Smash it loooong!
7/5/2010 5:56:01 PM
Hitting a long drive is one of the most satisfying things you can do in golf, in order to hit a long ball it is important to remember not to strangle the turkey! Keep your grip pressure light, your grip will tighten by 5 times your initial pressure on the downswing. So to go long, relax!


How to cure an upright swing
12/29/2009 5:02:31 PM
It's amazing how quickly bad habits sneak into your game, I have managed to develop a half decent shank as well as a low snap hook that would scare the pants off tiger :) Anyhow, I popped off to the range this morning for a solid session of --what the hell is going on??-- They were doing free video analysis and I signed up to see what was going wrong, now granted seeing your own swing is similar to watching a video of yourself dance... always surprising, normally not good surprising.. but I digress. So back to the matter at hand, the video showed me that I had a ridiculously upright swing, Furyk would be proud... my problem was that I'm not as good as Jim at getting it back into the slot (I managed to hold off on another tiger reference here, barely). So what was the fix, simple.. take your backswing and stop at the top, look behind you at your hand position it should be in line with your right chest pocket, not your left... resist the urge to layoff the club. Keep the angle, you'll find if you can get to this spot it's fairly easy to attack from the inside. Another couple of keys to a smooth swing for me today was to remember to coil against my lower half, this is done by keeping my weight on the inside left of my right foot (put a ball under the right side for an exagerated effect). The second key was to keep my hands and forearms relaxed and finally swing through the ball, releasing down the line.. easy :)


Power Swing
10/25/2009 3:48:15 PM
A great way to introduce power into your golf swing is by creating enough width, and then taking advantage of it. So, to create width ensure that your left arm is kept straightish through the backswing, then focus on pulling down the but of the club to kick off the downswing. To illustrate this move, try swinging at waist/chest height. At the end of the backswing you should feel tension in your lat muscle, stretch it a little and then pull through to initiate the swing. Happy power swinging!!!


GW Lesson 5
4/2/2009 8:56:33 PM
So the swing has tapered off a little, ok... maybe a lot. We had the awesome experience of playing Oubaai and Plett this weekend and both courses are in great condition, plett being better overall but Oubaai having the purest greens I have ever putted on. Anyway, enough jabbering...onto the serious stuff, my swing! I've been getting a little steep of late and hitting a light cut on my irons and my driver has been really inconsistent, so I managed to book a lesson with Graham at short notice and in 5 minutes he had me back on my game. My swing thoughts for now are to take the driver back inside the line (this is actually down the line but it feels inside for me) and then bring it back inside the line, key here is to remember my neutral grip, low relaxed hands and feel like I'm turning the club over quickly and early (almost as my hands pass my right thigh. Finally I need to stay with the shot and exagerate the follow through, this helps me stay with the shot. Easy enough :) Again, if you are battling with your swing go and see a good PGA pro!!!


Muss Gammon on Greenside Bunkers
9/24/2008 5:16:23 PM
Muss explains that you need to swing with a predominant right arm, cock the club steeply and accelerate with the right arm aiming 2 balls behind the ball. To start open your stance by about 20-30 degrees. Your clubface should now face the target. Take the club back along the body line. Keep your right knee locked in, again cock your wrists asap on the backswing. Weak grip, cock wrist and fire! The final gimmick that Muss talks about is to imagine a large circle with a smaller circle around the size of a cricket ball, try and hit the ground with your right hand, down and through. Thanks Muss!!


Back to Basics
8/28/2008 9:01:58 AM
Do you know what the difference between pink and purple is? The grip :) This also holds true of golf, over the weekend I focussed on maintaining a soft grip with all the clubs, putter included. This helps maintain feel and you will also feel a lot more comfortable over your shots, the reverse happens when you are stressed: you end up strangling the club which prevents the hinge and leads to a weak shot because you are interfering with the natural order of the swing. So remember, purple is not going to get you any distance :)


Pro Lesson 2: GW
5/22/2008 9:00:13 AM
Lesson 2 was pitching and chipping, an area that I used to be quite decent at but have moments of brilliance overshadowed by gummed chips screaming into the future. So, Graham had his work cut out for him. Essentially his technique is very simple, setup square to your target, feet close together (not touching but I would say about 25 percent of your normal stance width), ball middle of stance. Now drop your left foot back and move your head forward to about 6 inches in front of the ball (toward the target, weight obviously on your left side). Now take the club back on line (not inside), hinge and swing through keeping your left wrist straight. Simple :) On a positive note, I went to practice it yesterday and had two 20 foot hole outs with my lob wedge in 3 balls (stats got progressively worse, of course :)). Next Week, bunkers!


