feet behind the ball, crouch down and look toward the hole. This will give you a general idea of the left/right slope and the direction the ball will break. Walk around to the backside of the hole and look at the same line. One tip to check the grain of the grass, look to see if the grass looks shiny or dull. If it’s shiny, the grain grows with you and the ball will roll faster, if it’s dull, it’s growing against you, which will slow down the putt. Sometimes, the grain will appear to grow across the grain of your line. In this case, be careful; it could case your ball to drift slightly toward the direction of the grain as it slows.

A great drill for reading greens is to place a ball three feet from the hole. Try to sink the put using the tips above. When you make the putt, move the ball back 3 more feet and try to hit the ball so it continues the line of your first putt. Continue to move the ball back 3 feet each time until you’ve reached 20-30 feet.

Stance and Position

One of the best tips on putting is that, if your putting stroke and stance feel natural and are working for you regularly, don’t try to alter them too much. If you’re just a beginner or if you think that your stance and position could use a little help, here’s a great post from Free Golf Lessons to help you perfect your setup.

To practice lining up your body for a shot, stand sideways in front of a full-length mirror and take your putting stance. If you’re perfectly aligned, you won’t be able to see any portion of the side of your body opposite the mirror.

Judging Distance

Speed is arguably the most important aspect to master in putting. If you miss a putt, you always want to leave yourself no more than three feet from the hole.

To improve your ability to judge distance, try this drill: Starting at 10 feet from the pin, place balls at 10-foot intervals away from the pin. You should have a ball at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 feet. Now, start at the 10 foot mark and putt the ball to the hole. If you don’t sink the putt, make sure the ball is within 3 feet. Next, hit the 50 foot putt, attempting the same result as the 10 foot putt. Then make the other putts in random order. You always want no more than three feet between the ball and the cup. The better your control over distance, the fewer three putts.

These tips on putting can take you out of the land of three putts and knock a few strokes off your score.

Do you have tips on putting? Share them with us in the comment section. We’d love to hear them!

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Two Golf Rules Every Player Should Remember on the Green

Golf is, at they say, a gentleman’s sport, and the golf rules are designed to ensure that you always play like one. But what the rules don’t tell you is that golf if often hardest on those meticulously managed greens. Below are some golf rules your partners, fellow players, and g

Golf rules for the green are important for many reasons.

reenskeepers will thank you for regarding closely.

Repair your spike marks on each green

There are a lot of people in the world who think that golf shoes serve no other purpose than to make more money for sporting goods manufacturers, but the truth is, golf shoes are designed for comfort and securing your footing during shots. And by utilizing today’s technology, they are more comfortable, breathable, and supportive than a regular pair of athletic shoes.

Though metal spikes are more damaging than their newer, plastic counterparts, all spikes can be damaging to the surface of the green, and the golf rules state that players may not repair old spike marks that appear in the path of their ball. Remember this little fiasco at Augusta

in 2005? Well, here’s what the USGA had to say about the golf rules concerning spikes at that time:

“The Rules of Golf are based on two fundamental principles: (1) play the ball as it lies and (2) play the course as you find it. Permitting the repair of spike marks on a player`s line of play or putt would be contrary to these fundamental principles. Rule 16-1c permits the repair of old hole plugs and ball marks but does not permit the repair of spike damage or other irregularities of surface on the putting green if they are on a player`s line of play or putt or might assist him in his subsequent play of the hole. The distinction lies in the fact that old hole plugs and ball marks are easily identifiable as such, whereas it is impossible to differentiate between spike damage and other irregularities of surface on the putting green. Permitting the repair of spike marks would also inevitably lead to a slower place of play. Please note that proper etiquette recommends that damage to the putting green caused by golf shoe spikes be repaired on completion of the hole by all players, just as a player should fill up and smooth over all holes a

nd footprints made by him before leaving a bunker. We feel that improved education and players` consideration for others rather than a change in the Rules of Golf is the proper solution to the problem.”

Repair ball marks

One of the best feelings in the game of golf is watching your ball as it flies along the proper trajectory and plops down perfectly onto a well manicured green before rolling to within 3 feet of the pin. But you should always remember that your near perfect shot made a nasty dent on the green!

