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GLF PRO TIP 19. DISTANCE FOR SLOWER SWING SPEEDS.
If your golf game is distance challenged it could be for many reasons, perhaps due to lack of strength, getting older, taking the game up later in life infact there are many, many explanations for not hitting the ball very far off the tee. In order to hit the drives further there are also many ways of improving this. More turn on the backswing, create more clubhead speed through the ball, better angle of attack etc. There are 1001 videos and books on this subject. If you are going to attempt any of these I would recommend you book a series of lessons from a PGA Professional always asking for the Pros PGA qualifications beforehand. Changing anything in the golf swing requires hard work, persistence and patience so please think carefully before you start on this. In this weeks tip I'm going to give you a few handy hints that may just be what you are looking for in gaining those extra few metres off the tee without spending hours on the driving range beating balls which is not everyones favourite pastime. *The below tips are for people with slower swing speeds Check your Driver. The clubhead should be a 460 c.c. game improvement club. The loft on your club should be quite high (up to 15 degrees). The reason for this is that the extra loft gets the ball flying higher off the clubface which in turn will give you extra trajectory and carry. A lot of people (in particular men) make the mistake in thinking that lowerIng the loft of a driver will make the ball fly further. In most cases this is false particulary for slower swing speeds. Also check your shaft flexibility and weight as a club that is too heavy and stiff in flexibility will decrease your clubhead speed. A nice light, flexible shaft will increase your distance. At address make sure your ball position is at least in line with your left heel (for right handed golfers). With the driver we are trying to hit the ball on the upswing towards the follow through and if the ball position is too much in the middle of your feet then the swing will make the club hit down on the ball which decreases the loft. The upper body at address should be tilted about 10 degrees to the right (right handed players) again making it easier to hit the ball on the upswing. This tilt is done without moving the lower body i.e. the hips do not move to the left. Grip the club lightly and turn the left hand slightly to the right giving you a slightly stronger grip (again for right handed players) With this grip let the club swing with a feeling of control. Almost as though you are hearing the club swoosh through the ball instead of trying to swing the club as fast as possible and hit at the ball - trying to hit it miles will only result in lack of control and shorter drives. Trust your swing 100% to give yourself a chance. Swing the club smoothly through to a full finish with your belt buckle pointing down the fairway. These tips do not require you to change your swing but they should help to maximise your distance off the tee - try them you'll be amazed. If you have any further queries or questions please send me an e-mail I'd love to hear from you. You never know you might even win a longest drive competition - wouldn't that be great. Happy golfing, Gordon
GLF PRO TIP 18. SIDEHILL LIES
There are many times on a golf course that you will find the ball on a sidehill lie i.e. the ball is well above or below your feet. You don't have to be on an extremely hilly course to experience this as it could be on the edge of a bunker or something similar. As with uphill and downhill lies which I talked about last month there are one or two tips for these situations that will make it much easier to get the desired result. Ball below your feet This is probably the harder of the two as most people have difficulty from this lie in getting down to the ball and staying there through the shot. Most pull up or move onto your toes, leading to topped shots or poor contact with the ball. I like to bend over more from the waist and squat down a little in the knees. This should lower your centre of gravity and finally your weight should be more on your heels It's an awkward position so your swing will be restricted and as with up and down hill lies the swing is more hands and arms than normal. The flight of the ball will be more left to right in the air due to the more upright swing so make sure you aim slightly left (for left handers the opposite) Ball above your feet As the ball is above your feet grip down an inch or two from the top and stand more upright. Put your weight this time more on your toes as the tendency is that during your swing the weight will transfer automatically onto your heels. Your swing will be more round your body (flatter) because of your stance and to compensate for the slope. Again swing more with your hands and arms than normal. The fight of the ball will be more right to left in the air due to the flatter swing so aim more right than normal (for left handers the opposite) With both shots swing easy and don't expect miracles; it is very, very difficult from lies that are not on a perfect spot so be patient and practice these tips before you try them in a competition. Follow these simple guidelines and I'm sure you'll make your life much easier when your ball ends up on a sidehill lie. Happy golfing, until the next time Gordon
GLF PRO TIP 17. UPHILL & DOWNHILL LIES
If you don't play on a flat course or even if you do there will be times when you have to play shots uphill or downhill. These are not the easiest shots to execute but if you follow these simple rules and practise them they will become far easier Uphill Lies Take a longer club (i.e. iron 6 instead of iron 7) - The slope of the hill tilts the clubface back, adding more loft to the club. Position the ball more towards the front (higher) foot Try to get your shoulders parallel to the hill Lean into the slope slightly with your weight Always try to swing with the slope, the ball will go higher than normal. Don't fight this natural occurence just be aware it's going to happen Swing within yourself (perhaps 3/4 swing speed) Downhill Lies Take less club (i.e. iron 7 instead of iron 6) - The slope of the hill delofts the clubface Position the ball more towards the back (higher) foot Try to get your shoulders parallel to the hill Lean into the slope slightly with your weight Always try to swing with the slope, the ball will go lower than normal. Don't fight this natural occurence just be aware it's going to happen Swing within yourself (perhaps 3/4 swing speed) Simple rules that will help you when you have a lie that is not on perfectly even ground. Remember as always don't over complicate or over think things. It's an easy game - Ha! Ha! Yeah right, I hear you say!!!