Pro Lessons - Graham Whale
5/12/2008 4:32:00 PM
Today was lesson day number one, we worked on my grip again. Left hand grabbing the club from above and right hand in the fingers, feels fine not too awkward considering I have been playing with a left hand finger grip for a while. So with the grip sorted we moved on to the swing, we worked on some 7 irons and getting my weight transitioned onto the left side properly, I need to finish with my body facing forward and my arms naturally following through. The next thing we worked on was my 3,4 hybrid, 3 wood and driver and Graham showed me what a complete swing should feel like, man was I striping the ball!!! I can't believe the distance gains I got and I feel like I can really go after the ball, so for future reference the top of the backswing should feel like I am 100 percent coiled and then swing out through 1 o clock. Next week, chipping.... hello gummers!!


Pure your irons
4/7/2008 3:38:18 PM
It's one of the best feelings in golf, puring your iron shots has to be one of the signatures of a great game. I have a tendency to scoop the ball instead of compressing it into the ground. I have tried a number of drills to sort out this issue although some, including the late Moe Norman thought that this was the best way to achieve acuracy with your irons. But I wanted that divot, that pro sound as the ball takes off and that extra distance. I discovered the forward press as an accident while watching Ernie Els in the SA Open a couple of years ago. Simply put you press your hands forward (toward the target) by 1-3 inches to start your swing, you then swing as normal and it encourages a downward strike on the ball, it also encourages good timing and prevents me from snatching at the club. Try it, it may work for you too!


Flying Right Elbow
3/12/2008 9:47:21 AM
How many of my blogs start with.... i've been battling lately with X. Well today X is defined as a low snap hook, it is seriously one of the most frustrating shots in golf. Anyway, I have tried a number of things, new drivers, softer shafts with higher kick points, more loft on the driver, weight distribution and so on. Yesterday I discovered what was going on, not just with my driver but with my irons aswell. My right elbow has a tendency to get a little high on the backswing, this coupled with my weight being centred or on the front foot has made for a particularily scary hook with the driver. I am now ensuring that I keep my elbow low and close to my side through the back swing, I also make sure my weight is 60/40 on my rear foot. This helps to create a higher more solid strike on the driver and a more neutral shape. I also noticed that my grip is getting a little strong so I've moved my right hand a little closer to my left (anti-clockwise). I hope some of this information helps you, remember it's only for the practice range and not for the course :)


Harvey Pennick's Game for a Lifetime
12/28/2007 10:55:51 AM
This is the follow on to his acclaimed little red book, I really enjoyed the little red book and this follows the same format with short to the point tips and stories for all of us to follow. If I had to choose between one of the two I would definately opt for the red book as the content is slightly better but the second book does stand on it's own quite nicely. A solid book to add to your collection, I bought mine online through kalahari.net, see ya on the links!


Pitching 101
12/14/2007 9:12:17 PM
Short game, short game, short game... I played another up and down round on Saturday, at least I broke 90 this time! The difference between the front 9 and the back nine was simple, my short game on the back 9 was really good but shocking on the front 9. I shot 46 on the front and 41 on the back, 5 shots, that's what a short game can do for you!! My revelation is something I personally haven't read anywhere before, I tried to slow my pitching down to about 60% of my normal swing, weight on the front foot and I aimed a little left of target. I hope this helps you, it certainly helped me!


Bunker Play - Pro Lesson
12/6/2007 4:00:23 PM
As you know bunkers are my nemesis, I have the ability to play fairway bunkers quite easily but greenside... now that's a whole different kettle of fish! I was chatting to one of my mates who recommended Graham van der Nest at Humewood, I booked a lesson with him and within half an hour I had the idea... here are my keys to bunker success! 1. Weight forward, I mean really forward. 2. Hinge Wrists immediately on backswing and don't release the club through impact. 3. Take it back inside the line, I tend to cut across the bunker shots a lot so this helps me straighten it out. 4. Build up your tempo and accelerate through impact, turn your shoulders through the shot. 5. Aim 1 inch behind the ball. 6. Downslope = less sand, softer. 7. Upslope = more sand, more acceleration. To try and get the feel for getting steep on the shot put another ball about 4 inches behind your first ball and an inch closer to you, this will force you to hinge immediately on way back (remember to keep left arm straight).


