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Adjust Your Ball Position to Fix Your Mishit

No two golfers have the identical golf swing so you should be able to make minor adjustments to accommodate your physical limitations. We all suffer from past injuries and different strength in every muscle in our bodies. So, it only makes sense that you should be able to take corrective action by changing your foot pressure, shoulder tilt or ball position during setup. Only you can test out your best setup to create more success for your game.

Lee Travino came up with this tip to fix topped balls, thin shots and fat shots. If you are consistent in hitting your mishits, this tip may be the best way to take corrective action.

Golf Disgest used these images of Jack Nicklaus to show the standart setup for each club
Golf Digest used these images of Jack Nicklaus to show the standard setup for each type of club

If you are topping the ball, just move your ball back a few inches in your stance when you setup. Take a full practice swing to see exactly where you are first touching the grass. Your goal is to impact the ball just before you take any divot.

If you are hitting thin shot (worm burners), use the same correction as topping the ball. You may also be standing too far from the ball. Move an inch closer to the ball and lineup some extra tees inside or outside of your ball to see the result from your swing. You may also want to arch your back (belly in and bum out). Holding this position from setup to impact will keep your club face at the same point through impact.

Hitting it fat (taking turf before you hit the ball) is one of the most common swing problems. Too many golfers sway back in their backswing and never recover by shifting from their trailing foot to their leading foot as they start their downswing.
-Moving the ball back in your stance will give you a better chance to hit the ball first but it is really a dumb correction.
-Stop trying to kill the ball. Your backswing is pulling your body away from your ball and your downswing is not giving your body time to shift back over the ball.
-SOLUTION: Slow down your backswing as you keep your nose over your ball and swing down through the ball without shifting your head.

Testing your swing on the practice range is the best way to find your swing flaws. Making adjustments with your ball will give you some confidence with better hits. A better solution is to set up with 65% of your pressure on your leading foot. Its the easiest way to keep your nose and body forward during your swing.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ as a reminder to keep you leading arm straight throughout your back swing and down swing. It will help you keep your ball at a consistent distance to your nose until impact. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Single Swing Thought: Clear Your Hips!

I was blown away by a tip that allow us to naturally shallow our downswing. Of course, shallowing your downswing prevents you from coming over the top and slicing the ball. Too many thoughts will always mess up your swing so you can’t afford to be thinking about each motion that should naturally happen in your down swing. You need one thought to focus on.

David Leadbetter keeps releasing blogs about the first foot of your takeaway in order to sell his miracle training aid. But if you setup with your leading elbow rotated and pointing down your target line, it is very natural to start your takeaway with a flat leading wrist and a straight leading elbow as you turn your hips and shoulders in your back swing.

Clearing Your Hip Starts the Chain Reaction up to Your Shoulders
As long as you take time to add wrist lag at the top, it will also give you time to press forward on your leading leg as you start to CLEAR YOUR HIP. By starting the pressure shift to your leading leg you will also start your powerful downswing.
a. Pressure on your leading leg will help you drop your trailing shoulder.
b. That shoulder drop will shallow your club head (to avoid an over the top swing)
c. This starts a chain reaction to rotate your hip and then your shoulders
d. And finally to drop your straight leading arm to power through the ball
e. And finish in balance on your leading foot and leg.

Golf Magazine used this image of Scottie Scheffler to show his pressure shift to his leading leg to start his downswing.

Your ONLY Swing Thought
Your setup with a proper ball position and leading elbow position is completed before you start your backswing. Your only swing thought is to slow your backswing (by counting ”1 annd 2”) to let the forward pressure on your leading leg start your down swing during your transition at the top.

Your pressure forward starts the chain reaction from the ground up. Of course, you need to swing to a finish in balance on your leading foot but should happen naturally. Every pro finishes that way and that part needs to be burned into your mind.

Your downswing starts with a pressure shift to your leading foot during your transition from up to down. Learn to keep your leading arm straight for a consistent distance down to your ball throughout your swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Plumb Bobbing Can Improve Your Putting Success

Using your putter as a plumb bob to determine the break near the hole will cut strokes from your game. Unfortunately, too many golfers try to plumb bob from behind their ball and without a calibrated putter. Those mistakes result in more missed putts.

