photo credit: foxypar4 The USGA Rules of Golf can be quite complicated at times. Here are some to be aware of:
No. 1 – Brush away dew from around your ball except on the tee and it's a 2 stroke penalty.
No. 2 – Lift your ball to identify it anywhere on the course, tell your opponent first – no penalty.
No. 3 – You may clean your ball at any time after it has been lifted except if it is unfit to play.
No. 4 – If your ball lies against a rake in a bunker, the rake may be removed with no penalty.
No. 5 – Any reasonable item can be used to mark your ball: tee, repair tool, toe of club etc. Check out the rules of golf at www.USGA.com
Bad practice habits contribute to poor play. Your practice sessions should be very methodical. It's a major mistake to start your practice sessions off with the driver. Since golf is a game of touch you want to begin with short pitches with your wedge to enhance your feel and timing.
PGA Tour Players always start their practice sessions with a wedge then graduate up to a 9, 8, 7, etc. After hitting their irons they will use their fairway woods. Once finished with the woods they will hit several more short and medium pitch shots and then on to the putting green.
By replicating their method you will have a greater sense of feel and touch for all your golf shots. Practice smart and improve your play dramatically.
photo credit: danperry.com Golf carts are usually not allowed anywhere near the greens which means it could be a lengthly walk to the green. If your shot is not on the green you take both your putter and wedge for convenience.
When the hole is finished you walk off the green, place your putter in your golf bag and drive off. The next time you need your wedge it's missing, it was left where you last used it. There is an ultra simple way to prevent this from happening.
Play your wedge shot and then place your wedge somewhere on the green directly between the cup and your cart. Once the hole is completed you will find your club as you walk back to the cart. A simple solution to an old problem!
photo credit: mandj98 Some golfers have a natural tendency to hit a draw or a fade even though most players actually have to learn to hit one or the other. If you are able to manage both how do you decide which one to hit?
There are many factors in the decision to hit a draw or fade: are you playing a dogleg, what is the wind direction, is your ball in the fairway or rough, what are the hazard locations (if any) and where is the pin located?
Lee Trevino's favorite shot was the fade which he hit consistently. Generally though, the draw is favored by most Professional golfers because they claim they have better control with that type of shot. Learn one or the other, or both and watch your handicap plummet!
photo credit: diluviTry using more hip and shoulder turn to increase your shot distance. Many amateurs make the mistake of swinging primarily with their arms. Power is generated from the proper shoulder and hip turn away from the golf ball.
Too many amateurs think that “strong arming” the ball is the way to more distance but nothing could be farther from the truth. During the backswing the shoulders should make a full turn and face away from the target. The hips also make the turn away from the target although not nearly as far as the shoulders. In order to achieve clubhead speed you need leverage which can only be created from a good body turn.
During the swing your arms should remain passive for much greater shot distance.
photo credit: mahalieWhat can you expect from your golf instructor? You should expect patience, understanding, a willingness to help and real devotion to you as a student. Yes, that's right, your golf instructor should be all of the above and if he or she is not, you need to find one who is.
A good instructor is patient and should display a sincere willingness to help you. Your instructor should understand that you are a student, nothing more. There shoud be a keen interest in making you a better player. If you are taking one hour lessons and your teacher stops at exactly one hour even if you are still trying to work something out, it's time to get a new one. Oh, one last thing, instructors can't make you practice, they are not magicians. Need I say more!
photo credit: Pierre -M- Most amateurs do not align themselves properly. Let's start with the ball position. The ball should be one ball width left of center in your stance. When looking down at the ball your left eye (right handed players) should be one inch on the inside and one inch behind your ball (drop a ball while in the address position to test this).
Keep your shoulders level to prevent your right should from coming over the top during the forward swing. Make sure your feet, knees, hips and shoulders are perfectly square to the target. Stay completely motionless when striking the ball and make sure your grip is correct Practice these tips and putt for doe, not for show !
photo credit: SD DirkLife on the PGA Tour has it's ups and downs. Tour players have a rigid schedule to keep every week but there are plenty of benefits. Players have a complimentary car waiting for them at each event. Usually, gourmet food is supplied during each day of play.
Most Tour Pro's will admit that their least favorite day is during the Pro-Am. They are committed to give advice to amateurs who have paid up to $10,000.00 for the day's round which creates a great deal of frustration for them.
The average Tour Pro makes a yearly six figure income. How can you beat doing what you love to do and getting paid for it? The fact is you can't unless you make it through Qualifying school (Q school). For more information on the PGA Tour check out www.pgatour.com
Merion C.C. 1950
Ben Hogan was one shot behind Lloyd Mangrum on the 16th hole of the U.S. Open playoff. Lloyd Mangrum was about to putt when he noticed a bug on his golf ball. Without thinking, he picked up the ball and blew the insect away. Mangrum incurred a two-shot penalty for lifting and cleaning his ball which was against the rules at that time. Hogan went on to win the playoff.
Canterbury C.C. 1940
A storm was brewing before the final round of a major when Porky Oliver and five other Pro's rushed to the first tee ahead of their starting times, there was no official there to stop them. Oliver shot a 71 to tie Gene Sarazen and Lawson Little, only to be disqualified for teeing off early.
photo credit: Mini D Gamesmanship is the art of distractraction, distracting your opponent without their awareness. The purpose of gamesmanship is take slow your opponent's momentum, in other words, to make them falter. Now even though some may consider this unsportsmanship-like, it is done frequently at all levels including on the PGA Tour.
Serious concentration is the primary reason why PGA Tour Pro's walk around like zombies (no ill intentions here). They maintain this frame of mind for two reasons, they are concentrating on their own play and they are blocking out distractions. In spite of their expertise, the Pro's are still subject to gamesmanship from their opponents.
One of the best examples of gamesmanship is when Lee Trevino threw a rubber snake at Jack Nicklaus on the first tee of the U.S. Open playoff at Merion. Trevino went on to win! Check it out at www.vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com