Bunker Play
9/5/2007 3:33:21 PM
I've never been a great bunker player (read shocking) and after taking 9 shots at medal on 16 at PEGC I decided I needed some help. So off to the range I went with Kev, who after much chuckling worked out that I was releasing my hands through the shot instead of holding off. So from the start, setup 30 degrees left of the target, open the clubface so that it points at the flag and aim about an inch behind the ball. Then cock your wrists, complete a full shoulder turn and then accelerate through the shot. Finish high for longer bunker shots.


Chipping
6/12/2007 5:10:24 PM
One of the most important elements of any golfers armoury is a solid short game, chipping forms a crucial component of that. I chipped like a monkey on Saturday and decided that I needed to work out what was going on, the number one problem I (and most people) have is commitment... you need to be 100% committed to chip properly! I tend to chip with my stance slightly open, feet close together and ball in the front of my stance (some prefer back of stance for bump and run shots but I keep the ball forward on all shots). I visualize keeping the club on an arc, I need to feel the clubhead at all times and ensure that I accelerate through the ball while maintaining a stiff set of wrists.. To get the feel take your SW out to the chipping green and focus on striking the grass and feeling the bounce.. a lot of people also try and keep their left wrist pointing to the sky, I don't bother with that.. I just make sure that my wrists are stiff and that I accelerate through the ball.. oh, and don't forget to keep your head down :) Happy chipping!


Full shoulder turn
4/10/2007 2:19:08 PM
It really is one of the first things you hear in golf instruction but very few of us really know how it feels to complete a shoulder turn. I used to bend my left arm and thought that is what a full turn felt like.. well I was horribly wrong.. While watching Muss Gammon on his new Ultra Simple Golf series I noticed him showing Roland Schoeman how to complete a full turn.. something clicked inside my head and I realized, shit... I am not completing my turn! I went to the range and focussed on getting my left shoulder under or past my chin while keeping my left arm straight and turning my right shoulder out of the way... what a difference! I was smoking my drives, the transition to the down swing felt easier... what can I say.. life is good again!


Low and Slow!
1/19/2007 11:15:17 AM
I have been battling (again) with my driver, I called the priest and he exorcised the demons... still nothing, I have developed a low snap hook.. which while more manly than the girlie fade I once owned is way more frustrating. So off to the range I went, a couple of times.. I tried stance changes, I tried ball position, I tried weaker grips, stronger grips, low tee, high tee, I even begged a friend to have a look at my swing... nothing. My mate Kev reckoned that I may be picking the club up too suddenly so suggested that I do the low and slow move, essentially you keep the driver as low to the ground for as long as possible and move the club back slowly. This definately worked wonders, especially on the trajectory side of things. My stance is still a little closed (read a lot!) but that helps me get a nice little draw (read snap hook :) ). I will report back on Monday as to how it went, maybe I can convince myself that it's not the driver... it's me.... (whatever, it's always the driver, never me :) )


Draw your Driver!!!
10/23/2006 9:29:43 AM
After 6 lessons with a pro I now have a clear idea of how to hit a driver with a draw, it boils down to a couple of key things. The first key is to ensure that your shoulders are aligned at or right of the target, your right shoulder should feel as if it's lower than your left shoulder. The next step is to ensure that you set your feet to be aligned right of target, for me this is key, I set my feet up in a very closed position aiming for the right rough. Ball alignment is inside the left heel and the swing thought is low and slow back and attack from the inside, swinging out to 1-30 on the clockface. I think that all these are simply indicators and it really is up to the individual to work out his exact recipe for a draw, other things to experiment with are hand position, weaken and strengthen your grip to see what results you get. Enjoy the tweeking, I'm off to smash some drives ;)


Pro Lesson Number 3
9/11/2006 4:07:41 PM
It's all coming together, I shot 87 over the weekend to come 2nd in my division and got a DVD player for my troubles!!!! Awesome prize, much better than the standard meat pack or sleeve of distance balls ;) At least the missus can see that there are some advantages to playing golf :) Anyway, back to the lesson. We worked on creating width again today, I have a tendency to narrow my swing so I need to focus on keeping it wide. We also worked on ball position, I have a tendency to scoop my shots and leave no divot, today I worked on taking a divot by focussing on striking down on the ball... worked a treat. The most important part of today's training was the work we did on the driver, I not only changed my shoulders by closing them a lot (push left shoulder out right), but I also focussed on getting my right shoulder down low, this gave me great results with the driver... key thought is to get the right should out of the way so you create room to swing from the inside, not over the top!!!