Gravity and your clubs are the only tools that you can legally use to determine the slope of a green. Plumb bobbing only helps you understand the slope of the green where your feet are standing. For any putt, your ball will bend more with the slope of the green as it slows down near the hole. That’s why you need to plumb bob with your calibrated putter on a line from BEHIND THE HOLE and back to your ball.

Calibrate Your Putter
Every putter head has a different weight, and every shaft has a different taper. Calibrate your putter by standing 6 to 10 feet away from any door frame and letting your putter hang freely from your fingertips. Close one of your eyes and rotate the face of your hanging putter until one side of the shaft lines up with the door frame. [ RECORD the eye that you used, the side of your shaft (NOT INCLUDING THE GRIP) and the putter face orientation.]

Use Your Putter as a Plumb Bob to Determine the High Side Near the Hole

  • -Stand on the line behind the hole so that you can see the hole in-line with your ball.
  • -Hang your putter shaft in front of you to line up the hole near the bottom of your shaft.
  • The top of your shaft will line up on the high side of your ball so that’s the high side of the slope near your hole.
  • -The greater the gap from your shaft edge to your ball, to greater the slope and the faster your ball will break down to the hole.
The putter shaft is on the left side of the hole. That is the high side of the slope near the hole.

If there is a significant double or triple break on the green leading to the hole, you need to consider what those breaks will do when your ball is rolling at a higher speed where the slope will have less impact. Plumb bobbing will only help you determine the slope near the hole. If you can see an obvious slope near the hole, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME PLUMB BOBBING.

On televised golf matches you will often see a golfer plumb bobbing from the ball to the hole. This is useless, unless the slope is exactly the same from the ball to the hole.

Choose your putting line ABOVE for the slope near the hole and limit a slight break by swinging hard enough to pass the hole by up to 3 feet. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading wrist flat as you putt by rocking your shoulders. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

PS: Please forward to Brooke Henderson and Justin Rose (They are examples of misguided Plumb Bobbers).

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Start Every Putt on a Straight Line!

I have seen too many poor golfers who try to cut or hook their putts with the face of their putter. Your putter face may have up to a 3% tilt to start your ball rolling over and only on a straight line. By adding to the complexity of a swing where you add a curve to your putt is a crazy idea. We all need to use the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid!

Your Starting Point
A student asked: “How do I sink long putts?” The pro replied: “Take a chipping lesson”. It’s so true. Chipping it close for a 1-putt green should be the goal of every Weekend Warrior. Just chip to 3 feet and sink the putt. What could be easier?

Your Putting Goal
Putting is the easiest stroke in golf, so you have no excuse but to make it the best part of your game. You will sink more putts when you commit to a target and only rock your shoulders and torso to send your ball at your chosen target point. Practice putting by locking your wrist with GOLFSTR+.

Scottie Scheffler is the best example of a great putter:
a. Lift and Set: After he considers the slope of the green and lines up his putt, he always lifts his putter directly in front of his face and sets his hands with a conventional grip so that there is no gap from the palm of his hands to his grip.
b. Line-up His Putter: He recently changed putters to a TaylorMade Spider X mallet style head with a bold line extending along the center line on the crown of his putter. His caddy said that it gives him more confidence for a square line-up from his putter on his target line.

Scottie Scheffler loves his new found success with the bold direction line on the crown of his new putter. (photo found in Yahoo)

Understand the slope: Look at the slope from behind the hole and back to your ball as well as the side view from below your putting line. Determine your feel for the break based on testing the putting speed and breaks on the practice green.

Understand the distance and slope combination: Test the speed of your putts for distance on up-hill and down-hill putts. Before every putt, make a practice swing to feel the amount of swing required for your exact putt to pass the hole by up to 2 feet.

Lock Your Eyes: After you square your putter on your target line. Focus your eyes on a line or the ball’s logo on the exact point that you will impact your ball until 1-second after impact. [Never watch the putter in the backswing or the follow-through.]

