Archives for January, 2024

Track Success to Improve Your Game

I know that this is a little early for northern golfers to practice and improve your swing skills but we all should track improvements that work for your driver, irons and putter. As a good starting point for the season, which is just around the corner, this is a good time to start your success list. It should evolve as you discover new successes during the warmer months.

If you could incorporate all of the swing tips that improved your game, you would be a low handicap golfer by now. Unfortunately, most of us never record the setup and swing positions for each type of club that created amazing hits. Our bodies all have limitations based on our physical mishaps as our bodies developed. Whatever you do, learn from the pros and make adjustments for your physical limitations.

GolfWRX used this image of Padraig Harrington to illustrate the major body and leading foot action of Happy Gilmore

My following list of personal success tips my not suit your physical limitations, but you may want to use them as a starting point for your personal plan:

  1. Get Moving: Before every round warm up with about 10 minutes of Dynamic Stretches. Move your feet and waggling before you make a drive, iron shot or putt throughout your round. I use a 2 foot takeaway waggle for my driver as it forces me to start my swing by moving my hips and shoulders before my arms ever move in the socket of my shoulders.
  2. Set Elbows: I rotate both elbows clockwise (for right handers). My leading elbow points directly up my target line and locks my straight leading arm. My trailing elbow rotates for ease of bending, as my arms lift, in the backswing and my wrist cocks to create lag.
  3. Tilt Shoulders for Drives: I do this to launch my drives upward.
  4. Foot Pressure: I start with even pressure for my driver and putter. I use extra pressure on my leading foot for my irons and wedges to keep my weight forward.
  5. Slower Backswing and Powerful Downswing: My best swings occur when I give myself time to create a full backswing and cocked wrists for lag. My mental count is “one and finish” where finish is the release from the top to a balanced finish.
  6. Putting: I use my putter as a plumb-bob to determine minor breaks near the hole, take a practice swing for speed selection and stare directly down at the ball through impact as I swing my putter directly up my chosen target line (without moving my head).

Track your success and practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve every round. Adjust your written plan for improvements. Buy one today at

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Supercharge Your Driver

I have finally come to grips with the fact that we should be swinging our driver harder for more distance. I have always tried to swing at 80% in order to control direction, but 220-yard drives are not going to cut it if you want to hit more greens in regulation. You need to get close to give yourself a better chance to hit the green with shorter irons which should be swung at no more than 80% for better direction and distance control.

Recent blogs helped me understand the importance of “Supercharging” my driver shots. One of the staff at the SI GOLF blog, Ryan Barath, said you don’t need to try to direct your drive, just pick your spot and trust your shot shape. Swing as hard and fast as you can to a balanced finish.

Danny Maude released a driver lesson that he had with James Tait (a World Long Driver Champion). He suggested: When you are chasing a faster swing, hit “hard”, expect longer shots with less direction control. With practice you will develop freedom in your swing and control to power the ball up your target line.

1/ Setup with your tee higher and your club shaft in line with your straight leading arm (not leaning forward).

2/ Loosen up by shifting your weight and waggling with your arms and wrist. Shift your weight to your trailing foot during your backswing (but don’t sway back). You need momentum in your backswing as you would when winding up to push off with your trailing leg to throw a medicine ball.

3/ Practice your faster swing so that you feel uncomfortable. Work on distance first at the range and later work on accuracy.

Golf Digest used these images to illustrate the driving power by Nick Dunlap, the 20 year old amateur who won the 2024 American Express GT. He averaged 331 driving distance on day 4

4/ James likes to warmup with a long towel and a knot at the end so that it forces his hands to rotate back and high so that the knot falls over his trailing shoulder. To allow for more rotation he lifts his heel. His high hands allow him to load up on his leading foot (with a slight pause) for more power when he unloads his trailing foot in his downswing.

Danny Maude was driving 270 yards when he started his training session and ended up hitting one 325 yards. Use Dynamic Stretch Exercises before you start every round of golf to improve your rotation.

I know that my flexibility and rotation improve during every round of golf as my driving distance increases during the second nine. Make sure you loosen up before you practice with GOLFSTR+ to get more driver distance. Buy one today at

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Stop Muffing Your Chip Shots

Too many chip shots are hit thin or fat because you are not able to control your wrist lag and release on these short chip shots (up to 30 yards).  Wouldn’t it be great if you could guarantee a perfect chip shot every time you try one on the course?  Even GOLFPASS is demonstrating a single handed version of what I am about to share with you. 

Chip shots often fail because you are trying to release your wrist lag at the exact bottom of your swing but your wrists, knees and spine may be bent or open at the point of impact.  A normal swing is often completed with some up and down motion in your shoulders and knees which also change the distance to your ball.  Timing is critical for this type of swing and that’s why you muff so many chips shots.

There is only 1 way to guarantee a perfect chip shot.  You need to setup and swing with a straight leading arm & wrist and don’t move your shoulders up or down.  You are only creating power with the rotation of your shoulders and pendulum swing like a putt.  You can adjust the distance of your shot by extending your backswing and choosing any of your irons depending on the height and distance of your shot.