Pro Lesson Number 2
9/1/2006 3:56:54 PM
It's been a long week, lots of practice trying to get my new swing to work... lots of drills, lots of duffs (mmm, beer), lots of frustration. But it is all worth it, I can see the hint of a little draw, something we all want, especially the faders amongst us!! So onto the second lesson, I am coming along quite nicely creating width with my right arm, today we worked on creating 3d width, what I mean by that is width on the left arm and width on the right arm... to get into the position take a backswing and freeze at the top (left arm straight), from there drop the club's head straight down... if you have created the correct width it will land on your right shoulder, if it's too narrow it will land closer to your neck. Now, on the downswing you need to initiate a hip shift towards the target and drop the club into the slot, once in the slot you can accelerate focussing on striking the ball on the inside right corner and following through. Sounds very technical but once you see that little draw it all becomes worth it!! The new drill I got today is to line the ball up with my inside left heel, take a quarter swing with arms only and flick through the ball. This will give you a nice feeling of the correct hand movement through the ball.. the strange thing was that I was able to generate almost as much distance with this quarter shot as a bad fade.... scary!!!


Pro Lesson 1 of 6
8/29/2006 12:36:09 PM
Went to my local PGA pro yesterday to have a look at my golf swing and set me on the right track to improving my swing, long term. A couple of immediate things he picked up on were that my hands had no dropoff, so i tend to have the golf club at the same angle as my left arm.. He moved me further away from the ball, told me to grip higher up on the club and dropped my hands so that a nice angle is formed between my arms and the club. The second thing he worked on was creating width in my backswing, I have a tendency to be right arm dominent in my swing, to nullify that he has showed me the correct position for my hands. To illustrate the point take a backswing and freeze at the top, if you now look at your hands they should be positioned away from your head, to put yourself in position simply focus on keeping your left arm straight and shortening your swing, then look at where your hands are at the top. The final step was to sort out my shoulders, they are still pointing left of target and after a couple of shots focussed on pointing my shoulders right I understood what he was on about. I have a drill to use on my practice swing that is basically swinging the club with your left arm only and your right arm gripping your left wrist, take long, slow swings and this should give you a clear indication of how a good swing should feel and groove the width aspect.


Coil for power
8/18/2006 11:19:15 AM
I had a disasterous golf tour last week, partially because we drank like it was our last week before prohibition but also because I just wasn't comfortable with my swing. I have been trying so hard to turn my fade into a draw that I have ended up with an ugly snap hook. The main reason for this is my agressive attack on the ball from the top of my backswing... I end up with all my weight staying on my back boot and a wild snap left... on one shot into the wind I snapped it so badly I ended up going downwind... shocker!!! So, it's back to the range and I have signed up for another 6 lessons. Hopefully I will stick out the lessons and try and learn something, it's amazing at how stubborn we can be as golfers... i mean, what do the pros know anyway.. hahah. So onto my tip of the day, I found that in order to hit a solid shot with my long irons I needed to feel like I was coiling around my spine with my weight transferring to my right thigh. Then start the downswing by GENTLY letting the club drop into position and then accelerating through the ball ending with your left arm straight-ish and high... Good golfing!


Swing thoughts
5/22/2006 10:48:32 AM
It's amazing how up and down golf can be, they cut me to a 13 handicap because I managed to shoot a couple of rounds in the eighties... I got complacent, forgot some key swing thoughts and now I'm back to the nineties!!! So for the last month or so I have been trying to work on simple swing thoughts, what I have found is that you need to have seperate swing thoughts for driving, irons and chipping.. In order for my driver to work, I need to focus on taking the driver inside the line on the backswing, complete the shoulder turn and swing inside the line on the downswing. If I get the timing right I end up with a nice straight shot, if I am a little fast I end up with a hook. If I don't bring it back inside the line I end up with a fade. On my irons I need to focus on taking the back straight and then bringing it down inside the line, that tends to give me a nice straight shot. On chipping I need to get agressive with the shot, take it back straight and bring it down outside the line.. that gives me a nice soft cut with the ball dropping and stopping nicely. So now all I need to focus on is swingplane and rhythm for my round... lets hope I can see those low eighties again soon ;)


