Golf Lessons: Hit That First Fairway
If you are like most golfers, hitting or missing the fairway on that first tee shot can determine what your confidence level will be for the first several holes of your round. Striking a drive down the middle with your first swing gives can give you that feeling that, perhaps today is going to be your day.
Of course, we all want to hit it long, but by the time you get to the green your only concern is whether or not you are putting for par. The emotional and psychological lift from playing the first hole from the short grass is huge.
Your first concern should always be about getting the ball in the fairway. Distance should be something you build and worry about at the practice range. On the tee box, thoughts of hitting bombs is only a distraction. Most likely, you already have in your bag, the equipment that will give you the fairway shots you’re searching for. Keep in mind – It’s not really about metal but the hand that wields it. The equipment can help once you have a suitable golf swing, but you’ll never correct your swing with an equipment upgrade.
Golf Lesson: Tee Height
The height of your may not seem like a pivotal component of your golf swing, but it actually does play an important roll in whether or not you find the fairway on a regular basis. Something so basic can frequently be the toughest challenge.
There are two primary errors people make when teeing the golf ball. Golfers can tee the ball too low or too high. Golf, as you may already know is a game of opposites. Tee height is a perfect example of this.
If you swing the club too vertically on your downswing, you probably tee the golf ball too low. To be less technical, if you are concerned with swinging underneath the ball and you tee the ball lower in an effort to find the sweet spot, this is probably you. Teeing it lower may help you somewhat, but the real culprit here is your swing plane. Adjusting the tee height is building a false confidence in a swing flaw.
If this sounds like you, try teeing the ball a bit higher. After your shot, look down and check if your tee is still in the ground. If you remain conscious of leaving the tee in the ground during your shot, you will tend not to pop them up anymore.
On the other hand, if you are topping your driver, you probably have the ball teed up too high. This, most likely is because you are trying to hit the golf ball on your upswing.
The club that you should be swinging most vertically, (up and down) is your lob or sand wedge, the shorter clubs. Contrarily, the driver is the club that swings more horizontally (around you)…the longest club. Many amateur golfers make the same common mistake. They swing their driver like a wedge and they swing their short club like the big one.
Some simple swing thoughts:
When hitting your driver, keep your chin up and swing the club around your torso…not so up and down (vertical). If you can, try to leave the tee in the ground after you hit the ball without breaking it. You should be getting a few drives out of each tee. This will help you find the sweet spot of the driver face. Try to keep your swing thoughts in check. clear your mind, and focus on where you want the ball to go and just send it there.
This is nothing but a starting point that will provide you an effective cornerstone for building a more consistent swing on the tee box. It’s hard to know how to fix your swing without knowing what you are doing wrong. This should help.
From Golf Quick Fix, good luck and hit’em straight.
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No matter how good a golfer you may or may not be, sooner or later you will find yourself the victim of a chip shot that you just simply sculled across the green, or you popped up leaving it way short of where you needed to land it. Either one of these mishits can occur if you get caught trying lift the ball instead of allowing the loft of your club do the lifting for you.
The number one player in the world, Tiger Woods was on the 18th hole on Friday at The Players Championship when he lost what would have been his first ever bogey free round in that tournament with a poor chip. Tiger had played 17 bogey free holes to that point. He needed to get up and down with a short chip and a putt. This was a relatively easy up and down for an above average golfer so I am sure Tiger was not too worried. He had an uphill lie so the ball was going to elevate itself more than usual, but Tiger still tried to lift it and left it short of the green. He settled for a bogey, blowing an easy par with a momentary lack of concentration. If this can happen to the best player in the world, it can and will happen to all of us, but the Golf Quick Fix to avoid it is quite simple.
Golf Quick Fix: Let’s Avoid This Miss Forever
Let’s start off by selecting the most effective golf club for the chip at hand. This selection should based on the lie you are faced with, your proximity to the hole and whether or not you need to hit over an obstruction.
If you are twenty feet or further from the pin and chipping to a relatively flat green, it’s safest to utilize a lower lofted club. For me I love using an eight iron as opposed to pitching wedge in this case. I generally try land the ball halfway between my lie and the pin and allow the ball to roll the other half of the distance to the hole.