GLF PRO TIP 16. IMPROVE YOUR IRON PLAY
One of the greatest feelings in Golf is hitting the ball long and straight off the tee. Everyone is impressed by long hitters particularly if they land on the fairway. How often do we hear people talking with amazement about how far somebody hits the ball and generally they are then considered a good player. With the continual improvement in technology with the longer clubs gaining distance with the driver, fairways or hybrids is getting easier and easier (notice I didn't say easy!). However it doesn't matter a jot if your approach shots don't go close to the green or pin. This month's tip will help you to gain confidence in your irons and see the ball fly closer to the pin on a regular basis. Your ball position is the first thing to check if you're making poor contact with your irons. For those of you who remember a previous tip on ball position - "L.L.". It means the longer the shaft (first L) the more the ball position moves left from the middle of your stance towards the left heel (second L). e.g. The ball position for a pitching wedge should be in the middle of your stance. The ball position for a 5 iron should be 2-3 inches towards the left heel in your stance due to the fact that the shaft is longer. Good iron contact with ball comes from a downward, descending strike. To hit down, your weight has to be moving toward the target. You may struggle with iron play because you hang back on their right side to try to lift the ball. A great practice drill is hitting some irons with your feet together. Don't try to swing with more than 3/4 speed and if you struggle to start with tee the ball up. Too much wrong movement in your swing will result in losing your balance. Another great practice drill is the unusual one of trying to hit a 5 cent coin instead of the ball. You will soon see just how precise your contact is and when you go back to hitting the ball it will seem like a tennis ball in size. I know it sounds a bit crazy but try it you'll be amazed. The coin wont go far so also don't worry that you'll lose your money. One of the secrets of consistent iron play is to swing within yourself. Don't get tense; don't rush it. Stand tall, complete your backswing and try to stay balanced through the shot. There's no better feeling than seeing the ball fly straight at the pin from a good iron shot. Well apart from hitting a great, long tee shot but that's a different story and a different day!!!!!!
GLF PRO TIP 15. HOW TO PUTT!
If there's one piece of advice I would give everybody that wants to improve their golf it's practice your short game. I know it's a great feeling when your drives fly high and long but if you really are serious about decreasing the number of times you hit the ball before it goes into the hole then improve your short game, particularly your putting. Now I also know that most people don't practice and despite what they might say have also no intention of doing so. What I am going to explain this month is How to Putt! Putting is such that it doesn't require a massive amount of effort to practice although if you suffer, like me, with a bad back it can be very difficult to spend a long time putting. If you can recall on Tip no. 2 I showed you many drills on what to do when practicing putting but this tip is about the basics. Let's start with the grip. Anybody who has seen golf on TV will know that there are 1001 different ways of holding the club but basically what they are trying to do is finding a way of getting two hands to work as one. That's where it gets tricky because we've got two hands and one of these hands is more dominant. Also to putt well the hands have got to be almost passive when we strike the ball together with the fact that when we get nervous our hands tend to do things that they shouldn't in order to get the ball in the hole. My advice with the grip is experiment; try all the grips you've seen (traditional, left below right, claw grip) in fact anything you like until you find the best way(most comfortable) of gripping the putter. I have tried them all many times and I still find the best is what my dad showed me when I was about 10 - the reverse overlap with a standard size of grip(I find the large putter grips that are fashionable at the moment give me a lack of feel). We are all different however and you must find what is right for you. If you would like to go into more detail about the different ways to grip the putter let me know. A comfortable posture when you putt has a lot to do with having the right length of putter. It amazes me how often I see people using the wrongly fitted putter. It's almost like some people don't take putting serious (They get the latest driver fitted but a putter is an afterthought). The putter length and lie angle mean that the eyes are predominately over the ball at address, making it easier to 1) see the line of the putt and 2) create a pendulum action. As I wrote in my last tip we have developed a fitting system for GLF which includes fitting for putters. The ball position for putting should be towards the left foot and not in the middle of the stance as many have it.