Make your putting stroke with a cadence count of “one-two” and practice with a flat leading wrist with your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Scottie is “Better Than Most”

We are all impressed with Scottie Scheffler’s confidence and consistency. Both traits are something that we all need to strive for in our games. Scottie is averaging 75% of Greens Hit in Regulation (GIR). That’s 10% better than the tour average. He also shanks the occasional shot, but his mental recovery is instantaneous. You may never achieve his success, but you should add this challenge to your game.

Mind Control
We are all human and we all make mistakes in life and in our rounds of golf. When you make a bad swing, you know it instantly and may drop your club in your follow-through. That’s an indication that your reaction is out of control. You know it and you also know that you are allowing your mind to possibly destroy your next shot and your round of golf. Focus on letting your reaction be the start of your NEW and Improved mental reaction.

Sports Illustrated used this image to show a relaxed Scottie Scheffler with a nagging neck injury. He accepted it and worked through it.

A shank or a mishit should be your wakeup call. Calm down and shake it off for your next shot. Scottie Scheffler just lets it go and so does Tiger. It’s a decision that they make. A mistake is in the past and there is nothing that you can do to change it. Take a deep breath and move on with a relaxed attitude to slow down and take a full backswing for an improved swing and to finish the hole with a reasonable score.

Improve Your GIR’s
You may never achieve what Scottie does with his Greens In Regulation but you will improve your game if you commit to marking your score card and counting your GIR’s in every round. Your focus on improving your GIR’s will improve your game.

Your Alternate Plan
A secondary plan should focus on your 1-putt greens. You may never approach the skill of hitting 75% of your GIR’s but you can improve your chipping to get them within 4 feet of the hole. Too many missed chips should be a wakeup call to change your chipping technique. Why not change your full swing chip to a putting stroke with a lofted club (putt-chipping)? A putting stroke is so much easier than a full chipping swing.

Select a club that will lift your ball over the ruff, trap or fringe and then roll out to the hole. You can’t appreciate how easy this shot is until you practice with different clubs and different levels of backswing. You will improve the consistency and accuracy of your putt-chipping if you grip down on your club so that you stand with your eyes directly over your ball and you are only hitting with the TOE of your club to avoid interference with the turf.

Practice your putt-chipping with a flat leading wrist using your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Get the Ding out of Your Swing

As we age, “DING Dong Hits” start to take over your game. We all wonder where these crazy mishits are coming from. They could be caused by physical injuries and reduced strength. So, its important to sort out what is causing your missed shots and make some minor changes in your swing to get your game back on track.

The most critical areas to consider are your backswing, impact and finishing pose. You can exercise more to improve our strength, but mishits are your greatest concern as they are the primary reason for your higher scores. Focus on these areas:

Setup
Using a lighter grip to relax your muscles and allow your floppy wrists to add lag at the top of your swing for more whipping action and power at impact.

Backswing
Rotate your wrist to open your club face to keep your leading wrist flat and to shallow your downswing. [Use a mental count (such as Cocaaa-Cola or Wateer-Loo or 1-aand -2) to allow for more time in your backswing to add wrist lag.]

Study Your Divot and Club Face Impact Point
Your practice swing should be touching the grass just after the point where your ball is resting (you may want to try moving your ball back a few inches in your setup). Your divot should be a square cut but more important you need to determine if you are hitting on the center of your club face. An inside hit may be hitting your housel and directing your ball as if it is hit off the toe of your club. Spray your club face with foot powder to determine your point of impact and make appropriate adjustments.

Golf Digest used this example to display an insane divot which is never going to help your game.

Finish Pose
Besides the mental count to slow down your backswing, your focus should be on a balanced finish as you watch your ball fly to your target.

Plan to Putt Up to 3 Feet Past the Hole
Now that most golfers are leaving the pin in place while putting, we are forgetting to putt past the hole. You can’t afford to leave your putts short as they NEVER GO IN. ALL PUTTS break more as they slow down near the hole so you should always plan to putt with less break as you putt about 1 to 3 feet past the hole.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight and your leading wrist flat for every shot. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Try a Safer Chipping Solution

You should be able to save more strokes when you have a higher lofted iron or putter in your hands. So why is it that you can’t hit it close for a 1-putt every time you are near the green? Of course, you need to read the green before every approach stroke, but you need to use the right club and practice to make more 1-putt greens.

