Archives for August 2010

The Proper Golf Swing – Your Road to the Proper Golf Swing Begins with a Correct Address!

A proper golf swing is the direct result of how well a golfer positions themselves at address.

Many golfers, however, are blind to this obvious fact.

The proper golf swing is truly the culmination of all its preceding procedural steps.

To secure their best chances of executing a proper golf swing, the golfer must perform all the preliminary steps correctly, methodically and consistently. Failure to complete any one of these actions will dramatically reduce the golfer’s chances of swing success.

With some quick, professional instruction on how to correctly approach and address the golf ball, a proper golf swing is easily achievable.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King offers some professional direction of his own. He explains the correct approach to addressing the golf ball – helping the golfer to effectively and continuously perform a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“Note what the first-class player does. They take the club from their caddie; mold their hands on the grip to induce the initial feel of the club head and square up the face to the grip before they address the ball. Only then do they sole the club behind the ball with grip and club-face still, of course, square to the intended line of flight.

The positioning of the feet, the actual taking up of the stance, comes LAST in this brief order of procedure in preparation for the playing of the stroke.

The average amateur reverses this procedure. They take their club out of the bag, takes up their stance with the club vaguely grounded behind the ball and then fiddles with the hands and club head in the course of adjusting their grip.

This blurs the mental picture of the intended stroke and frequently builds up tension. It is the reason why so many mediocre players vary their grip on the club from one shot to the next without even realizing it.

Get the club-face and grip squared up BEFORE you place the feet in position.

And having done this in the correct order you will set your feet (for a straightforward shot) parallel to the intended line of flight just wide enough to take the width of your shoulders when using the driver. The weight should run through from the soles to the heels of both feet.

Bend forward from the waist, don’t lean, slightly flexing both knees. A glance will enable you to check that the club-face is lined-up squarely and here I would raise a point about which many people have a wrong conception, especially where iron clubs are concerned.

The front bottom edge, or leading edge of the base of the iron club, is the one with which you line-up, not the top edge. This front bottom edge must be set at right-angles to the proposed line of flight. Do that and the blade will be properly squared up. Many players feel, quite wrongly, that in this position the face of the club is open. Nothing of the sort. It is square, the position you want. Make sure you get it, but NOT by turning your club head AFTER you have settled your grip. If necessary you must move away from the ball and reapply your grip so that with the bottom, or leading, edge squared to the intended line of flight your hands, too, are squared up with the two “V”s pointing to a spot between the chin and the right shoulder.

Your club is now properly set at the back of the ball.”

A proper golf swing is a direct result of a golfer’s positioning at address.

Use King’s advice to help you consistently swing like a pro!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Golf Swing Tip – Confident in Your Putting Ability?

A golf swing tip which promises to improve your putting skill and ability?

You already know what it is – develop confidence.

Developing confidence in your putting skill and ability is the greatest and most enduring golf swing tip ever.

Many golfers instead waste time chasing empty tips and promises. Golfers fail to realize the power the slightest trace of confidence holds over a highly touted golf swing tip.

In the book, “The Winning Touch in Golf, A Psychological Approach” author Peter G. Cranford, Ph.D. offers a golf swing tip of his own. He explains how, in the end, confidence in their putting game will be the golfer’s greatest asset.

Cranford writes;

“Year in and year out, the average golfer will miss about the same percentage of putts. However, there is considerable variation from day to day, and from week to week. Many golfers say, “I am putting well,” or “I am putting poorly,” when nothing other than chance is operating.

The mathematical truth is that it does not make much difference whether the putt drops or not on any given occasion. With any consistent amount of practice combined with any given method of stroking, the so-called poor luck and good luck will balance out over a period of time. If the stroke becomes better and if you practice more, the average will improve, of course, but poor luck and good luck, like the poor are always with us. It is essential that the golfer believe this. If they do not, the resulting experimentation will introduce variables, destroy confidence, and effectively block improvement.

Confidence is a “sometime” thing. On the days when one putts well, confidence grows automatically. On other days, confidence droops. Confidence is secondary. Confidence does not produce good putting. It is good or even lucky putting that produces confidence.