Draw b%tch, DRAW!!!
12/23/2005 12:36:58 PM
I am one of those cursed golfers with a natural fade (read slice) and I have battled consistently with it since time and memorial... well no more I tell you, no more. I was reading an article in one of the high priced international mags that I have and in it they reckon the cure to the common slice is to focus on your left arm and hand... try and swing the left arm/hand so that you end up in almost a hitch-hikers grip... ok, sounds weird but you should have the knuckles of the left hand pointing towards the ground at about a 45 degree angle with your left arm full extended.. So I have given this a bash and for now it's working.. I am extending my left arm nicely through impact and find that I have very little influence with my dominant right hand. I can't wait for the snap hook to develop ;)


Swing Analysis
11/2/2005 3:08:34 PM
I was (un)fortunate enough to have my swing analyzed at a golf day a couple of weeks back and let me tell you it's a bloody scary thing to see exactly how you swing. I will be honest, I am suprised I ever hit the ball!! The swing analysis however was positive, it highlighted a couple of problems with my swing and has given me a start in the right direction. I am trying not to obsess too much about the nuances in my swing, I definately don't look like tiger (more like someone running from a tiger;). But I digress, I am now focussing on keeping my shoulders online (they were pointing waaay left) and swinging the club back straight (not outside the line). So check back next week and see how my swing is progressing ;) BTW next week is club champs at Walmer CC, I am looking forward to my first forray into the world of home club competition.. Keep your fingers crossed!


When the wind blows....
11/7/2005 3:27:10 PM
3am Saturday morning, the wind is howling so much that my roof tiles sound as if they are going to move to another neighborhood... this is the joy of living in the windy city, so I pray that the weather will blow itself out before our 7am tee off at the hill (PECG)...please golfing Gods, pleeease.. Alas, I wake up to find a mini-gale going on outside and my girlfriend mutters something about mad golfers as I set off for the course. I reckon there will be about three other people mad enough as me to be playing in this dismal weather but to my surprise the parking lot looks busy and there are golfers all over the place sporting the latest in weather repellant gear. So, as this is an instructional spot I suppose I need to give you some advice on how to play in the wind.. First off, never...ever...ever try and force the ball in the wind, you impart too much spin on the ball (backspin, sidespin) and it ends up far from your intended target, so swing easy. The second trick is to work out how many clubs stronger the wind is, for instance.. on Saturday into the wind I needed to take 3 extra clubs, ie.. a 4 iron instead of a 7 iron and visa versa, when I was playing with the wind I would take a 9 iron instead of a 6 iron. With the wind traveling left to right you will need to take less club if your shape is a fade and more if your shape is a draw, conversely with the wind right to left you will need more club for a fade and less for a draw. The next tip is to try and keep the ball low, play it further back in your stance and try to punch the ball with a short punch downward blow and a limited follow through, some prefer hitting half shots with less lofted clubs, ie half a 5 iron instead of a full swing 7 iron. The final tip I have for you is try to bump and run as much as the course allows and be aware that the wind will affect your put, especially into and with the wind, side on wind has a limited effect on your ball. Most of all enjoy the fact that you can drive the ball 300m+ with the wind behind you.. a feat none of your mates will believe ;)


Stop trying too hard!
10/3/2005 4:28:59 PM
I often get caught up in a practice frenzy, I have been hitting the range at least once a week over the last year (rain, wind or shine... and trust me in P.E the adage should be rain, wind or bloody windy) and I have been diligently practicing my drills and sure there has been improvement but it has been marginal.. I admit: I am greedy... I want to improve quickly and I want a swing like Adam Scott but I'm built more like John Daly. So every Saturday I go out to the course with expectations of shooting a brilliant round, for me that's breaking 90.. and more often than not I try too hard.. by that I mean I put so much pressure on myself to score well that I forget the reason for being there in the first place... to have fun and hang out with my mates, and hopefully make some money on the game ;) So going into last Saturday's game I was feeling kind of melancholy, it was a medal round so I had no dreams of grandeur and just focused on having fun.. and boy did it pay off.. I had three birdies in the round and finished on a 92 (with a couple of blowouts, damn bunkers!) So next time you tee it up, don't forget to enjoy yourself and don't put too much pressure on yourself to perform.. see ya on the links!