1/ Setup with your feet about 10 inches apart and your leading foot flared open 45 degrees. 

2/ Slide your leading hand down on your grip so that your arm is stretched out and directly in line with your club (with no forward lean).  The soul of your chosen club may rest on the toe or the flat base (your preference)

Chip by rocking your shoulders with a straight leading arm in-line with your club.

3/ Tilt your shoulders so that you can grip your club with your trailing hand separated slightly below your leading hand.  All of the power in this swing is controlled by your trailing arm and shoulder rotation.

4/ As long as you keep your head and shoulders at exactly the same distance to your ball, throughout your swing, you will always create the perfect impact for your chip.

NOTE: This is NOT a flop shot as you are NOT activating your wrist to generate speed.

Practice this shot in your yard or at the range before you take it to the course.   I guarantee that you can hit 20 balls without muffing a shot.  Your only job is to choose the right club for lift and the right swing speed to reach your target.  I shared this tip with a senior woman on a practice chipping green yesterday (who had been miss-hitting all of her chips), she was ecstatic about her instant success. You may want to practice with your GOLFSTR+  to keep your leading arm straight for these chip shots but this would be an over kill as it’s really easy to keep your leading arm straight when your are completing a limited swing.  Buy one today at

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Feel Your Takeaway BEFORE You Swing

When you rehearse the proper take-away you will FEEL your hips and shoulders initiate the rotation for your swing. Recently I have seen videos and articles about Tiger Woods teaching his son Charlie to make a proper takeaway. David Leadbetter has also developed a device to attach to your club to see the right angle for your club takeaway. These are just 2 recent examples highlighting the importance of your takeaway.

When you rush your backswing you may never notice the flaw in your swing. Starting your swing with your arms is a major problem for most mid-handicap golfers. You will never develop enough rotation to generate more power unless you compound your rotation by using hips, shoulders, arms and wrists.

Professional golfers make the golf swing look so easy. If you can’t duplicate their swings you may want to try these suggestions:

1/ Slow Down Your Backswing: You can’t setup a proper downswing unless you take the time to make a reasonable rotation with a straight leading arm.

2/ FEEL Your Takeaway: By practicing a rehearsal takeaway, you will feel your hips and shoulders rotating at the start of your swing and incorporate that feeling in your backswing.

Golf Magazine used this image to show Justin Thomas with his swing rehearsal. Feel your rotation!

3/ Put More Pressure on Your LEADING FOOT: To avoid falling back in your swing and topping your ball, you should setup with more pressure on your leading foot. Professional golfers and low handicap golfers automatically transfer their weight to their leading foot before impact with the ball. Why not setup that way. It works for me.

Use more time to setup for success and to feel the takeaway rotation that you need to improve your power and consistency for every swing that you make. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to correct every swing in your game. Buy one today at

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Determine Your Best Putting Style and Sink More Putts

Every putt that you make can be sunk with every putter on the planet. Ideally you need to determine the best putter for your swing to execute the length of putt that you are about to make after you sort out the green speed and contour. That’s easier said than done but this blog will give you a road map to help you sort out the best putting solution for YOUR GAME.

This blog does not train you to read greens or the speed of every green. Reading greens is a skill that you need to learn with practice and the speed of greens is based on the cut of the grass on any given day. Test the practice putting green at the course that you are about to play to get a feel for the cut of the greens which should be consistent with the greens throughout the course.

This blog is providing types of putting swings that may suit your body for short and longer putts (requiring a longer swing). Your options are: (1) swing with your wrists, (2) rotating your hips with your core, (3) rocking your shoulders or (4) any combination of the first 3.

After you choose your target line to accommodate the contour of the green, you only have to putt your ball on that STRAIGHT line without any side spin. You can only do this if your swing is directly up your target line. Because you are swinging around the fixed location of your feet, you need to minimize rotation around the axis of your spine. The easiest way to create a consistent straight pendulum type of swing (up your target line) is to take a stance with your eyes over the ball and to swing your arms by only ROCKING YOUR SHOULDERS (#3) (as they are closest to your head and eye-lineup). That will minimize the natural arc in your swing around the axis of your spine.

Bloodline Golf used these images to show Ernie Els with his eyes over the ball and his shoulder rocking putting motion.

Unfortunately, longer putts may require a longer swing so your core and hip rotation may need to be added for the power needed to reach the hole. Never putt with your wrists for any putts as the smaller muscles in your hands will only add inconsistencies to your stroke.

Always setup for your putt with your ball slightly ahead of the center of your stance so that your upward stroke creates a roll instead of a bounce. The most important focus in your swing is to impact the ball exactly on the center of the face of your putter and to allow the putter to swing directly up your target line for a few inches after impact. If your putter is not balanced, make adjustments to the point of impact on the face.

You can make every putt as long as you choose the right line. Swing directly up that line with enough speed to pass the hole where the reduction in speed will add the most break and damage from foot traffic is the worst. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to lock your leading wrist. Buy one today at

Golfer opinions researched by GOLF blog: “The cups need to be set .25 inches deeper to prevent bounce outs.” Do you agree?

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