The only confidence that is worth anything is certain knowledge of how much skill you do have. This comes from much practice and periodic analyzing of records to see where you stand. Any other type of confidence is false confidence, as anyone can attest who has practiced excessively indoors and attained great confidence, only to find that the putts would not drop on the course.

Confidence can only continue to exist where there is a limited and attainable objective. No matter how good a putter one is, the further they are away from the hole the less confidence they have, and rightly so, for this is what experience has taught them.

What is the answer then? As always, it is the learning and practice of better methods. This automatically gives one confidence at greater and greater distances from the hole, until we get to the point at which confidence again fades.

The best confidence, then, is confidence in the value of putting practice“.

Developing confidence in your putting game is the most enduring golf swing tip ever!

Incorporate Cranford’s advice to help you truly improve your putting game!

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Golf Swing Mechanics – The “Triple Duty” of the Left Hand

Due to club design, the golfer’s left hand plays a major role in proper golf swing mechanics.

The left hand serves three important functions in the golf swing – positioning the club, maintaining the proper club position during the swing pattern and ensuring the correct clubface angle at impact.

From start to finish, the left hand’s “triple duty” is the key to successful golf swing mechanics.

Unfortunately, many golfers fail to fully understand and appreciate all three capacities of the left hand in successful golf swing mechanics.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak offers greater insight into the importance of the left hand in proper golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“Golf clubs vary in length—from the 33-inch length of a putter shaft to the 43-inch length of the driver shaft. All clubs have handles on a graduated scale of lengths.

It is perfectly natural that the player should first place the club behind the ball, and from the placement of the club they will automatically know just where to stand, which is the second move.

However…let me call your attention to the fact that there is a certain peculiarity in the construction of golf clubs. The face of the club, the part that meets the ball, is not parallel with the shaft. It is “hooked in,” that is, it is angled so that it points off to the left a matter of two to five degrees. This exists in all properly designed clubs.

To those unfamiliar with this peculiarity, difficulties can be created at this very step.

However, understanding the hooked-in face construction of the golf club, the player can and will place the club properly to the ball.

The proper way to place a golf club to the ball is to tilt the handle of the club slightly in the direction of the shot. The shaft, in other words, is leaning or tilted slightly forward in the direction of the shot. Because of this forward tilt of the club handle the left hand will be directly over the ball and not over the club head.

Players who fail to understand this peculiarity of golf club construction place the club to the ball so that the shaft is perpendicular—that is, straight up and down, instead of being tilted or leaned forward slightly.

Obviously, only when the shaft is tilted forward slightly is the face of the club square with the line of the shot; and when the shaft is perpendicular, or straight up and down, the face of the club is aimed off to the left of the line of the shot.

In addition to this failure of incorrect aim, there is one other important reaction that arises from the way the club is placed to the ball, and that has to do with the way the left hand fits to the club. If there is any one thing that is important in a golf shot, it is the way in which the left hand works. As a matter of fact, it will be learned that the left hand action is the very crux of every golf shot. Actually, the left hand has a triple duty in a golf shot:

(1) Creating or determining the position of the club will be in during the swing.

(2) Keeping the club in the desired position.

(3) Bringing the club into and through the ball.

Now, the proper position of the left hand on the club is as follows: the hand is more or less on top of the shaft. When it is in the proper position, three knuckles of the left hand are in clear view when the player looks down at his hand and the left thumb is at a point more or less behind the shaft.

All this happens naturally, if the shaft of the club is tilted forward slightly when it is placed to the ball.

By comparison, if the shaft is placed incorrectly, that is, straight up and down, then the left hand will automatically shift to a point in front of the handle instead of on top. Only one knuckle, instead of three, will be in view and the thumb will be right on top of the shaft. This is a weak position of the left hand.

Carried to extremes, the correct position, with the left hand on top, would tend to produce hook shots, whereas, the incorrect position, with the left hand too far in front, would tend to produce slice shots.“

When evaluating your golf swing mechanics – remember the “triple duty” of the left hand.

