The Can't-Miss Putting Grip
By Brad Brewer,
Golf Academy President
You struggle with rolling the ball on target. The reason could be that you grip the handle in your fingers like you do with your irons and woods. This allows your wrists to hinge, which is good for full swings but b
ad for putting.
What to do:
Arc your left wrist downward and grip your putter with the center of your left palm. Notice that the shaft and your forearm now line up. Do the same exercise with your right hand only, and then place both hands onto the putter.
Why it works:
This new grip position automatically stands the the shaft more upright, so that when you take your address your eyes will look straight down the target line, which gives you the best optical view of your intended line of putt. It also encourages your putterhead to remain square and release along the proper arc with a nice rhythm.All of this adds up to better distance control and accuracy on putts of all lengths.
How to Stop 3 Putting
Provided By Hilton Golf Academy
The only thing that can really ruin a good day on the golf course is having a lot of 3-putts! To hit a few good shots to a green and then finish it off with 3 putts, is painful to say the least. The reason people 3 putt a lot is because they have difficulty with the distances, not necessarily the aim. Our whole lives we are trained to practice direction in everything that we do. Take for instance tossing a ball to a friend; if someone tries to toss a ball to you it’s always in your general direction, isn’t it? Sometimes it may land at your feet, or they might chuck it over your head, but I have never seen somebody throw it behind themselves, or 20 feet left of you.
The reason: we can all aim when we throw, kick, or even putt a ball, we just can’t get the distance down. So, here’s how you practice the distance: PUTT TO THE FRINGE OF THE GREEN. The fringe is the edge of the green where the grass starts to get taller. Start out at about 3-4 feet and putt a few balls to the edge. Don’t worry about WHERE on the fringe you putt it, just try to get the distance down but putting to that defining line where the grass changes height. If you can’t get out on the golf course, you can do this inside by putting to a wall in your home or office. The goal is to put to a long line (like a wall) not a specific point (like a hole). This way, you will focus more on the DISTANCE, not the AIM! Give it a try and watch your three putts vanish into Arizona air!
How to Control Every Shot
You can create any ball flight you want by turning your left-hand knuckles either up or down
By Brad Brewer,
Golf Academy President
KNUCKLES DOWN IS GOOD FOR...
All full swings, rough escapes and fairway bunker shots
Knuckle down for power
For maximum speed and distance, gradually rotate your forearms (right over left) and turn your wrists through the hitting zone so that your left-hand knuckles and left elbow point toward the ground in your release.
Why it works
Maximum acceleration occurs when your hands give in to the force of your downswing and turn over to release your clubhead toe over heel. You know you’ve reached your power threshold when your left-hand knuckles and left elbow point down in your release.
How to do it
Through the hitting zone, sling the club smoothly past your left thigh by trying to “flick” an imaginary object off your left thumb. Or, think of how you’d turn your left hand out to hitch a ride.
KNUCKLES UP IS GOOD FOR...
Greenside bunker shots, chips and pitches, knock-downs, bump-and-runs and punch shots.
Knuckle up for control
For shots that require control over raw distance, keep your hands ahead of the clubhead at impact and the back of your left hand pointed up in your follow-through.
Why it works
You’re basically holding off your release, which is the fastest part of your swing. While you’ll lose distance, you’ll gain extra accuracy because you’re squaring your clubface with your upper body turn instead of your hands, and big muscles are easier to control than little ones.
How to do it
Through impact, cup your left wrist slightly and lift the back of your left hand toward the sky. This usually produces a scoopy impact, but if you set up with your hands ahead of the ball, your contact will be crisp.
Curing the Shank
by Anne Cain, Anne Cain Golf Academy
The most dreaded shot in golf is a shank! On tour, the word is forbidden – we would often substitute the word “shark” just to avoid saying it!
All shanks result from the hosel of the golf club striking the ball instead of the sweet spot. In essence, it means you are not swinging your club on plane.
The most common shank occurs on short wedge shots. In this case the golfers is usually taking less than a full swing, and does not have time to re-route the club as in a full swing motion.
Let’s first remember that 2 fundamentals take precedence before working on the plane. If you are making an off plane swing, it may likely be because you:
- 1. -have an incorrect stance or aim
- 2. -have a faulty pivot motion
Assuming those two things are okay, then you should proceed with this drill. Clamp two flashlights on either end of a wooden dowel rod. Find a long line on the ground to simulate the target line.
As you make your swing, the two flashlights should alternate tracing the target line. If you are shanking, it’s likely your flashlight is veering offline in the backswing and downswing. In other words, the tilt of the clubshaft must always be pointing down at that target line. If your flashlight veers “inside” the target line, you are under plane.