For repeatable results and a low stress approach, use your putting grip and stroke to hit the ball. Envision yourself just putting the ball firmly. The putting stroke has several benefits. It prevents you from trying to lift the ball. It forces you to allow the loft on the club face to lift the golf ball for you onto the green and roll-out to the hole. And the putting stroke takes away the possibility of an improper wrist hinge.
It is so important, that you don’t try to lift the ball into the air, let the loft of the eight iron do this for you. Just trust your putting stroke and good things will happen!
If you are inside of 25 feet or so to the pin, and you need to hit the golf ball over a bunker or a big bump on the green, you will of course need to utilize one of your higher lofted clubs (gap, sand or lob wedge). That shot demands a very different approach and a little more trial and error to perfect.
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Nothing makes up for missed greens in regulation like a solid chipping game. Tightening up your short game will turn many would-be two putts for bogey into a chip and a putt for par.
Attempting to lift the golf ball is one of the greatest causes of poor chipping. A weak chipping approach is exposed even more so when a golfer attempts to to hit a high chip shot when there is really no need for it. This causes them to hit up at the ball in an overstated fashion which turns a bad thing into something worse.
Before you try to lift your chip shot, you need ask yourself, what exactly are you trying to hit the ball over? Unless you are trying to hit over a sand trap, a group of bushes or even a range of tiers on a large green you will most likely be better served keeping the ball down. Low balls tend to get down quicker and roll. Golf balls that roll are less difficult to control.
The next time you are watching the weekend highlights on the Golf Channel and they show the tournament winner chipping in from off the green, observe if the golf ball was hit high and bouncing or hit low and rolled-up into the hole. Whenever a golf ball bounces in it certainly makes for electrifying T.V., having said that the vast majority of the time you will observe the ball is usually rolling a good distance before it gets to the hole.
Creating a one-piece chipping stroke with limited hand movement is imperative to developing short game precision. A stable left (lead) wrist is the most fundamental component. If you allow your left (lead) wrist to break down thru impact, it unnecessarily increases the loft to the golf club. That can often times cause your chip shots to fly higher and much shorter than you anticipated. It can also cause to hit the ball thin or even top it. A large number players mistakenly hinge their left wrist hoping to get the ball up into the air, which is completely unnecessary since you are using a club with loft built into it. Don’t fight this…you will just have to learn to trust it.
Nevertheless, you need to have a firm left wrist and arm to hit a solid chip. Be cautious not to squeeze the club too tightly or tense up. Additionally, your hands and forearms need to be free to rotate without your wrists hinging during your back swing and more importantly, your follow thru. I heard Fred Couples recommend that letting your stroke be all about swinging your arms on short hits and have a quiet body and legs. Be all arms, so to speak. I find that this swing thought helps me not to decelerate through impact.
Prior to hitting your shot rehearse chipping with your lead arm and the golf club establishing and sustaining a straight line thru your swing. The top end of the grip or the butt needs to set up stay close to the lead wrist thru impact…do not allow your wrist to breakdown. Remember to set up with hands forward of the golf ball, this will create the downward motion and crisp impact you need to chip it close.
Golf Lessons: Hitting Off The Toe
Last week during a round I was struggling with my driver. I was hitting everything off the toe. It was clearly a case of over compensating for my normal potential miss hit, which is a pull to the left. My distance was fine but I only hit four of fourteen fairways but two of those I hit my four hybrid off the tee.
My Iron play and putting were solid but missing that many fairways is a lot to overcome. The next day, off to the range I went. I treated myself to a free golf lesson. I used my smart phone to video tape myself after twenty warm up hits. I saw in my video that I was losing my spine angle during my setup which caused a chain reaction of other swing flaws. Thanks to the beauty of technology I was able to correct this within fifteen minutes at the driving range.
This may or may not be the cause of your hits off the toe. Golf Quick Fix highly suggests seeing yourself hitting golf balls on video. It may very well be the best golf lesson you have ever had. Here are some additional ideas to keep in mind while you try to stop hitting the ball off the toe.
1) Don’t Squeeze The Grip
In order to hit the ball more consistently and avoid hitting the golf ball off the toe, it is essential to maintain a consistent and not too firm grip pressure during the course of your golf swing. Some of the greatest golfers that ever lived encouraged a gentle grip…Nicklaus, Snead, and the great Bobby Jones.