Use Novak’s professional guidance to correctly position your left hand, helping execute proper golf swing mechanics and successfully swing the golf club!

Check back soon for more tips and posts to help improve your golf swing mechanics!

Improve Golf Swing Performance – Looking Beyond the Ball to Maximize Your Drives!

In their efforts to improve golf swing performance, many golfers find themselves over-swinging their clubs.

Some golfers incorrectly believe over-swinging to be the solution to their swings shortcomings. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To improve golf swing performance golfers must realize over-swinging actually inhibits club acceleration, resulting in both shorter and more inaccurate drives.

There is a simple fix. To help golfers overcome this false and overriding tendency – they must be taught NOT to concentrate on the golf ball! Sounds crazy, right!? Well, to truly improve golf swing performance golfers must change their focus beyond the ball!

In the book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer offers some professional advice to help golfers improve golf swing performance. He explains to swing the club to their greatest potential, golfers must understand that the “acceleration climax point” is located – “a yard past the ball.”

Boomer goes on to write;

“…the climax of this acceleration, as I tell you, must be not at the ball but away past it. If we make the ball our center of attraction, our acceleration will culminate at that point, and since our effort will be exhausted, we shall not be able to “stay with the ball.”

Now I have found that people who feel like this do so because they over-swing. Over-swinging is the natural result of trying to hit the ball; the three-quarter swing is the natural result of trying to sweep through and past the ball. The three-quarter swing puts the natural climax of acceleration of the club head where it should be, about a yard past the ball, but if you go back too far, you will not be able to maintain acceleration to this point.

From which arises a curious and valuable illustration of teaching methods. As you know, I do not like simply to say to a pupil, “You came down outside,” or “You are over-swinging.” These faults are mainly not mechanical at all; they arise from a false conception, and if I correct the false conception, the fault cures itself. In this case I found that the people who were over-swinging were doing so because they were concentrating on the ball. When I had explained that the climax of acceleration must be a yard or so past the ball, their back swings began to shorten automatically —because they felt the need for a reserve of effort to enable them to go on past the ball.

In short the good golfer measures the length of their back swing by the feel of their follow through. They are not consciously aware how far back they go but they are aware of the acceleration climax point away past the ball. This point and not the ball is the true center of the swing, and obviously the farther past the ball it is placed, the shorter must the back swing be…

…Timing, then, is: (1) The gathering up of speed through the ball from correct mechanical movement, and (2) a correct conception of the location of the swing center. These two can only be blended into a whole which can be faithfully repeated time after time by our sense of rhythm“.

Improve golf swing performance by looking beyond the golf ball!

Try implementing Boomer’s advice into your golf swing practice routine.

Check back soon for more posts and tips to improve golf swing performance!

Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – Striking the Ball from the Tee or Grass – “Feeling” the Difference!

Here is a short piece on driving to help those struggling in beginner golf swing instruction programs. It concerns swing styles.

A different swing style must be used to hit a golf ball from each the tee and the fairway grass.

Many students in beginner golf swing instruction programs have a difficult time getting these swings right.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs teach their students a simple change in swing “feel” to help them strike the ball true and proper no matter how it’s positioned.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Don Collett offer some beginner golf swing instruction to students of the game. They provide valuable insight into the manner with which the club should be swung to strike the ball correctly from either a tee or its position on the grass.

They write;

“If you have a good grip and a fundamental understanding of the basic swing, wood shots should not give you too much trouble. The full swing is employed in hitting both the fairway woods and the driver, but there is a distinct difference and, as a result, a different feeling between hitting a ball off a grassy lie and hitting off a tee.

Difference Between Fairway Woods And Driver

The best way that I can describe the difference is this: When playing your fairway woods, you must have the feeling that you are hitting slightly down on the ball, just as you do iron shots, whereas in driving a ball from a tee, where you are striving for as much distance as possible, you must feel that you are hitting slightly up on the ball at impact.

Tests have shown that, to hit a ball with maximum distance and carry, the ball must fly on a 45-degree trajectory. Since most drivers are constructed with 10 to 12 degrees loft, this would mean that the driver must be slightly inclined upward at impact in order to achieve this 45-degree trajectory.

