Use Forward-Shaft Lean To Hit Crisp, Clean Shots

All golfers want to improve. Those serious about doing so take golf lessons from professionals or study golf tips offered in books, magazines, and newsletters, like mine.

Usually, the golf lessons and golf tips focus on swing flaws. Refining your swing to eliminate flaws is a great way to improve ballstriking. Understanding how club design dictates the quality of impact is also a great way to improve ballstriking. In fact, it may be just as good, if not better than, working at eliminating swing flaws.

When we discuss club design, we usually talk clubhead size or shaft materials. These can affect your ballstriking and shot distance. But here we want to discuss a different aspect of club design.

A club has three key design features:

* shaft lean toward target,

* significant lie (or shaft lean toward body),

* center of gravity These features exist in every club, even your putter.

They contain secrets on how to swing your drivers, wedges, and irons to improve your ballstriking, if we interpret them correctly. In other words, if we look at the features closely, we’ll see how they dictate proper golf swing mechanics. Shaft Lean Toward Target Shaft lean is the first, and possibly the most important, club design feature to consider.

If you sole a club properly in your normal address position, you’ll see that the club sits on an angle where the handle leans slightly toward the target. The angle is important. It represents the angle at which the club must be delivered to the ball at impact to create optimal pressure.

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PurePoint Golf Instruction – Tee Height – Improve Swing

Two minutes from now I’m going to have an answer for all of you on how high you should be teeing your tee shots so you can improve your swing. The new drivers that have come out in the last 5, 10 years have what is referred to as a deep face.

From the bottom to the top it’s about two or more inches. Most players associate all of that space with teeing the golf ball high. We even have three-inch tees now.

So, that isn’t true. You don’t need that. Some of you might, but most of you don’t.

So, here’s my rule of thumb for how high should you tee the driver: If the mistake you make is that you constantly top the golf ball, that isn’t always the answer. You could fix your posture and bend over a little bit and that would fix topping the golf ball.

If you always hit underneath the golf ball, this isn’t always the answer, where you tee it down so low. Maybe you simply need to get your chin up.

So, a great rule of thumb is that the golf ball should be slightly higher than the center of the club face.

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Think Your Way To A Lower Golf Handicap

Personal records drive golfers to succeed. Setting a goal of breaking 90 for the first time or chopping two strokes from your golf handicap compels us to work hard, practice smart, and stay focused. It also compels use to think differently when facing difficult shots.

We continually find ourselves asking the question: What’s the best shot in this situation?

When it’s all over, you want to know if you’re playing the right shot at critical times in the round. One way to do that is to develop “go-to” shots for difficult situations, like hitting from behind a tree. We’ve talked about how go-to shots can help golfers in my golf tips newsletter. Using them in key situations harnesses your ability and takes advantage of your on the course strengths.

More important, it lets you control the situation rather than letting the situation control you. To capitalize on this approach, you must develop an arsenal of shots you can use in the clutch. Below we discuss go-to shots in three key situations.

On A Tight Fairway

Hitting a good drive to a tight fairway is a great way to a comeback. A good drive here is at least 200 yards in the fairway. Candidates for a go-to shot are the full swing driver, the 3-wood, and the hybrid fade. You must be able to hit the fairway with this shot about 80 percent of the time. Pulling off the full swing driver leaves a short iron to the green, but the average golfer misses this shot 50 percent of the time. The 3-wood offers less distance but finds the fairway 15 percent more often than the driver. The hybrid fade finds the fairway more than the 3-wood, but requires a longer second shot to the green. Choose wisely.

Short Shots To The Green

Another critical situation where you need a go-to shot is about 100 yards out. Having a go-to shot is here key if “disaster” areas guard the green. You need a go-to shot that avoids all the trouble around the green. Candidates are the one-third 5-iron swing, otherwise known as the bump-and-run, and the full swing wedge. The full wedge shot puts your close to the hole, but if you miss it, you’re toast. The bump-and run won’t get your as close as the wedge, but, it’s easier to hit than the full wedge, With good contact, this shot will give you 60 yards of carry and 30 yards of roll.

Pitches To The Green Over Water

You need this shot when you’re about 30 yards to the green and there’s water (or another obstacle) between you and the pin. You need to be ale to hit the shot successfully 90 percent of the time for it to be considered a go-to shot. The idea is to land the shot on the green and leave it within 2-putt range nine out of 10 times you hit the shot, as I tell students in golf instruction sessions.

