Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Poor long putting

20 Most common shot problems

Lesson 16 of 20

Diagnosis:  Poor long putting

Explanation:    The biggest reason weekend golfers so often three putt longer putts is they simply don’t practice them. Because of this they haven’t developed a feel or touch for putts of longer length. They end up hitting the ball and hoping rather than stroking the putt with a level of confidence.
     Through regular practice great lag putters have developed a keen sense of feel for longer putts. They also have set more realistic goals when faced with longer putts. Rather than thinking about making the first putt, they focus on leaving their first putt close enough to the hole to have a short second putt. This strategy along with their developed feel results in fewer three putts.

Correction:   I would first recommend visualizing a larger target. Imagine a three foot diameter circle around the hole, and focus on leaving your first putt within the circle. If successful the longest putt you’ll be left with is 18 inches.

           On longer putts stand slightly taller at address and make a longer stroke with more relaxed hands and wrists. This allows you to sense and feel the acceleration and release of the putter head. Develop a habit before each long putt of making a number of practice strokes to help you sense the length of the stroke and pace needed for the required distance. 

           There are no shortcuts in becoming a good lag putter. If you’re not already doing so add longer putts from various positions and slopes to your practice regiment. With continued practice you’ll see far fewer three putts on your scorecard.

To schedule an appointment with Steve call Golf Rx at (615) 288-4539

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chipping Mis-hit shots / Poor distance control

20 Most common shot problems

Lesson 15 of 20

Diagnosis:  Chipping – Mis-hit shots / Poor distance control

Explanation:   Poor chipping is almost always the result of an incorrect set up. Often times the player will have the ball too far forward (towards the left foot) with their weight on their right side. Another fault I frequently see is the player standing too far from the ball. Their chance of making solid contact with the ball is very low. Instead their set up position creates a shallow swing path and scooping motion resulting in both fat and thin shots.
       The key to good chipping is solid contact with the ball so that you can control the speed of the ball as it rolls. This starts with a proper set up.

Correction:    First, use a narrow and open stance while keeping your shoulders parallel to the target line. Position the ball back in your stance with your hands forward. Your weight should be on your left side so that your sternum is ahead or to the left of the ball.

    There is no conscious body action when chipping, but rather a back and through pendulum motion with the arms in an even paced movement.  The club head doesn’t pass the hands until the ball is on its way. This set up position creates a descending angle of attack through impact, and minimizes the chance of the club contacting the turf before the ball. 

    A good practice drill is to place a club shaft opposite your right foot behind the ball and swing over it going back and coming down. Making solid contact and developing a feel for how far the ball travels from the length of your back and through motion will result in better distance control and lower scores.    
To schedule an appointment with Steve call Golf Rx at (615) 288-4539

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Poor distance control on approach shots

20 Most common shot problems

Lesson 14 of 20

Diagnosis:  Poor distance control on approach shots

Explanation:   Unlike full shots less than full shots require the length of the backswing to be more specific. A too long backswing will send the ball past the target if solid contact is made between the club and ball. What often happens however is a too long backswing causes the player to decelerate on the forward swing resulting in a miss-hit shot. 

        A too short backswing usually results in poor contact as well. The player reacts to the lack of an adequate backswing by overusing his body in the forward swing applying himself to the ball rather than the clubhead. If you’re unable to determine if your backswing is too long or short by feel alone your ball flight can often provide a clue. A backswing that is too long often results in shots that go left, whereas a too short backswing will often send the ball right of the target. 

Correction:    The key to solid contact and better distance control is a backswing length that allows for a gradually accelerating forward swing resulting in the ball going the desired distance. I recommend experimenting with different length backswings with normal acceleration on the follow through. 

        Make a few practice swings before each shot while sensing the correct backswing length and pace of follow through for the prescribed distance. Visualizing the length of your backswing to positions on a clock face may help in relating swing length to the distance required. With dedicated practice you will not only hit the ball more solidly, but you’ll also hit shots closer to the hole and lower your scores.
To schedule an appointment with Steve call Golf Rx at (615) 288-4539

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tee Shots - Lack of Distance

20 Most common shot problems

Lesson 13 of 20

Diagnosis: Tee Shots – Lack of Distance

Explanation:   Obviously length off the tee combined with reasonable control gives a player a significant advantage over their shorter hitting competitors. Longer drives enable you to hit shorter irons into the greens giving you opportunities for more birdies and lower scores. Players often fail to maximize on their distance potential not because of their lack of strength or clubhead speed, but because of their set up with the driver.

         In order to hit long, high flying tee shots a player must create a swinging motion that strikes the ball while the clubhead is ascending or on the upswing. Unfortunately many players address their tee shots in the same manner as if they were hitting an iron. Their weight is favoring their left side with their hands forward and the ball positioned too far back in their stance. This set up causes the club to approach the ball on a downward angle of attack resulting in a weak, glancing blow and loss of power. Topped or skied tee shots are often the result.

Correction:    Make the following adjustments in your address to improve your impact and trajectory.  Tee the ball higher and more forward so the ball is opposite the instep of your left foot. Widen your stance slightly and position your head behind or the right of the ball. Relax your grip pressure so your arms feel soft eliminating any tension. 

           This new set up creates a wide arc and full shoulder turn so that your upper body is fully coiled behind the ball at the top of your swing. The increased coil allows for the natural transition back to your left side while allowing the club to accelerate through the ball on a more sweeping ascending path.
        Keep your head behind the ball through impact so that you feel you are sweeping the ball off the tee without removing the tee from the ground. Practice this new set up and you’ll soon be hitting shorter irons into the greens and enjoying more birdie opportunities.
To schedule an appointment with Steve call Golf Rx at (615) 288-4539

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Greenside bunker shots remain in the sand

20 Most common shot problems

Lesson 12 of 20

Diagnosis: Greenside bunker shots remain in the sand

Explanation:   If you are consistently leaving these shots in the sand my first question would be “Are you using a sand wedge?” I say this because if you are attempting these shots with a pitching wedge or other iron then your club selection is a major part of the problem.
          A sand wedge is designed differently than other irons in your set. The sole of a sand wedge angles downward from the leading edge to the trailing edge. This angled sole, also known as “bounce” prevents the club from digging too far down into the sand. In contrast the soles of pitching wedges and your other irons angle upward from the leading edge to the trailing edge enabling the club to cut through the turf.
          The sole design of a pitching wedge or other iron causes it to dig too deeply into the sand leaving too much sand between the clubhead and ball. The result is not enough clubhead speed to propel the sand and ball the required distance.

Correction:    If you are using a sand wedge and still digging too deep into the sand then a closed clubface is to blame. When closing (turning it to the left) the face of a sand wedge the angled flange is transformed into a digging sole similar to a pitching wedge. To correct this aim the clubface to the right of the target while aligning your shoulders to the left and swing along this path.
           If the club is still taking too much sand make sure to clear your left hip to the left while swinging through the sand. The clubhead will now enter the sand trailing behind your hands with the clubface open. The open clubface increases the bounce of the sole creating a shallow path through the sand and sufficient clubhead speed to displace the sand and the ball. By opening the clubface you also add loft to the wedge so the ball comes out higher and lands softer with less roll. 

To schedule an appointment with Steve call Golf Rx at (615) 288-4539