This does not mean that you must perform a lifting action with your hands and arms in the hitting area in order to get the ball into the air. On the contrary, the arms are merely extended fully in the hitting area, thus forcing the hands into a whipping action which creates a wide, low arc with the clubhead as it smashes into and through the ball. Assuming that you have positioned yourself over the ball correctly (it should be slightly inside your left heel) at the address and that you are in correct position coming into the hitting area, the clubhead will automatically be coming slightly up as it contacts the ball.

I do not believe you should consciously strive to hit up on the ball; rather, you should create the feeling of sweeping the ball off the tee with the clubhead. “

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know students have a difficult time making the proper and necessary adjustment from hitting golf balls off the tee to off the grass.

To help make this transition easier, try incorporating Littler and Collett’s advice into you practice sessions.

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts to help quickly improve your golf swing and game!

The Proper Golf Swing – Practice Golf Nets to the Rescue?

Many golfers work diligently year round to develop and maintain a proper golf swing. Some golfers install practice golf nets either inside or outside their home – allowing them to rehearse their swing pattern regardless of temperature or weather conditions.

At home or at the clinic, practicing swing patterns using a golf net is certainly a major convenience. For all its convenience however, golfing nets can sometimes detract and not contribute to a proper golf swing.

To truly benefit from using a practice net golfers must be able to correctly interpret its feedback, which for the untrained amateur, can often times be misleading. Here in lies the problem. If golfers are to move toward creating a proper golf swing, any and all changes to the swing pattern must be based solely upon reliable and accurate information.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King offers his professional opinion on the pro’s and con’s of using practice nets to help golfers develop a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“First, let me answer those critics and they include some of my fellow-professionals who assert that golf cannot be properly taught in the confined space of a net.

Their argument is that the instructor cannot see where the ball goes. I have a ready retort. The teaching professional should never have to wait until the ball lands before deciding what needs to be done to the pupil’s action. To work on the basis of what happens to the ball implies that the instructor, in order to counteract a slice which they have seen on the open practice ground, is going to suggest a correction which may lead to a hook or at best prove only a temporary remedy.

This is an attitude which I condemned in the opening paragraph of this book.

Now I have a pupil, who came to me shortly after having one single lesson from another instructor. Long before the end of that one lesson he had lost confidence in the man who was advising him.

What happened was this. The pupil hit a few shots up the practice ground, shots which, as far as he could see, were straight though he (the pupil) was not entirely satisfied with the way they were struck.

Yet the instructor kept on describing them as “cut”, a comment which puzzled the player. In due course he really hooked one and at once the instructor exclaimed “That’s a lot better. That was a good shot.”

“But I hooked it badly,” protested the pupil. Whereupon a discussion ensued which revealed that the pupil was aiming at one particular landmark in the distance while the instructor had believed him to be aiming at another well to the left!

Had the instructor been correct in his assumption, then it naturally follows that the man striking the shot must have been lined up wrongly in the first place.

Can you wonder that the pupil came away feeling that this particular teacher couldn’t tell a good shot from a bad one?

In my net I was soon able to re-shape this pupil’s swing where it was needed. Today he is still my pupil paying periodical visits for a check-up.

The teaching of golf boils down to the one essential fact that the behavior of the ball in flight is dictated by the club-line at and through the ball, by what happens in the hitting area, at impact and through into the apex of the swing. True, out on the course there is the wind to be accounted for, but a well-struck shot played with due regard to the strength and direction of the wind will not go astray.

I am concerned with the player’s swing and their club-line in the delivery.

And one thing is certain. If the advice imparted by me in the confines of my net (which happens to be a converted squash racquets court) failed to work out on the course my pupils would soon be going elsewhere. Instead of more and more past, present and prospective pupils waiting for a vacant space in my appointments book, the entries would dwindle to the point where I would be sitting around waiting for someone to turn up.