Candidates are the lob wedge pitch, the standard pitch, and the chip with a putter. A well-executed lob wedge pitch leaves you with a tap-in, but mis-hitting it lands you in the water. The standard pitch to either side takes the water out of play. It’s easier to hit, but probably won’t leave you close to the hole. The chip with a putter is just what the name says: a chip shot using your putter.

This shot isn’t taught in golf lessons much, but it’s safe and can put you within two-putt range. Continue this approach for all the critical areas of your game. Then, work on developing go-to shots for the areas. Determine the shot candidates, see which one you hit best, and work on perfecting it.

Once you’ve done that for the critical areas of your game, you can attack courses with aggressiveness and confidence. Remember, your go-to shot is always your safest. It’s the shot you hit best in a given situation, so it could be the riskiest. You’ll be surprised at the impact on your golf handicap.

See more here:
How To Break 80

Playing Smart Saves Strokes

Even players who thrive on crushing the ball know that hitting it long isn’t always the best strategy. Sometimes, they need to hang back and save that muscle for another time. We call it playing smart. Tiger Woods is a great example of a player who plays smart. He knows when take what the situation gives him. That’s one reason why he’s one of the world’s best golfers.

For weekend golfers, playing smart can save strokes and keep your golf handicap from ballooning. But playing smart isn’t always the first thing on your mind when in trouble. Many golfers try “miracle shots” to salvage the situation when in trouble. Often, it’s a shot they’ve never hit before. Save miracle shots for when you must try one. The rest of the time, play smart. It may not seem like the best strategy, but it can save you strokes later on.

In my golf lessons I emphasize three situations when playing smart works well. Below I describe these situations and provide golf tips on how to play them.

Ball In High Grass

When we say high grass, we mean high grass—the no man’s land of rough. You know the kind—where you could be standing over the ball and not know it. The problem with this rough is that it’s much thicker than regular rough. It’s so thick it can catch your club and turn the hosel before the clubface is even close to the ball. Thus, it may take multiple shots to get out. It’s that thick.

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Dial In Your Short Irons Now

When you’re within 20 yards of the goal in American football—the Red Zone—you must score. If you don’t, your team’s offense failed.

When you’re within 40 yards of the green—8-iron, 9-iron, and wedge distance—the Scoring Zone—you also must “score.”

Put another way, you must drop the shot as close to the hole as possible, leaving you an easy putt. If you don’t, you’ve cost yourself a birdie. Obviously, the more birdies you make, the better your score and your golf handicap.

But before hitting from this distance, you must answer six critical questions. Answering them improves your chances of dropping it close significantly. In this article we’ll discuss these six critical questions and provide golf tips on how to hit them better, improving your chances of collecting more birdies.

1. How Far Do You Hit Each Club?

Dialing in your short irons is mostly about distance control. In other words, you must know exactly how far you carry each club on the course, if you want to hit it close.

Distance control is what teachers focus on in golf instruction sessions. If you don’t know how far you hit each short iron, go to the range. Practice making normal and hard swings. Get a feel for just how far you hit each club using each swing.

2. How Do You Hit Each Club?

Direction control is also vital when hitting short irons. So in addition to getting a feel for distance when practicing at the range, track your tendencies with each club. Do you draw or fade the shot? When you swing harder, do you pull or push the ball?

Find the answers to these questions on the range first, so you’re not educating yourself on the course. Keep them in mind when playing a shot within the scoring zone.

3. What Kind Of Swing Do I Make?

Some weekend golfers shorten their swings when hitting short irons. Or, they ease up. This leads to bad shots. Take your normal swing and hit through the ball in the scoring zone.

Hit them just like they teach in golf lessons. If you need more distance, don’t swing harder. Take an extra club. And don’t try to hit the ball really high. You may lose control of the shot. If you don’t hit these clubs well, take some golf lessons and practice at the range. Also consult golf tips on hitting them.

4. Where Do I Want To Hit This Shot?

Directional accuracy demands that you aim correctly. When you’re practicing with these clubs on the range, work on alignment, too. Begin every shot by standing behind the ball.

Then follow your routine. In addition, picture an imaginary line from your long distance target to an immediate one a few feet in front of the ball to the ball. Align your club to the target line and the ball. Then, align your body parallel to the imaginary line.

5. What Are Your Conditions?

The best short iron players monitor their conditions—their sate of mind and their physical condition—on every hole. Your conditions really matter.