(1/3 towards the left foot and 2/3 towards the right foot) - For left handers the opposite. The reason for this is the ball must roll on the ground with top spin and if the ball is in the middle of the stance then the ball will hop a little to start with as the club will come down on the ball too steeply at impact. I like to have my weight evenly distributed between both feet but you can try putting a bit of weight on the front foot at address if you like. Under no circumstances should the weight be on the back foot at any time during putting. The putting action is actually very little movement. It is a pendulum action with the hands, arms and shoulders working together as one( as a triangle) The club is an extension of this and the stroke should be as smooth as possible. Most putts are missed through too long back swings and then deceleration through the ball. A very common fault which is overlooked and it is the most important. Aim correctly - I see probably 90% of golfers aiming too far right of the hole and then are amazed that the ball doesn't go in. Check this with alignment tools or sticks - it is the only way of finding out if you are aiming correctly. Every time you go to the golf course work a little bit on your putting - this can be only 5 or 10 minutes but it will make a huge difference to your scores. The target is not to take more than 36 putts during a round (The top pros average well under 30) It is easier to take a few less putts a round than hit a few less long shots. Good luck and have fun, Gordon
GLF PRO TIP 14. FIT FOR GOLF?
This month I am going to explain Golf Club Fitting. This is a process that is vitally important for every golfer from the complete beginner to the top professionals. Fact: If the golf clubs aren't correct for the individual then it can produce a bad shot even with a perfect swing. The most expensive clubs are the ones that don't suit, regardless of price. Golf club fitting is a process that will take around an hour with an experienced club fitter for the full set. A driver fitting or a putter fitting may take about 1/2 an hour. It can be done as a "Static Fitting" which deals only on figures and without hitting any shots but I am going to discuss what will happen in a typical GLF iron fitting out on the Driving Range. We have developed a system which is designed for golfers of all capabilities and finds the most suitable clubs for each individual. There are 5 basic elements that have to be analysed and documented for each individual. Remember everyone is built and plays differently so just like if you were buying a bicycle then the characteristics are for each person different. I hear a lot "My golf is not good enough for a fitting and it doesn't matter" Well it is just the opposite, The clubs must fit the person and not, as is the case in standard clubs, the person fits the clubs. These five elements are Club length, Shaft flexibility, Grip size, Clubhead lie angle and Clubhead design. Through our GLF Fitting Process we measure various things like height, hand to floor, hand and finger size. We then will measure, amongst other things, clubhead speed, ball speed and smash factor which is ball speed divided by club speed.Smash Factor relates to the amount of energy transferred from the club head to the golf ball. From these measurements we can determine the correct length of shaft, flex of shaft, material of shaft and grip size. I see many ladies making the mistake, often due to bad advice or lack of alternatives, of fitting mens grips on their clubs without having large hands. This will change the swingweight of a club by up to 2 or 3 points, making it feel much lighter and changing the characteristics of the club. If larger grips are fitted then the swing weight must also change accordingly! Next up is the lie angle - which is the angle between the club head and the shaft. This is the most important element of a iron fitting. The image below will show you what will happen when the lie angle is incorrect for the player. When all this has been analysed only then will we look at different companies, trying as much as possible to not let the person getting fitted know which makes of clubs they are trying. Most people come with pre-conceived ideas in their heads about which clubs suit them best. They may be correct but we like to give everyone the opportunity to try all makes so that we can get the correct result. Fittings are nothing to be scared of and at the end of the session the correct clubs will be found for each individual. This guarantees that with the correct swing the ball will go in the intended direction and even if the swing is less than perfect you will give yourself the best possible chance of a good shot. This was a brief description of what happens on a GLF Club Fitting and if anyone wishes further details or wants to discuss please phone me, Gordon, on 0401 726598 or e-mail: email@example.com Until our next tip, keep it on the Fairway Thanks for reading, Gordon
Gordon McCallum |