photo credit: Companygolflessons Most amateurs want to literally kill the ball thinking that the harder they hit it, the farther it will fly. In some respects this is true but allow me to explain. The PGA Tour players can hit the ball as far as they do because of their tremendous ability to time their shot. What that simply means is that they bring all of their torque in force at one instant and that is the moment of impact.
The average player gets lucky a few times in a round and manages to come close to maximum torque at impact but this is quite uncommon. In order to achieve your greatest distance you must forget trying to hit the ball as hard as you can and concentrate on your timing. Coiling and uncoiling is the key. You must uncoil your back-swing precisely at the point of impact. It’s not how hard you swing but it IS how FAST your club hits the ball that gives you maximum distance. Think smooth, think of your timing and don’t try to overpower your shots.
photo credit: billypoonphotos If you are playing well, do not count your strokes, when you do that, you will start making predictions. You will start to worry about the remaining holes that are left and the kind of score you'll make on each. There is nothing more distracting than keeping track of your score, whether per hole or for the total, it's a game killer.
Maintain a quality level of play by completely forgetting about your score. Playing the game one shot at a time, will allow you to be fully focused on the job at hand. Staying in the present-tense always makes the future of your game brighter.
When the game is over and the last putt has dropped, only then count your score !
1) Try to hit every shot on the toe of the club until you stop shanking. 2) Never aim to the left, you would do well to think you are aimed to the right. 3) Get the feeling that the toe of the club is rolling over. 4) Place a tee about one inch outside of the ball lined up at the target. Hit the ball without hitting the tee.
Many think that a closed blade causes a shank shot. The causes could be: 1) standing too close, or far from the ball. 2) the ball may be too far forward. 3) the left arm could be bent at impact.
photo credit: endbradley When you reach the top of your backswing and start back down to the ball by throwing your hands at the ball, you are “hitting from the top.” Hitting from the top causes your hands to get outside the swing-path on the way down. For amateur golfers it's disastrous.
Corrective techniques: 1) Try to strike the ball on the toe of the club. 2) Strengthen the grip (roll the hands more to the right). 3) Rotate the left forearm going back. 4) On the way down rotate the left arm and hand to the left.
The purpose is to draw the ball from right to left, to do so you have to swing the club from the inside which should cure hitting from the top.
photo credit: Brian J. McDermott The time to really think about your golf swing is on the practice range, not on the golf course. After a few bad shots, the first thing on your mind should not be how to “fix” the problem.
Believe it or not, the nature of golf is to hit more than a fair share of bad shots. Ben Hogan once said that he was happy if he hit 4 really solid shots per round. Just make up your mind that you will be hitting bad shots, after all, aren't they part of the game? Don't try to make major swing corrections when playing, leave that to the pros and scratch golfers. Save your corrective abilities for the practice range, your time on the course will be much happier.
photo credit: Anonymous9000 A shank is when the ball shoots off the housel of the clubface at nearly a right angle and it can occur when least expected. Nothing generates more fear among golfers than the shanks.
A true story: A member of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Ca., asked an old pro to help him with his serious case of the shanks. The pro asked the golfer to join him at an isolated area on the practice range. Once there, the pro offered the golfer every suggestion he knew to help the golfer. Finally, the pro grabbed a club and said, “here do it like this.” The pro proceeded to hit a shank. Badly shaken, the pro said, “I can't help you” and left immediatlely.
photo credit: kevindooley The game of golf is unique in sports because you hit all of your shots from a still position. You can address the ball in any way and swing at the ball in any fashion. The game gives us a tremendous amount of lee-way when hitting the ball.
Why then, would anyone not want to use all the help they can get. . . with a tee. With iron shots, too many amateurs place their ball on the tee without using a tee. Why not take what the game is giving you, a terrific lie. Tee your ball up so that the top of your driver is dead even with the ball's center. With iron shots, tee the ball so that it is just a fraction above the grass itself.
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: klavr There is a very peculiar habit that many golfers have called re-gripping. Re-gripping means that just before you start your club back on the take-away you move one hand or the other or both. A lot of players will simply raise their right thumb an instant before their take-away. Other players will re-adjust their left hand and some will re-adjust both hands. These movements are almost always not noticeable by the golfer.
The grip is, obviously, your only attachment to the club and your hand placement is critical. If you re-grip the club a split second before the take-away, your clubface will fluctuate (open or close) and your accuracy will suffer dramatically. TIP: Try a forward press where your club-handle and right knee (right handers) move slightly toward the target upon take-away.
With a normal swing (for right handers), the weight is transferred to the right side during the backswing. Before the top of the backswing is reached, a weight transfer begins to the left side. The reverse pivot occurs when the weight remains on the right side during the entire downward swing and the follow-through.
Just before reaching the top on the backswing a deliberate hip turn should occur with a weight transfer to the left side. Rather than just hitting the ball with the arms, as in the reverse pivot, you hit the ball with the full force of your entire body.