If you’re angry or pumped up, you’ll hit the ball longer than you normal. If you’re tense or tight, you may hit it shorter.  compensate for your condition. Also, track how you hit the ball under the various conditions.

6. What Are the Playing Conditions?

Like your personal conditions, playing conditions matter as well. What type of lie do you have on the course? How firm is the green? What is the wind doing? Is the green above or below you?

The answers to these questions have a major bearing on the shot. Run through them before you hit any shot. The last thing you must do before hitting a shot in the scoring zone is remind yourself to never short-side yourself.

Never miss a shot to a spot that gives you no green to work with coming back. You want to be aggressive in the scoring zone, but be smart about it. Follow this cardinal rule and you’ll be glad you did.

Answer the questions listed above before hitting a short iron and you’ll make more birdies. Make more birdies and you’ll not only trim your scores, you’ll also cut your golf handicap by several strokes.

See the rest here:
How To Break 80

The Toughest Shot In Golf

Ever wonder what’s the toughest shot in golf?

Candidates abound. There’s the restricted swing, the controlled fade, and the feet inside/ball outside fairway bunker shot, as well as the ball in the rough on an upslope, the double breaking putt, and the traditional flop shot. Truth is, every one has his or her own set of tough shots.

You may have covered them in golf lessons or read about them in golf tips, but you still can’t hit them. They intimidate you and add strokes to your golf handicap. Below are my candidates for the five toughest shots in golf. See if you agree. Some players consider driver off the deck the toughest shot in golf. Many golfers never use this shot. The just read about it in golf tips.

But in the right situation, it can help.

The problem is your driver has the least amount of loft, so it’s hard getting the ball in the air. If you hit up on the ball, you’ll probably mis-hit. The only way to get the ball in the air is to cut the shot. Play the ball off your front heel and aim 15 yards left of your target (right for left-handers).

Then swing across the ball, instead of down on it. Feel like you’re pulling your right hand toward you’re left hip on the way down.

The Plugged Bunker Lie

Other players consider the plugged bunker lie the toughest shot in golf. It’s certainly a candidate. Since you’re ball is buried in the sand, you can’t hit the typical sand blast you learned in golf lessons. There’s too much sand. Instead, come down hard into the impact zone.

You should feel like you’re jamming the heel of the club into the bunker with the toe pointed at the sky. If you keep your hands low to the ground through impact, you’ll create an explosion big enough to unplug the ball and escape the bunker. Then there’s the severe downslope from the rough. The hill’s slope moves the bottom of your swing arc back, making it easy to catch the ball fat or thin.

The rough compounds any errors you make. Set your body level with the lie by tilting your torso to the left (right for left-handers) until your front shoulder sits lower than your back shoulder. Now swing. Don’t hang back to fight the pull of gravity. Doing that moves your swing arc back even farther and makes missing the ball a real possibility. This shot isn’t always addressed in golf instruction sessions, but it’s so tough maybe it should be. One of Two Bunker Shots For my money, the toughest shot in golf comes down to one of two shots.

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Pitch It Close Every Time

1) Pitch It Close Every Time

Forget about those booming drives. If you can’t pitch it close, you’ll never go low. Ask any pro. But some weekend golfers hit short pitches because they don’t know how to control the distance of their shots. So from 30 yards, they’re vulnerable. If your pitch shots fall short or fly too long, you maybe using the same swing for every pitch or you consider the pitch swing the same as a small full swing.

Neither method works. Below is an alternative to these methods:

1. Set the club early in the backswing

2. Then turn all the way through

3. Hold your finish at backswing height

4. Open the face for high pitches

5. Close the face for lower pitches

The set and hold method encourages consistent contact and consistent distance control—exactly what you need to pitch it close. Follow these steps: Take the club back as you normally do, but hinge your wrists early in the process. For a 30-yard pitch, that’s about hip high.

Once you’ve done that, commit to accelerating through the ball. Not accelerating through the ball is a common pitching mistake. Keep the angle between the clubshaft and your front forearm. Then, use your body to do the rest. For a high pitch shot, play the ball forward in your stance and open the clubface the appropriate distance. Aim a few feet to the left of your target (right for left-handers).

For a lower pitch shot, play the ball toward your back foot and close the clubface down a few degrees. Aim a few feet to the right of your target. The set and hold technique gives you a consistent, predictable shot. You don’t need to release or use a lot of arms. Practice the shot from about 30 yards out and before you know it, you’ll be pitching it close almost every time.

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