Archives for December, 2021

Works for Phil but NOT for You

Phil Mickelson has really been playing well on the Champion’s Tour. We all know that Phil has an amazing short game. He learned it with constant practice in his backyard when he was a kid. Practice really is the best way to ingrain the right swing for every club. Your brain needs to remember it and your body needs to feel it. Was it his short game or his long game that helped him win so many recent tournaments?

Phil has one of the longest drives on the senior’s tour, but it is not always straight and not always landing on the fairway or in bounds. During the second round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in 2021 he hit 2 tee shots out of bounds on the 547-yard, par-5. That’s two penalty strokes and still on the tee and hitting his 5th stroke. Bernhard Langer won that tournament and became the oldest winner in PGA TOUR of Champions history at 64.

Bernhard and Phil both learned important lessons during that tournament. Bernhard is not the longest driver, but he sure has an amazing approach shot to give himself a chance to sink more birdies.

Phil hits them long but if he can’t hit the next shot he (and YOU) are losing strokes.

On the other hand, Phil was 81st in driving accuracy and was well back in that tournament. When Phil was interviewed, he pointed out that he was number 1 in driving distance and his amazing skill in chipping and pitching normally get his out of trouble. On most courses he does not have to worry about driving accuracy as long as he has an open shot at the green to save his game.

Lanny Wadkins was the commentator that day who replied to Phil’s comments: “Life is just much easier from the fairway.”

Aging players are all shorter drivers than Phil so you really need to learn from Bernhard Langer’s approach. Keep the drives in the fairway and give yourself a chance to hit more greens in regulation. I still like Phil’s approach where he can hit it long and always dig an approach shot out of the rough. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to keep your leading arm straight for longer drives. You can also use it to improve your pitching, chipping and putting. Buy one today at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #89: A ‘gimme’ can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers …neither of whom can putt very well.

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Eliminate Your 3 Putt Greens

As you finish the final 30 yards of every hole that you play, ever golfer has an equal chance to minimize their strokes. Strength is taken out of the equation for success. It all comes down to skill and intelligence. Your goal is to land on the green and sink your ball in 2 or less putts. Don’t play this game unless you spend time to practice the easy part of this game. Sharpen your chipping skills to get it close and then sink it in 1 or 2 putts.

Chip it Close
When your ball is within about 30 yards, all you need is the right club loft with a good “putting” stroke to hit your ball close to the hole. Think of your short chips as a putting stroke. You don’t need power but you do need a consistent cadence to swing through the ball with a putting stroke that will direct your ball directly at the point on the green where you are aiming for the right roll-out.

Your point of impact for your chip needs to be at the bottom of the arc of your swing. You are not trying to take a divot. You are only trying to direct your ball with enough power to let it roll out to the hole. Choosing the right lofted club is easy to figure out IF you practice with all of your higher lofted irons and wedges. You need “a feel” for each club for flight and rollout.

These 3 images of Sean Foley as found in Golf Digest illustrate the fine changes with a trailing wrist lag for longer chips and limited wrist lag for short chips and putts.

Putt it Close
Sort out the slope and break on the green before you chip and then again when you setup for your putt. Know the speed of your greens. Stare at the hole while you make your practice swings TO LET YOUR BRAIN TUNE INTO THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SWING needed to pass the hole. Always putt to the high side as your ball will drop down to the hole or at least stay closer to the hole for an easy 2 putt.

If you can improve your chipping and putting game, you should be able to cut 9 to 18 strokes out of your score for every round of golf. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for your trailing wrist control with a slight lag when you chip and a flat leading wrist when you putt. Buy one today at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #88: The term ‘mulligan’ is really a contraction of the phrase ‘maul it again.’

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Searching for Golf’s Holy Grail

Golf is the most frustrating game on earth and that’s exactly why we play this crazy game. We all have our good and bad days in golf. Unfortunately, we have more poor than amazing results. We constantly read golf blogs and articles searching for that magic bullet that will turn our games into excellence. Finding golf’s Holy Grail must be the reason why we play this crazy game.

Will there every be an End to our Search?
We have all heard about golfers who break their clubs or throw their bag of clubs in the pond and walk away in discussed. Very few of us get to that point. We are drawn back to our weekly rounds with friends and their constant abuse. We beat up on ourselves when we miss a shot or fire one into the trees (never to be seen again). Fortunately, we see a glimmer of light when we hit that amazing shot that ends up close to the hole and we may make or miss the putt but we all marvel at our potential for success.

What do Non-Golfers think of this Game?
They see this game for what it really is. A bunch of crazy men and women chasing a ball around a beautiful field of dreams and trying to get that ball out of sand traps or out of the rough in total frustration. Only to finally sink a putt and move on to the next fairway of misery or ecstasy. I’m one of the lucky ones because my wife has also caught this disease. I can’t imagine the abuse that golfers must take from a spouse who is a non-golfer.

We are all trying to find the Holy Grail of Golf: That’s why we LOVE this game.