We have all heard that it is better to putt when you are near the green but in most cases, this is hogwash.

Why not make a putting-chip?
1/ On any given round of golf you have hit many putts, and you know the speed of the green. Your mind is tuned in to that speed for your putter. Unfortunately, you can’t get that feel out of your head. I have seen too many rounds of professional golf on TV where a pro makes a SHORT putt from off the green.
2/ You can’t trust the fringe or the ruff grass just off the green as the bent grass will push your putt off course every time. You need an easy way to lift your ball over the ruff so that it can roll out to the hole.

Choke down on the upright shaft of your chosen lofted club and impact only on the toe of your club face.

Solution
Putt with an Iron or Hybrid: That’s right, just make a putting stroke with any of your lofted clubs to lift your ball over the ruff and let it rollout on the green up to the hole. This may seem revolutionary but what could be easier with clubs that are already in your bag.
1/ You don’t need to make this adjustment with a heavier new club that take a lot more time to learn the feel. You are already familiar with the feel of your clubs for a full swing.
2/ The only thing you need to learn is how much backswing is needed for the hit that you want to make. We are not talking about a full backswing. A putting stroke is easier to make than any chip shot.
3/ It’s so much easier to let the weight of your club control your swing for a putting-chip that will only travel up to 30 yards.
4/ The simplicity of this shot is all in the ease of swinging your club head directly under your eyes like a putter. Grip down on your chosen club so that the shaft is almost vertical and your club head is only touching the ground at the TOE to minimize turf contact (NOT THE FULL LEADING EDGE ). Just hold the face of your club so that the flat is perpendicular to the direction that you are hitting.

Of course you can practice with your GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading wrist flat for your putting-chip stroke. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Tiger Woods’ Rules for Scoring

The concept used in the movie, Money Ball, should be applied to your golf game. In that movie, Brad Pitt used a new set of statistics for baseball by counting a walk as equivalent to a single. Getting a runner on base is the only way to score runs. It’s the same in golf. Getting your ball in play or on the green is the best way to minimize bogeys or to get pars or birdies.

DECADE GOLF is a course-management system, founded by Scott Fawcett, which uses a statistical approach to course management to lower your scores. He offered Tiger Woods’ personal rules to for scoring.

  1. Par-5s are prime scoring holes: Most golfers will have an opportunity to hit a short scoring club into the greens so it’s important to take advantage of par-5s. His goal was to avoiding bogey. Don’t feel like you need to make birdie on these holes, just focus on eliminating bogeys instead.
  2. Avoid Double Bogeys: Making a double bogey can kill your game. If you find yourself in the trees, punch out and play for bogey. Don’t try the hero shot and bring a huge number into play. Eliminate doubles and you’ll see your scores come down in a hurry.
  3. Avoid 3-putts: Three-putting add up quickly on the scorecard. To become a great golfer, you need to become a good lag putter. If you can dial in your touch from distance, you’ll have a much easier time keeping three-putts off the card.
  4. Make Your Scoring Clubs Count: Your higher lofted clubs are your scoring clubs. When you have these clubs in your hands, you simply cannot make bogey. Play smart, hit for the fat part of the green and take your 2-putts. When you start to do this consistently, you can go for the pin and eliminate bogeys and possibly make a few birdies.
  5. Eliminate Double Chips: As a recreational player, you should use a chipping technique to eliminate double chips. When you’re around the green, your first priority should be to leave yourself with a putt on the next stroke. You may want to try gripping down on your scoring clubs and chip with a putting stroke to guarantee that you next shot will be a putt.
Golf Digest used this happy shot of Tiger because he is looking forward to playing in the Masters (and using his scoring tips).

Always get the emotion and any anger out of your next shot and make a smart shot. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve every shot with a straight leading arm and a flat wrist. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Swing in a Circle to Make a Straight Golf Shot?