Ball marks are little dents or pock marks that appear as the result of a longer, loftier golf shot wherein the ball falls hard onto the surface of the green. Balls have even been known to dent the green so badly that the grass is ripped up. And while, according to the golf rules, players

may repair ball marks that appear in the path of their ball, the proper etiquette is to repair your own marks on the green before progressing to the next hole.

To repair your ball marks, insert your divot fixer on the outside of the mark at a 45 degree angle and push up slightly so that the mark rises just above the surface of the green. Using your putter, pat the mark back down until it is flat and even with the surface.

The More You Know: A Few Rules Pertaining to Greens Play

Rule 16-1
The line of putt must not be touched, except to remove loose impediments, lifting or replacing the ball, repairing a ball mark (old or your own) or removing movable obstructions. The player can place the club down in front of the ball when addressing, but may not press anything down.
The most common breach of this rule occurs when a player, partner or fellow competitor physically touches the point on the gre

en where they should be aiming a putt. The line of putt can be pointed to, just not physically touched.
Penalty for breach of rule: for stroke play, a two-stroke penalty; for match play, loss of hole.

Rule 8-2
A player, partner or caddy can indicate a line for putting prior to but not during the stroke. In doing so, the line of putt can not be physically touched.
This means you cannot have your buddy stand behind the hole so you can aim at his foot. Placing the flagstick on the ground behind the hole also could be construed as a rule violation. It is better to place the flagstick off the side of the green.
Penalty for breach of rule: stroke play, two-stroke penalty; match play, loss of hole.

Rule 18-2b
If a player’s ball moves after it is addressed, other than as a result of a stroke, the player is deemed to have moved the ball and incurs a penalty of one stroke, and the ball must be replaced, unless the movement occurs after the backward movement of the club and the stroke is completed.
Usually this happens in three situations. When grounding the putter to align the putt, it is easy to accidentally bump the ball. A strong wind could move the ball. If the green is very fast and your ball is on a mound, the ball could move. As long as you are aware of the situation, you may be able to avoid a penalty. If the ball moves as you start your backswing, don’t stop! Completing the stroke cancels the penalty.
Penalty for breach of rule: stroke play, one stroke penalty (and ball must be replaced to original position); match play, loss of hole.
If a ball or ball-mark is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a rule or marking its position, the ball or marker must be replaced. There is no penalty.
This rule is self-explanatory. Many golfers are under false assumptions that there should be a penalty.

 

 

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Wrist Hinge Drills, Part One

You have to hinge your wrists during your swing if you want to create power in your swing and make a clean hit on the ball. Hinging your wrists will allow your club head to lag slightly behind your arms, increasing the speed of your club head and sharpening your impact. It’s difficult to master the correct wrist hinge, so we’ll be presenting a two part post with some drills that will help you perfect it.

Pinkie-Off Drill

To get the feeling of momentum inducing the wrist hinge, grip the club normally, then slide your top hand up until your pinkie isn’t touching the club. Without your pinkie for support, the club’s weight will force a wrist hinge at the top of your backswing. Make a few practice swings that way, then try with your normal grip, again trying to mimic the feeling of the drill.

The Hinge Drill

The key to hinging your wrist properly is a complete, connected swing. If you legs, arms, and upper body move together in your backswing, your wrists will be forced to hinge at the first moment of downswing.
Practice keeping your body together by grasping a club near the middle of the shaft and placing the grip onto your stomach. Now take a few practice swings. If you swing properly, your wrist will hinge automatically when you reach the top of your backswing. Then take your normal grip and try to mimic the feeling of the drill.

We’ll have two more wrist drills on Friday to get you prepped and ready for your practice session this weekend.

Have golf questions you’d like answered? Email them to us at teetimeatolemiss@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to answer them!

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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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Hitting a Power Fade

A power fade is a shot that moves intentionally from left to right throught the air. It takes days of practice to learn how to hit a proper power fade, and you must already be playing at an advanced level to hit one properly. Learning this shot can not only be a great addition to your repetoire, it can vastly improve your game.