What Feel means to me
9/2/2005 8:59:34 AM
We often hear about golfers with tremendous feel, they can use the same club to hit 120, 130, 140m just by varying their swing slightly.. What I have found is that when I can specifically feel where the clubhead is in the swing that I tend to hit the ball better. It's great from a follow through perspective because you are focussing on the path of the swing rather than the little white ball ;) A great way to get this sort of sensation is to use a David Leadbetter technique: Grab a 7 iron with your thumb and two fingers just short of the shaft and swing it with one hand slowly, you will feel the weight of the clubhead aswell as the natural motion of the swing. Give it a bash, it may help your game.


Enough is enough!
8/24/2005 3:00:23 PM
I have had it with this bloody game, time to throw the clubs in the lake! There isn't a golfer out there that hasn't had this emotion, and I'm sure there are a couple that have followed through on it, well that's exactly how I feel at the moment. I have good days and I have bad days, some days the golf is easy..you just stand up there and hit the ball and it goes where you want it, but at this point the ball seems to be going everywhere I don't want it to go! I have developed the mother of all slices and it has even started with the irons... bloody frustrating! So I made a call yesterday to go and see a pro, not for a lesson this time but for 6! So off I went to one of the local pro's for him to assess my swing, turns out I have a lot of work to do, I need to change my grip and my swingplane and let my wrists become more active... so with all good intentions I went through day ones drills and worked on using my wrists more and my arms and shoulders less.. hard work, especially when everything you have learn't over time has been ingrained into your swing. So after day one I was feeling confident, the points he made were valid and I was working towards a greater goal... so off to the range I went and this is where it happened... I forgot how to hit the ball! I was shanking and slicing, dribbling and duffing.. it was like day one all over again. Well as they say no pain, no gain and with this amount of pain you can expect to see a much improved golfer in a couple of months.. you will also probably see a couple of frustrated 4 balls along the way too ;)


Etiquette
8/22/2005 12:43:08 PM
Nothing irks me more than playing golf with a person that has no clue on the etiquette of golf, most of the time it's not the persons fault because either they are new to the game or someone has simply never told them what's acceptable behaviour and whats not.. sometimes the person knows exactly what's expected of them but they choose to ignore it. So I have taken it upon myself to help fellow new comers to the game with a couple of simple rules to make your life and the other members of your 4 balls lives better. The first rule is to always arrive well in advance of your tee time, make sure you are at your tee at least 10 mins before your tee time. The second rule is to be prepared, always carry enough tees, pencils, balls and a divot repair tool, ball marker and some cash (if you are keen on gambling). The third rule is to play at a decent pace, don't take 20 practice swings before each shot, ensure you check your putting line before it's your turn to put, pick up your ball if you are out of the hole (not medal play) and be aware of play order. Fourth and some would say most importantly is to respect the other players shots, don't talk on another players backswing or setup, don't stand too close to them on the tee box, don't drive the cart while they are playing a shot, don't tee off out of order, don't walk off the green while they are putting and for God's sake don't give them advice on the course unless they ask for it. Live by those simple rules and you will never upset another golfer again ;)


Practice with a purpose
8/18/2005 3:44:57 PM
Most of us suffer from the same fate, we play once a week if the wives allow and we practice even less than that... what's worse is that when we go and practice there are no clear goals in mind. You simply get 80 balls and smack them randomly around the driving range. I have tried to become more of a practice with a purpose type of guy, sure I still tee up the driver and see how hard I can hit the ball without falling over... but I try and focus on clear goals. The first thing I do is have a decent stretch, I follow that with some slow 7 iron swings and then set up an alignment club for my feet. I always aim at a target or at worst down a target line, I am not always worried about distance because a lot of the ranges simply aren't accurate enough and it ends up either freaking you out (why can't I hit a 6 iron 140m!!) or giving you too much confidence (wow, I can hit a 6 iron 180m, must remember that). The most important thing is to remain relaxed and have fun, I normally start with a driver like in a normal game and then swap to a 6/7 iron and then to a wedge and then back to the driver. If I'm feeling confident I will try hitting fades and draws with my irons and also try out new things that I can't while playing (ball position, punch shots, etc). I hope this helps the next time you hit the range!