Does this Search Ever End?
I was inspired to summarize my thoughts when I saw a blog which highlighted a “Eureka” moment by Bryson DeChambeau. Yes, even the pros who seem to have the perfect game are constantly searching for improvement. Bryson was working out at a driving range with World Long Driver Martin Borgmeier.

Bryson was working on his right miss (which you can’t afford to have on any fairway – especially if you are hitting 350 yards to the right): [“Yup, was it. Oh my god,” he says. “I just figured something out in my golf swing.” As Bryson explains, the shift has to do with his wrist position at impact. During the downswing, the force his trail arm generated, forced his club face open, leading to that right miss.] He carried on about a feeling that he needed to create during his downswing to close the face of his club. Even Bryson is never happy with his complete game.

Every golfer is unique in their age, strength, flexibility and mental attitude. We are all seeking perfection, but it will be different for every golfer. GOLFSTR+ gives you 6 swing fixes to put you on the right path in finding the Holy Grail of Golf. Buy one today at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

Golf Truism #87: Golfers, who try to make everything perfect before taking the shot, rarely make a perfect shot.

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The Most Feared Shot in Golf

We can all walk up to any ball location and know with a certain amount of confidence that we can make a shot. But hitting a ball and making the perfect shot to hold the green are very different problems when it comes to hitting your ball out of a bunk. It’s even more difficult when you have a long greenside bunker shot with at least 15 yards of carry. I found this simple set of steps on a Performance Golf Zone promotion ad.

The rules change. In a basic bunker shot your club enters the sand about 2 inches before the ball and exits the sand about 2 inches after the ball. You are actually swinging your open faced sand wedge with enough force to slide it under the ball and lift sand and your ball into the air. Floating your ball on a carpet of sand, you know that you are not going to blade it over the green.

For longer bunker shots take less sand with less loft.

Longer sand shots takes a lot more skill because you are taking less sand and you risk making a thin shot. Knowing the right steps will give you the courage for success:

1/ Use a gap or pitching wedge depending on the distance that you want. For a shot over 30 yards you should consider an 8 or a 9 iron.

2/ Your club face and stance should be slightly open (or even square to your target for longer shots).

3/ Take a narrower stance than a basic sand shot but always dig your feet into the sand for stability. The goal for a longer bunker shot is to keep your feet level with the ball and avoid hitting too far and too deep behind the ball.

4/ Aim about an inch behind the ball and swing with a commitment to accelerate through the ball to a full finish and still taking sand before and after the ball. As in any sand shot you need to focus on taking sand after the ball so that you are lifting your ball on a carpet of sand.

Practice this shot with your GOLFSTR+ on your trailing wrist to limit cupping your wrist and avoid digging your club down into the sand. Buy one today for all 6 swing fixes at

GOLFAVENUE BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Click here to trade-in your golf clubs for cash or a credit with 25% bonus value to purchase premium brand clubs or pre-owned clubs.

GOLFSTR Truism #86: If you find you do not mind playing golf in the rain, the snow, even during a hurricane, here’s a valuable tip: Your life is in trouble.

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Plan to Hit More Greens in Regulation

The best way to lower your scores is to land on more fairways, hit more greens in regulation and make more putts. That’s easier said than done. The most important shots in golf which hold mid- and high-handicappers back are hitting more greens in regulation. That’s the key to getting more two-putt pars and the occasional birdie. If you are missing greens you are faced with bunker shots, short sided chips out of the ruff and bladed or chunked chips which really boost your scores.

In a recent issue of GOLF Magazine, using data from ARCCOS Caddie Link, they shared how many greens in regulation their users are hitting. [NOTE: ARCCOS is a system that records your golf statistics for every shot on every round your play.] Five handicap golfers average 8 greens in regulation per round, while ten handicap golfers average 6 GIR per round and fifteen handicap golfers average over 4 per round.

Cameron Smith is the current PGA Tour leader of greens in regulation (GIR) by hitting 80.56 %, and the Tour average is 68.20 %, which is about 12.5 greens in regulation per round (based on 18 holes, including the par 3’s). Those two numbers are not too realistic for weekend warriors.

The following chart lists the handicap (in the white circles) and corresponding GIR percentage for golfers

who use the ARCCOS data recording system

Based on my personal experience with Greens Hit In Regulation, these percentages seem to be lower than they should be. This chart shows that 15 Handicap golfers are hitting Greens In Regulation a little over 4 times every time they play. [That seems to be surprisingly low.] To hold a 15 handicap those golfers must be chipping and 2 putting on 14 holes for about 14 bogies. I suspect that these golfers are taking a lot of gimmes.

Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to improve your drives and to hit more greens in regulation. Everyone’s goal should be to hit 50% or 9 Greens In Regulation but you still need some amazing chipping and putting to hit the Handicaps in this chart. Buy your GOLFSTR+ today at

Golf Truism #85: Golf is harder than baseball. In golf, you have to play your foul balls.

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