So how do you hit a power fade? Try this:

1. Hit the range and work your regular warmup routine.

2. Once you’re good and prepped, choose a mid- to high-iron or a driver and find a target that corresponds length-wise to the club you picked.

3. Approach the ball with your normal address. Because trying to change the flight of the ball by adjusting your swing mechanics can be detrimental to your normal swing, alter your feet at address instead by aiming 10 to 15 yards left of your target.

4. Grip the club with a weaker grip, allowing the clubface to stay open at impact. The open clubface is key to hit a power fade.

5. Create an out-to-in swing path by dropping your front foot 8- or 10- inches in your stance to create the fade you want.

The more you practice this shot, you will better learn how to control the height and amount of fade you put on the ball.

Have other helpful hints for hitting a power fade? Help our readers by leaving them in the comment section!

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Determining Your Weaknesses: The 11 Ball Drill

The 11 Ball Drill is a great drill to help you determine the weak spots in your short game.

Using 11 golf balls, think of one type of shot that you’re good at and hit all 11 balls toward the hole.  For instance, if you’re good at pitching the ball from just off the green, hit 11 shots from that lie.

Once you’ve hit all 11 balls, remove the 5 shots that are closest to the pin.  This will leave you with 6 balls on the green.

Next, remove the 5 balls which are furthest from the pin.  Consider the ball left on the green your average shot.

To determine where you need help, go back and try the shots again to see if your average is the same.

You can use the 11 Ball Drill on any aspect of your short game–lob shots, pitches, chips, bunker shots–to determine your weaknesses near the green.

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Teaching Kids to Golf

Sharing the game of golf with your kids is a great way to teach them honesty, integrity, and perseverance.  And since golf has never been more popular, it’s a great time to stick a club in your child’s hand and let them experience the game.

Teaching golf to kids is a difficult (but not impossible) task, so you’ll need to ensure your child is having fun on the course.  This will encourage them to work harder and stick with the game. Try some of these ideas and drills to get (and keep) you child interested in golf.

Safety

Kids are normally entirely oblivious of their surroundings.  After all, they usually have an adult to look out for them to make sure nothing bad happens. The first thing to teach your child regarding golf is to be aware of their surroundings.  Golf clubs are extremely dangerous.  Teach your child to steer clear of anyone who’s setting up for a shot, and make sure they aren’t going ahead of people who still need to shoot behind them.  Teaching general safety rules for the golf course is pretty boring, but it’s something they’ll need to learn in order to protect themselves.

Short Game

The short game is a great (and fun) way to start teaching a child to golf.  Not only does it allow them to sink a few shots, it’s also a great setup for learning the full swing.

Once your child has a grasp on putting, try this drill: setup several tees three feet from the hole and have your child putt from each tee.  As they improve, move the tees to different lengths and spots on the green.  For added fun, use a timer to see who can sink all the balls the fastest.

When chipping, set a golf club, water bottle, hat, or other obstacle between your child and the green.  This will teach them to chip around obstacles (while they’re having fun hitting your stuff).

Full Swing

Club heads can be heavy for kids to hold, especially in the middle of their backswing.  Have your child hold their driver with their right hand if they’re right-handed, or left hand if they’re left-handed.  With their arm fully extended, have them put their other hand flat on their arm just above their elbow and swing back to a 90 degree angle.  This creates muscle memory and forces the child to keep their arm at the correct angle.

Reinforce the Positive

Don’t ever say “no” or “don’t”.  If a child is doing something wrong, simply remind them of the proper way and it will come in time.

Practice, practice, practice

Take your child to the range often.  Hit buckets of balls, see who can hit the ball closest to the pin and offer a reward for the winner.

Don’t force it

If your child isn’t in the mood when you’re ready to go play golf, don’t force them to play with you.  Let them ride in the cart and read a book or watch a movie on your iPad (with headphones, of course).  Forcing a child to play when he or she doesn’t want to is the quickest way to deter them from wanting to play.

Teaching golf to a child takes a little planning and creativity, but if you’re willing to do some fun things to keep the kids excited, you’ll instill a lifelong love of the game.

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Better Iron Shots and Control

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