For our next few blogs, I am sharing a series of 30 tips that will help you simplify your knowledge of golf and hopefully improve your game. I found these tips in an article published by Luke Kerr-Dineen for a GOLF franchise called “Play Smart”. I have only distilled nuggets of knowledge from his article to provide you with a quick reference to sharpen your games.
1/ Avoid Doubles Bogeys: I love this line “The difference between the lowest handicap golfers and the rest of us isn’t the quantity of good shots. It’s what happens after the bad ones.” We all have bad shots in every round, but you need to avoid a succession of poor shots. Clear your brain and get back in the game with a great recovery shot to avoid a double or triple bogey.
In a recent study by Sherman (The Four Foundations of Golf) golfers with a handicap of 2, average 1 double bogey/round and 2 birdies/round. Golfers with a handicap of 20 average 5.5 double bogeys and only .2 birdies/round. So, focus on great recovery shots and not on trying to birdie every hole.
2/ Stretch to Improve Your Speed: We are all aware that you need to activate your muscles before any sport. To generate more power in your golf swing you need to load up your muscles or coil them up like a spring before you release that power. One of GOLF Top 100 Teachers, Chris Como, says: “Stretching your arms wide away from you on the backswing sets up a ‘rubber-band effect’ in your muscles, which allows them to contract forcefully and send the club whipping through impact with extra speed.” If you fail to feel this stretch, you’re leaving yards on the table. After you warm up your body with body stretching make sure that you hold your shoulders, arms and wrists in the same wide stretch that you want to achieve in your backswing.
3/ Swing a driver you can handle: Most recreational golfers swing their driver under 90 mph. We are all looking for more distance and control off the tee. So Luke recommends changing to a lighter club with a lighter shaft and club head to stay in better balance so that you can swing faster. He suggests trying the XXIO: “The use of lightweight and strong materials creates a distinct advantage and can help you get the most off the tee.”
NOTE: I have tried an XXIO driver and loved the feel and control but also know that you can generate a lot more momentum or whipping action when you use a heavier club head (like a sling-shot). That’s exactly why golf retail outlets sell lead tape which can be added to the head of golf clubs. I’m just making this comment to suggest that you may want to gradually test the addition of lead tape on your existing clubs before your make any expensive changes.
4/ Aim close, not far: Our eyes are designed to look straight ahead and level. Looking at a target in the distance while standing in your address posture tilts your eyes and can often make you feel like you’re aiming too far left. It’s called the “Parallax Effect”. A study that found golfers hit the ball straighter and farther when they use a spot about two feet in front of the ball and directly in line with their intended destination. Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus have used this method and you should too. So, aim close, not far.
Tip number 2 (above) shows an exercise to stretch and load your straight leading arm and body for more power. You can also use GOLFSTR+ as a training aid to remind you to keep your leading arm straight in your backswing while you play. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Watch for the next set of TIPS in your GOLFSTR Swing Tips Blog next Thursday morning.