I have always wondered why I occasionally shoot 10 strokes below my handicap index. Why can’t I just bottle that feeling and shoot under 80 in every round that I play. I finally discovered the reason while playing from the 5,400 yard tees instead of the 6,000 yard tees. As I age with less flexibility I should accept the fact that I just can’t generate the club head speed to keep up with the young bucks.
In a GOLF Blog written about Omar Uresti, a veteran PGA player, it stated that the biggest mistake golfers make as they age is that they try to compensate by swinging faster. Aging golfers lose distance as they lose their flexibility with every club in their bag. You need to accept that fact and age gracefully. When you try to compensate for your lack of flexibility and strength, you will tend to swing faster and lose control of your swing. Unfortunately the faster you try to swing the more slices and hooks you will create.
YOUR Mental Balance = Better Distance and Direction Control I have also learned that there is a significant mental side to the equation for better golf.By selecting a club that you know can reach your target you can put your mind in a calm and relaxed state of mind that allows your body to swing with a relaxed backswing and downswing. Don’t try to fool yourself into believing that you can hit the same distance with each club that you planned to hit 10 or 20 years ago.
Change Your Mental Outlook to Avoid Over-swinging
Choose a club that you know will easily reach your target.
Make a CONTROLLED practice swing with every club and grip down for shorter distances.
If you land in the rough, take your medicine and get out safely with a lofted iron.
Slowdown your backswing for time to cock your wrist and press forward over your ball.
Let your hips and shoulders rotate in your backswing to the limit of your straight leading arm.
Enjoy a smooth release through your ball to a balanced finish. Think of Ernie Els swing.
Realize that most poor shots are caused by over-swinging or not accounting for sloped ground.
For pitch shots within 100 yards open your stance and put more pressure on your leading foot to ensure that you impact the ball before the ground.
Choose your target line for every putt and learn from your last missed putt.
Putt confidently to pass the hole by up to 2 feet with less break. Short putts never go in.
Build Confidence As You Play Ignore powerful younger players. If you swing within your physical capability you will hit more fairways and greens in regulation. As your confidence grows, your shots will be more consistent and you will chip better and sink more putts. A positive mental attitude breeds success in golf. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to swing every club within your limitations. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #65: Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make 2 double bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
I loved reading a recent article about Brooks Koepka’s recent and past success at the US Open Tournaments. If you are hitting great shots where you focus on the right swing, your confidence and success will just grow. It’s easy for the pros to get this feeling but recreational players just look forward to hitting 2 or 3 perfect swings on every hole. Of course the mishits creep in but you will only shoot great rounds if you can forget about your last mishit and focus on your next great shot.
“The most important shot in golf is your next one.”Ben Hogan
That article highlighted 3 areas where Brooks picks up stokes on the field: 1/ Analyze each shot to understand where your best miss will be. (A long putt is much better than trying to hit out of a pond.) 2/ Brooks plays to avoid double bogies. (It’s OK to hit a sand trap but make sure that you next shot stays on the green.) 3/ He putts with confidence so his mid-length and short putts are firm and into the back of the cup. (Weak putts curl as they slow near the hole. Practice with enough speed to pass the hole by 2 feet and eliminate a lot of the break at the hole to sink more putts.)
The most important area of our games where we can easily drop more strokes is PUTTING. Most of us average 2 putts/hole or 36 putts/round. Unfortunately the rest of your game would have to be perfect to shoot a 72. Fat chance!
That’s exactly why I write so many blogs about putting. If you don’t have a confident putting grip and stroke you will never lower your scores. This week I received an interesting response from one of our followers from the West Coast of Australian (NSW), about a new putting grip that helped him win his club championship. Phil Parker has never putted better now that he is using his “Y Grip” Putting Stroke.
[Will Curry: “I tried the “Y Grip” and I was impressed with my very solid grip and swing up my target line with my 34” putter and just wanted to share it with all of our followers.”]
Phil uses a 40” Odyssey V line Armlock Mallet Head Putter and he also uses the same grip with a fairway Metal when putting out of deep grass to avoid getting caught in the grass. His comment: “I’ve never putted better”.
Just to summarize: Learn to putt with a firm and confident swing to pass the hole by 2 feet. The “Y Grip” is really a solid grip and it definitely prevents any wrist break in your putting stroke. Of course GOLFSTR+ is also a great training aid with 1 of its 6 swing fixes being that it helps you practice a flat wrist putt and see your great results. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #64: Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.
Putting is probably the most nerve racking thing that we do in a round of golf. The suspense builds as your playing partners hover around you and throw in comments like “don’t rush, we have plenty of time, this is really a fast green or don’t blow it like the last one.” Words of encouragement don’t help. So what should you be doing to get rid of your nervous tension?
I realized that I had to take stock of my putting thoughts yesterday after blowing a 4 foot, sloped putt for my 4th birdie of the day on the 18th hole. I was last to putt out and I heard the comment: “the pressure is on”. I took my time and lined up my putt after watching another missed putt which was almost on my line. I could not pull the trigger with a firm putt and ended up hitting the putt light and let it drift left of the hole. Bonkers!
Whatever grip and stance and putter you like to use, you need to practice your putting to sort out how to make a confident swing for every putt. I must admit that I am now somewhat successfully playing with 3 styles of putting for different distance putts: 1/ For Long Putts (over 15 feet) : I swing my putter through the ball and up my target line holding the putter only with my leading hand after I release my trailing hand at the point of impact. This is an excellent technique to swing your putter directly up your target line.