Of course it needs a knowledgeable teacher to instruct in a net, one who can detect club-line errors at and through the ball. Anyone who needs to await the final result of the shot before coming up with a stock diagnosis would obviously be at some considerable disadvantage in a net. Moreover the instruction can be carried out in a net under conditions which are not hostile to the pupil. By that I mean that the weather, whatever the time of year, cannot mar or ruin the lesson.

How can teacher and pupil properly get down to work when the former’s teeth are chattering and the latter’s hands and limbs are chilled to the bone out in the open on a bitterly cold day? It is asking altogether too much of human endurance.”

It takes a little know how to correctly use a net to develop a proper golf swing!

Use King’s advice to help you make the most of your net practice!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Golf Swing Tip – Master Speed & Direction for Putting Success!

When it comes to improving their putting game, golfers will entertain any time tested and reliable golf swing tip which promises an extra advantage.

But does such a golf swing tip exist?

It would seem there’s no quick and simple answer to this puzzling department of the game.

Putting truly is one of the most frustrating and demoralizing parts of play. Chock full of uncertain variables, putting seems to be the uncontrollable component of golf which no golf swing tip could tame.

In the book, “The Winning Touch in Golf, A Psychological Approach” author Peter G. Cranford, Ph.D. offers a golf swing tip of his own. He believes, to truly improve putting performance, golfers need to develop a working command of both speed and direction.

Cranford writes;

“…the great difficulties with this part of the game arise from its many variables, some of which are not subject to our direct control, such as course conditions. There are two variables that do come within our powers: speed and direction. Anything we can do to improve our ability to gauge distance or to increase accuracy should be done. Unfortunately, by taking measures that improve direction we often injure our touch for speed. The big undecided issue in putting has always been whether to emphasize the mechanical adjustments that accentuate touch or those that help guarantee direction.
Should the grip be firm or delicate? Should the wrists be unyielding or broken? Should the ball be stroked or tapped? Should the blade be light or heavy? And there are many other questions. The answer to the problem of putting form is generally decided by copying whatever player has the current reputation of being the best.

There may not be a hard and fast answer. In the short putts, for instance, accuracy is at a premium. Our chief concern is that the blade will always meet the ball at the same angle. A firm grip, firm wrists, and arms that do not wobble eccentrically are indicated. We must deliberately sacrifice touch for accuracy.

In the longer putts touch is at a premium, for in most cases a three-putt green results from balls that are too short or too long, not ones that are off line. Our chief concern of distance gauging is to use the grip and muscles that will produce the maximum touch. This indicates a looser grip and smaller muscles in order to capitalize upon the inherent greater sensitivity of the fingers of the right hand, particularly the index finger. We must deliberately sacrifice accuracy for touch.

Although putting in itself is difficult enough, it would seem that for the perfectionist there is no alternative but to use varying styles of putting according to the “logic of the situation.” Putting situations have great variety; hence it would seem that the next advance in putting technique will have to come from the abandonment of the idea that one stroke suffices for all shots.

The right combination of the light touch versus firmness comes about through variety in putting practice. In order to achieve this variety, it is recommended that you scatter a number of balls around the hole in the form of an ellipse. This will give practice with the grain, against the grain, downhill to the right, downhill to the left, etc., at varying distances.

An important variable to be removed in putting is not hitting the ball squarely. This variable can best be removed by practicing long putts—the longer the putt, the greater the observable distance between the well-hit putt and the slightly mis-hit putt.

If only short putts are practiced, the difference between a well-hit putt and a slightly mis-hit putt is hardly detectable.

One of my golfing companions who had been sold on the idea that “if you can make the short ones, you don’t have to worry about the long ones,” never practiced anything but 3-and 4-foot putts. He was quite accurate with these, but rarely made a long one. Of course, if my friend had conscientiously practiced weaknesses, he would have split his putting practice time to provide for remedial practice of long putts“.

A golf swing tip to help improve your putting play – develop greater control in both your speed and direction.

In Cranford’s professional opinion, mastering these two factors will be tremendously helpful to the golfer’s putting game – allowing them to better “gauge distance and gain accuracy”.

Use his golf swing tip to add variety into your putting practice routine!

Check back soon for more golf swing tip articles and posts!

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