photo credit: thefixer Have you ever seen Phil Mickelson take a full swing on a relatively short pitch shot? You wonder, why did the ball only travel 20 yds? It’s all about opening the clubface folks.
Opening the clubface means rotating the face of the club away from the target (for right-handers, rotate the club clockwise, to the right). When this is done, the loft (angle) of the clubface is lowered. The more you lower the loft of the clubface the higher the ball will travel but the harder you will have to swing. Do not hit down on the ball, sweep it off the turf.
Let’s presume your ball is 4 ft. behind a large bush and the green starts 10 ft. on the other side of the bush. You need to quickly elevate your ball to get over the bush, yet, the ball needs to land softly without rolling too far. Simply de-loft your pitching or sand wedge by turning it away from the ball. Keep in mind that your swing should be from the outside in, cutting across the ball ever so slightly. This shot requires plenty of practice.
# 1) Improve Weight Shift – Just as the club reaches the top of the backswing, distribute your weight to your left foot. This move, if timed correctly, will generate tremendous torque which will increase your clubhead speed dramatically.
# 2) Close Your Stance – Once into the address position, move your right foot slightly back (closed stance). This position will allow you to make a full body turn and contribute to a more powerful swing.
# 3) Tuck Your Right Elbow – As the downswing begins, the right elbow should be tucked to your right side. Kick your right knee in towards the target at the same time. These two moves will create the proper weight shift to your left side.
# 4) Delay Your Release – One of the best ways for more distance is when there is a delay in un-cocking the wrists. Shifting your weight properly to your left will automatically create a delayed release of your wrists.
# 5) Lengthen Your Clubs – Make all of your clubs at least 1/2 in. longer. A longer club means a wider swing arc which means more swing speed, resulting in greater distance.
photo credit: dennisborn Playing in a headwind can be extremely intimidating. The natural reaction for most players is to swing much harder to compensate for the head-wind. When overcompensating occurs, that’s when trouble begins. In almost every case, the result of swinging too hard is a poor shot.
In a head-wind, always go with an extra club (if you would normally hit a 6 Iron go with a 5 or even 4 Iron). Play the ball towards the rear of your stance, the position of the ball is critical. What you are trying to accomplish is a low shot with over-spin for more roll. This is especially true when using your driver or fairway metals. Keep in mind that we are not talking about relatively short approach shots but any shot where much distance is required, after all, it’s pretty difficult to hit a low 100 yd. wedge show with any sort of accuracy whatsoever.
In many cases, a “knock-down” shot can be used. This type of shot is required when you want to keep the ball very, very low and out of the wind. Play the ball far back in your stance and take a three-quarter swing at the ball with a 3,4 or 5 Iron. Use a stronger grip ( right hand turned towards the left on the grip, just the opposite for lefties).
Playing in a head-wind can be problematic if you don’t follow a few simple rules: 1) Play the ball back in your stance, 2) Select one extra club (instead of a 5, use a 4 Iron). 3) Use a knockdown shot. 4) Turn right hand slightly to the left on the grip.
The DVD lesson series takes you through the swing and the shots that will make your game more consistent. There is a section on course management and the secrets to success in competition.
Tom Watson's career spans 40 years and included 68 PGA Tour victories (8 Majors), 5 on the Champions Tour. He is one of the most knowledgeable Professionals on the mechanics of the golf swing and considered a master teacher. In 2009 at age 59, Watson came in 2nd at The Open Tournament at Turnberry. To learn more go to www.TomWatson.com.
photo credit: jschoi5714 The Dave Pelz Scoring Game School is conducting a special sweepstakes. The grand prize winner will receive 1) a preparation session with Dave Pelz (world renowned golf instructor) on the course where the winner's major will be played. 2) One three-day enrollment in a Dave Pelz Scoring Game School. 3) Tickets to one of the four Majors in 2011. 4) A set of 4 Pelz Wedges (custom fit at school). 5) One Pelz O-Ball Odyssey putter, custom fit at school. 6) One dozen O-Balls.
All entrants have to do is explain their personal favorite Major-and what it would mean to win it. Dave Pelz will meet with the winner at the site of their personal favorite major site. Go to www.golf.com/yourmajor.com to enter and for complete rules and list of prizes. Good Luck !
Drill: From your regular address position, move your rear foot back about one foot-length. Now raise your toe on your back foot and take your regular golf swing. You will recognize just how much weight you need on your lead side once your downswing has begun. If your weight remains on the rear foot (raised toe) you cannot finish your swing. You will also notice that your swing-path into the ball is on a flatter plane which is needed to stop chili-dipping (hitting fat shots).
Every time you begin hitting fat shots this drill should be practiced.
photo credit: USACE Europe District Stan Utley is one of the most sought after golf instructors in the World. Playing out of the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ., Utley ranks No. 6 in GOLF DIGEST'S, “America's 50 Greatest Teachers.” He is a former PGA Tour winner who decided to devote himself to helping golfers at all levels of play.
Stan Utley has helped such PGA superstars as Sergio Garcia, Jay Haas, Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobson, Darren Clarke and Rocco Mediate, (just to name a few). He is known for his simplified and innovative instructional techniques specializing in the short game.
He has written several excellent instructional books including “The Art of Putting,” and “The Art of the Short Game,” which should be standard reading for every serious golfer. Stan Utley can be reached at http://StanUtley.com.
photo credit: tnarik Beware of the golf instructor that wants to give you a swing overhaul – change your entire swing. Ask yourself the following question? Do they want to really help me or are they thinking about more golf lessons $$?
The fact is that there are no two golf swings that are completely alike. Yes, it would be nice if we all had a golf swing like Sam Snead but the truth is, we don't.
A good instructor will work with what you have and try to develop your game within the characteristics of your natural swing. Yes, he'll make adjustments here and there but he should not try to give you a whole new look. Maybe you will never play par golf but you can, and should, play up to your full potential !
photo credit: mahalie A beginners first lesson is always a tense experience. Knowing that very educated eyes are watching is enough to rattle even an experienced professional. Most ordinary teachers don't even consider how nervous a beginner may be during their first lesson.
Before the lesson begins, a truly good instructor will spend at least fifteen to twenty minutes, with the new student, talking quietly somewhere other than on the practice range. There are two reasons: 1) The instructor needs to know what direction the student wants to take. 2) It gives the instructor the opportunity to get the student to relax.
The wise instructor knows that unless their student is relaxed, nothing may be accomplished during the lesson period. He also knows what he has to do to meet the goals the student has set.
photo credit: David Paul Ohmer All to often, fledgelings golfers will begin to play the game without any type of formal training. They receive tips and pointers from friends or learn from instruction books and the development of bad habits begins.
For instructor and student alike, it's always more difficult to break a bad habit than it is to begin the learning process in the correct manner. Swinging the club is a repetitive motion so once a habit develops, it tends get “locked” in. Unteaching a student can be very tedious and time consuming for both the teacher and the student, sometimes ending unsuccessfully.
If you are just beginning the game, do yourself a favor and take lessons from a qualified instructor. Your ability to play and enjoy the game, will be greatly enhanced.