It really sounds like an impossible task to swing in an arc to hit a ball straight at a target. Of course, that’s what you are trying to do with every golf swing. It’s the real reason why we have so many problems trying to hit our ball at a target.

The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, used VISUALIZATION to hit his targets. He was making an imprint of his visualized shot on his brain. That memory controlled his swing direction and club face direction to create amazing shots. I suspect that it takes years of practice to achieve his skill level.

Understand the Science of Your Golf Swing
Your driver is your longest club, so the longer swing radius generates the most club head speed and distance but swing direction and face direction can generate the worst results. You need to understand what causes both of these “direction problems”.

I found this image created by HackMotion to illustrate the impact of swing direction and club face direction.

Problems for Direction Control:
1/ Your left and right arm extend from the left and right sides of your shoulders. Your shoulders should initiate the start of your downswing and your leading shoulder ends up further from your ball at the point of impact than your trailing shoulder.
2/ At setup, your leading wrist is slightly bowed but at the point of impact you want you leading wrist to be flat (for drives) or slightly cupped (for irons).

Cause of Direction Control:
Hank Haney reminds us that we need to minimize angles to control the swing direction and club face direction. Unfortunately, your shoulders and wrists need to adjust during your swing to bring your club face to square at the point of impact.

Every pro (including Hank Haney) instruct us to SHALLOW OUR DOWNSWING (in order to swing on a path from inside-to-out) but they never tell us WHY. ANSWER: As your left and right shoulder rotate, a swing path from inside-to-out will minimize the arc of your swing to give you a straighter swing up your target line.

Solution for Direction Control:
Setup with a light grip and ensure that the V’s between your thumbs to your first fingers on both hands point to your trailing shoulders. During your backswing, allow your trailing hand to rotate your club open to flatten your leading wrist. That action also allows you to shallow your downswing to square the face of your club and swing in a straight line through impact.

You also need to keep your leading arm straight throughout your swing for a consistent distance to your ball. Practice with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Why Are You Hitting Worm Burners?

Wouldn’t you like to know why you are topping shots and hitting worm burners? It really is frustrating when you know that you need to clear a pond in preparation for a perfect third shot to the green. That’s when we rush our swing and dump our ball into the pond. Thankfully, Danny Maude described the cause and fix in a recent blog.

YOUR MISTAKE: To make a mishit and top your ball, you must be swinging up and through the top side of your ball. The only way to do this is by shifting your weight to your trailing foot in your backswing and rush your downswing before you shift your weight back to your leading foot. Most recreational players make this mistake.

HOW THE PROS DO IT: Pros don’t rush their down swing so that they can easily shift their weight forward during their transition at the top and make a perfect swing down to their ball. Recreational players should eliminate swaying back during their back swing to keep the bottom of your swing arc at your point of impact and inline with your ball.

Golf Digest used this illustration to remind you to keep your nose at the same distance to your ball from setup to impact.

Know that your club will (a) bottom out at the bottom of your swing arc and (b) – for right handers- spray your shots right when you connect early in the radius of your swing and spray left when you connect late.

Solution
(a) Bottom Arc Correction: For iron shots (off the ground) setup so that your nose is directly over your ball and DON’T SWAY BACK in your backswing. For your driver (off a tee) setup so that your nose and club head are on a line 4 inches behind your ball and allow your club to swing up to launch your ball.
(b) Swing Radius Correction: To control the direction of your shot, the further you place your ball back in your stance, the more you need to open your stance (by moving your leading foot back an inch or two). Since your ball is forward in your stance for drives, you should close your stance (by moving your trailing foot away from your target line).

If you bend your leading arm in your backswing, you will have to straighten it out before you connect with your ball to control your distance from your nose to your ball. Bent arm swingers should place their ball more forward in their stance, hoping that you can straighten out your leading arm before impact. Unfortunately, you will tend to top more shots with a ball forward in your stance.

Ideally, learn to swing with a straight leading arm and your leading elbow pointing up your target line. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to feel your straight leading arm and keep your distance consistent from your nose to your ball. Don’t sway back and keep your leading wrist flat to shallow your downswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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