2/ For Mid-range Putts (5 to 15 feet): I use a conventional putting grip and rock my shoulders as I swinging up my target line.
3/ For Short Putts up to 5 feet: I use the same arm-lock grip that Kucher and DeChambeau are using BUT I BEND OVER MORE TO REACH DOWN MY CONVENTIONAL PUTTER. I grip down to the bottom of my grip so that the top end of my grip locks against my leading arm and stops any shaking of my putter during the putt. Make sure to practice this method to swing straight up your target line or you may pull your putts.
This 3rd technique is the latest success on the Pro Circuit as I see that many of the professionals are changing to longer shafted putters for this Locked-Arm Putting Technique. Xander Schauffele is using this technique and believes that this “semi-anchoring method” should be banned. Until it is banned all golfers with shaky hands should use this method for short putts.
Putting Drill to Make More Clutch Putts This is a random putting drill that Luke Donald uses to improve reading of the break from different directions around a hole. On a practice green, drop 4 or more balls in a circle around a putting green hole at 4 feet. Read the break and try to make each putt. Repeat this until you sink all of the balls at that radius and then move to a longer radius and continue to repeat this practice.
Build confidence in your putting by practicing before you play. Make sure that you lock your leading wrist during your swing. This is just one of the 6 swing fixes that you can learn when practicing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #63: When you look up, after causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.
Even at the age of 50, the Master of the Short Game has proven that he can still win a major championship. We really should learn from Phil Mickelson’s success. He provided 3 short game tips in a recent blog which was released by SCGA (Southern California Golf Association). Following is the abbreviated version of their blog.
Knowing these tips will improve your game but you can’t expect to instantly excel like Phil. He started practicing as a young boy in his back yard. Starting early helps but countless hours of practice are needed to learn the precision that he has accomplished. Learning these 3 tips should speed up your learning curve.
Setup with Weight on Your Front Foot: Successful chipping needs a sharp edged 60 degree wedge where you keep the leading edge down to lift the ball through impact. Setting up with your weight forward helps you impact the ball first with your downward strike. A shallow swing will end up blading your ball across the green.
Setup for a High or Low Chip Consider what you are trying to do with your chip before you setup. A high chip over a sand trap or rough around the green with a pin close to the edge of the green, the ball needs to be placed off your front foot. A low chip which you are using for directional and distance control should be setup for hitting off your back foot. The ball should never be setup for a chip between your feet as you need to keep your weight forward to avoid hitting the ball thin or scooping the ball.
Setup with an Inverse Line Your arm and the club must be setup with an inverse line where your trailing wrist is bent back. You need a slight forward press in your hands to get the club in the correct position for crisp contact. Setting up with this position will ensure that your leading edge will stay down.
Chipping close to the hole for a one putt hole will save you a lot of strokes. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to hold your limited lagging wrist (or inverse line as Phil calls it) for better chips. By one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Yes, I said thought, because your KEY thought is all that you have time to focus on. Your swing takes about 2 seconds so you don’t have time to control 20 thoughts. Your goal should be to remove the thought clutter out of your brain during your SETUPso that you can execute the perfect shot. You have plenty of time to organize your thoughts during your setupso spend that time wisely to clean up your brain for the 2 seconds that count.
I recently watched a swing simplification video by TopSpeedGolf. That video summarized the components of a swing that should create the perfect shot. It all comes down to choosing the right club and executing the swing pathwhen you clear your brain for a simple swing. Review and practice the following check list to simplify your swing plan during your setup to make each shot with confidence.
1/ Center-Line Impact: The impact on your club face should be on the center line of your club face. This should not be a thought in your mind as you should have tested your impact point for each type of club (Driver, Woods and Irons). Your arms may stretch out for some of your clubs or your leading arm may never straighten out so you should setup knowing what to expect for each of your clubs. You should test all of your clubs by spraying Dr. Scholl’s Foot Powder on the face of your clubs to determine the ideal stance center impact on every club in your bag.
2/ Square Face at Impact: In general you want a square face at impact (or slightly closed for a draw or slightly open for a fade). You know what shot you are trying to hit so your grip and stance should be adjusted accordingly during your setup to make each shot. Your grip should be out of your mind during your swing.
3/ Driver Setup: You should be launching your ball in an upward trajectory so the ground level is not a concern in your mind. Slope your trailing shoulder down so that you will drive your ball upwards at about a 4 degree angle. The loft of your club will take care of the elevation of your ball.
4/ Fairway Woods and Hybrid Setup: Your ball should be setup between your leading heel and the center of your stance. Your swing should power the ball up your target line and the loft of your club should take care of the launch angle of your ball.
5/ Iron Setup: Swing to impact your ball before you impact any turf. Body rotation and the transfer of your weight to your leading foot during your transition should be a primary thought during your swing. Avoid rushing your swing to ensure that you have time to complete this sequence.
6/ Club Path: Be aware of your swing problems so that you can avoid coming over the top and slicing. You will never get rid of that problem until you learn to shallow your down-swing as you swing up your target line.
Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to control your forward weight shift near the top of your backswing for a perfect impact and a balanced finish. Be confident with your setup so that you can focus on your key swing thought. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #61: A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is NOT yours.