Try to understand, the maintaining of a light grip from set-up through impact and to your finish position permits you to swing the golf club quite naturally along an arc. Squeezing the golf club produces a jerking movement that results in inconsistent tempo during your swing This can very often lead to hitting the ball off the toe of your club (more so off the driver).
2) Check Your Stance
Much like myself, to stop hitting off the toe, it is imperative that you position yourself the appropriate distance away from your golf ball. Many people make the blunder of setting up too close to the golf ball. This can very often result in a plethora of issues (such as inconsistent contact).
Golf Quick Fix Rule of Thumb: your hands should hang directly below your shoulders. This will help you judge if you are too close or too far from the ball. Standing too close will cause you to not give the golf club enough room to work smoothly right through impact. Not giving the club sufficient room to work in the impact zone, will cause you to hit the golf ball off the toe. Standing too far just makes it even more difficult to find the sweet spot of the club head. You may find yourself reaching or lunging at the ball.
3) Solid Stance
Try not to sway. Swaying prevents you from turning your shoulders and hips correctly during your back swing. Rather than turning away from the golf ball, you unwittingly modify your spine angle and shoulder level. This suggests that in order to strike the ball solidly, you have to somehow make some awkward body movements through-out your swing to just to get your spine angle and shoulder level back to a point where you can merely make contact with the golf ball. Obviously just making contact is not good enough. These “compensations” cause inconsistent contact and more often than not causes toe hits.
In order for any golfer to stop hitting the ball off the toe, it is imperative to consider the above swing fundamentals as gospel. If you address the issues discussed above, you’ll be on your way to a higher quality golf swing, and more consistent ball contact.
Good luck and hit’em straight from Golf Quick Fix.
Here is a awesome video to help you:
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Golf Quick Fix for thin lies
Most amateur golfers walk away from their golf round analyzing what they could have done better to shoot a better score. It could be a few better chips, eliminate the three putts or just find more fairways off the tee. All of these would certainly lower most of our scores and this is solid analysis, but we often overlook that the average golfer struggles and loses strokes on those shots from thin or tight lies.
Whenever you have a thin lie, it’s truly difficult to hit your mid and even more so, your long irons high enough to get the golf ball to land softly without having to play the ball way up in your stance. The problem with that is, on a thin or tight lie the risk of hitting the ball fat goes up a great deal.
You can reduce your odds of hitting the ball fat by playing a knockdown shot. This is a shot with lower trajectory that purposely allows the ball release forward when it lands. Make a three-quarter golf swing while attempting to trap the ball against the ground. These shots are a lot more forgiving because you are swinging down and slightly less from the inside than normal (more so on your target line) with a much shallower swing path than you usually swing.
If somehow you don’t catch the golf ball first, the golf club is less likely to bounce off the ground way it would with a swing that isn’t quite as steep. Instead, your iron is more likely to skim along the playing surface, so it’s quite possible you may even turn an average swing into a very decent golf shot.
You will want to play your golf ball further back in your stance when you have a thin or tight lie. The shaft of your club needs to be angled forward, toward your intended target as you take your stance over the ball. You will want to club up and use a club that is a little longer than you would usually use. Gripping down an inch will help you maintain more control. The longer club will help compensate for any loss of distance from the three-quarter swing. Allow for the golf ball to travel in the air a shorter distance than normal but it should roll quite a bit more towards your target.
The most helpful element about playing a knockdown is that the shallow angle in your swing will allow you more margin for error, in particular on thin lies. You won’t need to strike the golf ball perfectly to execute a high quality shot since your club will stay down a little longer through the impact zone.
Bringing the club less inside during the the takeaway promotes more of a cut shot so allow for the ball to work from left to right.
Here is a great video to help you understand this better:
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Many golfers stress about proper swing plane, proper position at the top, the downswing, et cetera. However each of these components of the swing are predicated on the beginning of the back swing.
The means or direction by which the back swing is initiated can and will influence the rest of the golf swing all the way thru the impact position and quite often the follow through (or lack there of).
The important thing is to make full use of your larger muscles to begin the back swing, instead of pulling the club with your hands, inside the target line or basically just lifting your arms up.
