photo credit: nsaplayer Ben Hogan said ” the backswing is a rebound from the forward press.” Most good players find it difficult to begin from a motionless set-up position. To begin their swing they incorporate a forward press which eliminates tension that may arise from standing completely still.
Once you are set up to the ball the forward press begins by moving the handle of the club and your back knee simultaneously towards the target. This is an “all at once,” yet very small move, which starts the backswing in motion. Once the forward press is made, there is a relief in tension. The forward press prevents starting from a motionless position.
The distance of the forward press is minuscule, however, it can play a huge role in a quality golf swing.
photo credit: marcokenmoelle. Gripping the club too tightly is the single biggest cause for loss of distance. When asked about his grip pressure, Sam Snead said “I hold my club as if I was holding a baby bird in my hands.”
When trying to achieve more shot length, amateurs tend to grip the club too tightly which seems only natural. The fallacy is that a tighter grip results in less distance, not more. Muscles that are relaxed result in more clubhead speed which equals greater length and more accuracy.
Resist the temptation to grip the club too firmly, take Sam Snead's advice to achieve longer shots. Like everything else in golf, practice and patience are required. Make light grip pressure a habit not something you have to continually remember.
photo credit: nsaplayer On the practice range, the first rule for divot diagnosis is to hit off of real turf instead of an unnatural surface. On real grass, the divot you make will give you a wealth of knowledge about the manner in which you are swinging the club.
If you hit the ball straight, your divot should be on-line and should start immediately in front of the location of the golf ball. If you hit the ground before you hit the golf ball, your shot will be “fat” and the distance dramatically reduced. A divot that points inside-out designates a push or hook. A divot that points to the inside means you have pulled or sliced your shot.
Using this method during a round can instantly diagnose your swing problems.
photo credit: linein Let's presume you already know how to ”work” the ball. If you have a medium approach shot (150 yards plus or minus), one of the ways to lower your handicap is to use your ability to draw or fade the ball to put yourself in birdie range.
If the cup is cut left, aim for the center of the green and draw the ball towards the flag stick. The same holds true for a pin cut right, hit a fade. If your shot does not go as planned and the ball goes straight, you are still on the middle of the green.
To hit a draw (right-hand-er) square your club with the target and align yourself to the right of the target (closed stance). Swing along your normal swing path. Do the opposite to hit a fade.
photo credit: zone41 On a 7,200-yard course, a golfer will take 12,000 strides. If that be the case, why is it that so many players tend to skimp on the shoes they wear. Besides the fact that most golfers ride golf carts, they place more emphasis on clubs than shoes when buying. Quality shoes should be of prime interest to every golfer. Durability, comfort, ability to resist moisture and weight, should be your objectives when making your decision.
The following models should be prime contenders for your next purchase. Footjoy SuperLites ($80), 13.4 ounces. Callaway Hyberbolic ($180), 13.4 ounces. Nice Air Zoom Vapor ($140), 13.8 ounces. Adidas Tour ($160), 16.3 ounces. All of these models are about half the typical weight of Grandpa's old metal spiked golf shoes.
photo credit: akeg For several years now, mallet putters have risen in popularity. The mallet design positions more weight towards the back end of the putter- head which tends to stabilize the putting stroke. On the other hand, perimeter weighting, as seen in blade models, allows for more forgiveness when contact with the ball is made. Which is best, a mallet or a blade design? That depends on individual tastes.
If your problem is with an erratic putting stroke, a mallet design would help smooth it out . If you are not making solid contact, a blade putter may be in order. When purchasing a new putter, ask yourself the following: Is my problem with my stroke or making contact with the ball? The answer dictates your choice.
photo credit: nsaplayer On occasion, we have all seen our ability to drive the ball deteriorate during a golf round. The first rule of thumb is to revert back to fundamentals. To get your swing back, temporarily put your driver away and hit a 3 wood or a long iron. Usually, the problem comes from a loss of tempo. By hitting a club that is easier to use, you can regain timing and restore tempo.
If you are persistent and refuse to temporarily put your driver away for a few holes, choke up on it by about 1 inch. Choking up on the grip will give you better control during your swing. If you are experiencing directional problems make allowances in your alignment. With patience this is an easy problem to work through.
photo credit: optimal tweezers How often have you received unsolicited swing advice? In most cases the answer is “too often.” The advice is almost always well meaning, however, it can be very destructive especially if you are playing good golf.
Golf is such a mental game that even the most inconsequential remark by a friend can create problems. You may be on the putting green and a friend might say, “I've noticed that your putting stroke has changed, during your swing your there is more wrist-break.” This benign statement is enough to get you thinking about it and perhaps doubting your stroke. Once this happens your confidence level starts to shrink and it can likely creep into other segments of your game. Bottom line: Don't pay attention to friendly swing advice unless it's from your golf coach.
photo credit: tnarik Overconfidence can be detrimental to your game. We have all felt invincible during play and this is when trouble sets in. In most cases, it simply takes one errant shot or miss-hit, to start a free-fall.
Golf is best played on an even keel, not happy, not sad, not up or not down. Two players that are well known for their ability to be stoic are Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods. Both are very congenial when off the course but, during play, there are no smiles or frowns. In many ways this tends to intimidate opponents (which isn't all that bad).
A strong ability to concentrate is the key to unstable emotions. Golf lesson curriculum does not include controlling your emotions. Try to remember that golf is just a game, nothing more!
photo credit: Stephen Glauser Do you know exactly how far you hit each club? Two things are necessary when playing golf: know how far you hit each club and know the yardage of the shot you are preparing to hit.
Go to a practice range with accurate yardage markers and hit 10 balls with each club. Use that average to figure out how far you hit each club. Once you obtain the results, mark them on the back of a business card and use them whenever you play. This will eliminate any guesswork and bring more accuracy and confidence to your game. TiP: Cover the card with plastic tape and place it in a luggage tag which you can attach to your golf bag for easy reference.