Time to get help!
8/3/2005 10:53:32 AM
The part of golf we all love is the ability to work on your game, we spend countless hours at the range.. putting on carpets at home and chipping in our back yards. There does however come a time where you realize that professional help is needed, this realization came to me after Saturdays game. My drives were horrible, I normally have a fade on the ball but aiming to the left side of the fairway tends to put me in the middle, but over the last couple of weeks this has turned into the beast of all slices, I now aim three fairways left and when the ball finally does hit the fairway it's bounces happily along it and deep into the right rough! So I thought with only a couple of days left before the tour I needed to work out the demons, so I called one of the local PGA instructors and off I went. He asked me what I was battling with and then instructed me to tee up and hit a couple of drives. I tee'd up the ball and proceeded to take a 13m divot with the driver, ball went straight up and landed 50m in front of me.. off to a good start. The second shot was better but the fade crept in and dragged the ball to the right edge. Undeterred the instructor (Wayne Berry) told me that I had two major flaws, the first was easy to fix and the other would require a lot more effort. The first problem was ball position, I have always tee'd up the ball on my left heel but over time and with all the tweaking it has moved further left, he moved it opposite my left big toe and amazingly it worked. Apparently with the new BIG head drivers the tee position is well forward, the other bigger problem is my swing width.. I tend to bend my left arm on backswing due to a dominant right side. I have a bunch of exercises now to sort out the swing, lovely... the most amazing part of the lesson was that now by just changing the ball position I have the confidence back to hit my driver, let's hope it doesn't break my irons ;)


Short Putts
7/27/2005 11:00:08 AM
Drive for show and putt for dough! While we all love a brilliant drive down the middle that travels 30m past your friends ball , the sad thing is that many points are dropped on and around the green. One of the drills I practice before teeing off is the short putt drill. I line up two, three or four balls about a foot apart and starting at 2 foot from the hole. I then hit the closest shot in and move onto the next shot, rememer to keep your head down until you hear the ball drop into the hole. The drill teaches you to have a smooth back stroke and it builds that short putt confidence that is critical. I had a HUGE problem a while back with short putts and always pushed them left or right, this drill has helped me tremendously and I hope it helps you.


Smash your Drive!
7/25/2005 5:48:09 PM
This has to be one of the hardest elements in golf, sure itís been made easier with large heads, offset heads, weighted heads, specialized shafts, and so onÖ but still we battle. I have come up with a few fundamentals that have helped me when I struggle; they have been compiled through lots of tips from friends and golf mags, instructional tapes and so on. 1: If you have a tendency to fade the ball tee up on the right side of the tee box, conversely if you draw the ball then use the left side of the tee box. 2: Tee the ball up typically half a ball higher than your driver; you can tee it up lower for wind or higher if you want a bit more distance. If I tee it up higher I move the ball position further to my left, ie: closer to my heel or on it. 3: Line up the logo or alignment mark with the target; this is your target line. 4: Stand in front of the ball with your feet together, position your left heel adjacent to the ball and then move your right foot out to shoulder width. 5: Your head position should be behind the ball and your weight should favour your right side. 6: Pick a spot in front of the ball and behind your ball on the target line, swing back slowly on the target line and then back through the target line; your back swing is complete when your left shoulder passes the ball. Transition to your down swing slowly and accelerate up and through the ball.


David Leadbetter 100% Golf
7/19/2005 5:32:09 PM
This was the second instructional golfing book I read, the first was some dodgy book out of the 70's with slazenger equipment all over the place and some fat man attempting to teach the world golf.. But I digress, I found this book very helpful, all the fundamentals are covered and the illustrations and descriptions are easy to interpret. There are a lot of helpful practice drills and some great quick fixes for common faults. That being said, I would recommend the book for new golfers and high handicappers like me ;)


Alignment
7/14/2005 2:00:00 PM
While in Plett on holiday a couple of months ago I played a round of Golf at Plett Country Club, brilliant course.. It really is one of the gems of the garden route, but course aside I was fortunate enough to have a really sharp caddy, he played off a 10 if I remember correctly.. Anyway, my drives have always had a tendency to fade right but I have learn't to aim left edge of the fairway and the typically curl back into the middle or right edge. So after a couple of holes my caddy intervened and told me that I was aiming right with my legs and straight with my driver, hence the out to in slice... he put a club on the ground where I was standing and sure enough, I was aiming into the right rough. To align yourself correctly you should feel as if your feet are parallel left of the target, picture two train tracks.. one set for your legs and the other for your swing.


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