The golf take away is perhaps the most integral components of your golf swing. In the majority of circumstances, the first two feet of your back swing determine the swing path the head of the club will trek thru impact.
The mistake that is most common among amateurs is beginning their take away from a closed set up position. This causes the club head to get “stuck” behind you, leaving you no other alternative but to cast the club (coming over the top). Now you’ll be cutting across the golf ball generating the least desirable ball flight…the pull fade.
On the flip side, positioning yourself with a closed golf stance to promote more of a draw on the ball is often times a “band aid”. An inside take away with a closed set up position is really fairly simple and can feel 100 % natural the first time someone tries it. It’s not very often you find a professional with a golf stance with his/her feet pointed more than a few yards to the right of the intended target (left for you south paws).
However somehow, somewhere along the line golfers still hear it or read it someplace that merely closing your set up position will help promote a draw of the golf ball. In some instances this “might” be true, but many times positioning with a closed position causes a pulling of the golf ball to ensure it flies in the direction of the particular target area.
The “pull” is an outside to inside swing path, this creates a slice or even a fade of the ball when he face of the club remains open at impact. To generate a draw the swing path of the golf club needs to begin from the inside to outside from the top thru the point of impact.
- Get shaft of the club parallel to the ground while still below your waist.
- Your club shaft should also run parallel to your target line.
Golfers initially may fear or not like the feel or the aesthetics of this positioning, however, you can not argue with the results. Try to embrace that proper mechanics in golf feels very different or even feels weird at first. This is reason playing golf is so challenging. We, as human beings get pleasure from instantaneous gratification and immediate outcomes.
If playing golf was easy… wouldn’t everyone be a tour pro?
As I said earlier, the important thing is to make full use of your larger muscles to begin the back swing.
Here is a great video to help you better understand what that means.
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Golf Lesson: Fix Your Slice
The golf slice is extremely difficult to command. It’s unattractive and the undisputed biggest destroyer of handicaps in golf. The slice is a by-product of mistakes that will perpetually keep your game at the level it is now. There is no miracle golf club that will get rid of your slice, but there is a means by which you can fix your golf swing and make your banana balls a thing of the past.
Golf Quick Fix: Simple as A -B- C
A) Quit coming over the top
B) Square your club face
C) Do both at the same time
How Do We Do That?
The vast majority of golfers strive for, or at least they should strive for an inside out golf swing. This is by far the most efficient and the most effective swing shape.
An inside to out golf swing tends to promote a more right to left ball flight by way of a subtle draw. The draw is the ball flight sought after by most golfers because it promotes more distance and control.
Two things you need to do. For starters, the player needs to make sufficient space on the back swing in order to swing the golf club back on the inside. Also, calm the shoulders to prevent them from opening up during the downswing.
In order to swing through on the inside, primarily it comes down to developing enough space to do so. If other parts of the body get in the way of the the forward swing, the golfer has no option but to swing outside or come over the top.
These essential steps at address and during the take away will help swing from the inside.
Tilt your the head to the right or towards your trail side at address. This allows the shoulders to turn properly.
How is your grip?
If the right or trail hand is positioned too weak it will make the right arm too straight and blocks a proper takeaway.
Position the right (trail) shoulder a bit lower than the left (lead) while addressing the ball. Since the right hand is lower than the left…the right shoulder needs to be lower than the left as well.
Begin the swing by turning the body. Turn the right or trail hip out of the way. It should feel as though you are starting your back swing by turning the right hip.
If the golf club is in the correct position at the top of the swing, all the golfer needs to do is be cognizant that the downswing remains on the inside. More often than not it is your shoulders that will influence the club to come outside during the forward swing. That’s when you end up trying to muscle the ball. This causes the right hip to chase after the shoulders. At this point it’s all going wrong and the right leg will most likely get pulled out.
Do your best to make your shoulders remain passive. Begin slowly from the top of the swing. Allow your hands to drop. Legendary ball striker, Moe Norman referred to this as the “vertical drop” Coming inside allows you to swing easier increasing your club head speed. You won’t embrace this until you see for yourself so take this golf lesson to the driving range and give it a whirl.
Here is an excellent video to help you understand:
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