On the downswing, if your flashlight veers outside the target line you are over plane. Either one can cause a shank! Practice SLOWLY indoors to get the feel for this. WARNING: swing the flashlight club slowly to avoid the flashlights and/or batteries flying off as projectiles!!
Three Fundamentals for Success
By Scott Schaum,
Director of Instruction, Tuscawilla Golf Academy
Do you remember when you learned to swim, learned to ride a bike, or when you finally learned to drive a car? Everything we do in life is learned and golf is no exception. It is important to understand when you begin to take golf lessons that you must set realistic goals both long term and from lesson to lesson. For instance, my goal for any student’s first lesson is to see their hands on the club in the proper position, the body in a good athletic setup, and see the body turning and pivoting through the golf swing. These are the first three fundamentals of the five fundamentals of the golf swing.
- 1. Grip: how we hold the golf club
- 2. Setup: how we setup to the golf ball
- 3. Pivot: how our body turns and moves through each golf swing
If after lesson #1 we can accomplish these three things then the lesson is a success in my eyes.
Think of golf instruction as if you are building a house. When you build a house the foundation of the house is a very important first step in building the house. These first three fundamentals are your foundation to your new experience in the game of golf. If at the end of lesson #1 we can grip the club properly, set up to the ball properly, and let the body turn and pivot through each shot finishing in balance than we have laid the proper foundation for a successful learning experience. Like I said, learning to ride a bike or learning to swim is a learned process and it takes time to develop a feel for whatever we try to do in life. So when you begin to take any kind of golf instruction remember it is going to take time. Make sure you have patience and set goals for each lesson. I set goals for myself for each student; things I want to get accomplished for each student and for each lesson.
Fundamentals four through five are to come. If you have any question regarding your game stop by the Tuscawilla Golf Academy located at the beautiful Tuscawilla Country Club near Oviedo or call me, Scott Schaum, at 407-488-3868.
Small to BIG
By Robbie Fritz,
PGA Certified Professional, Instruction
All that time spent during the cold months dreaming about smooth swings and birdie putts is about to pay off. It’s time to head out to the golf course and "wake up" those golf clubs. The excitement and enthusiasm for golf this time of year is tremendous and that attitude is only going to help you improve and enjoy your golf game this upcoming season. However, in order to take full advantage of that positive attitude, work from "small to big" by starting at the golf hole and progressing backwards.
When playing golf the object is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible. Therefore, it makes sense to start the new season off with the instrument that is designed and most frequently used to do so, the putter. Spend your first trip to the practice facility at the putting green to get a feel for both direction and distance control. A fun drill for direction is to pick a hole and lay your putter flat on the ground extending from the hole in any direction, then place a golf tee at the end of the putter. Putt balls from that spot and challenge yourself to see how many in a row you can make. A great drill for distance control is to pick a spot on the fringe of the green and place five golf tees at varying distances from that spot. Putt two golf balls from each tee trying to roll the ball as close to that spot on the fringe as possible without actually touching it.
An effective way to reduce your total number of putts during a round of golf is to chip the ball closer to the hole. A chip shot is a shot played with minimum air time and maximum roll time. So, pick a designated spot on the fringe of the green (about 1-2 paces from the edge of the green) and chip ten golf balls with a PW without even picking a golf hole to aim at. The goal is to get all ten golf balls to roll and cluster at the same spot. Next, select an 8 iron and continue chipping from that same spot with the same length and pace swing that was used with your PW and the balls will cluster or group at a farther location. Even try this drill with the 6 and 4 irons. Your next time out try the odd numbered clubs such as the 9, 7, 5, and 3 irons. This exercise will help you develop an awareness for how the roll time will vary when you use the same swing with different clubs, and will help you make better club selection choices when out on the golf course.
When on the course and there’s an obstacle in the way preventing you from putting or chipping, you are forced to play a shot with maximum air time and minimum roll time, the pitch shot. When pitching, stick to the clubs with more loft, such as the PW, SW, and LW, and try to get a feel for where the clubhead bottoms out in the grass. Warming up with these pitch shots is crucial to starting your golf season off on a positive. When pitching a golf ball you are not trying to "bang it" over the end of the range so you can gain a better awareness of what the golf club and your body are doing. These soft swings and soft pitch shots are going to really improve your contact at the moment of impact, which is key to improving your contact on the full swing.
When practicing the full swing for the first few times out, remember to stay target focused. Try to make practicing simulate an actual round of golf. Therefore, it is extremely important to change clubs and targets frequently. If you ever catch yourself hitting the same club to the same target for more than ten balls, or if your target is the golf ball instead of the flag, it’s time to take a break and regroup.
Spending the cold season watching golf on television and reading golf articles in magazines is going to really make you thirsty to go out and play golf. So remember, have the discipline to work your way from "small to big" or from "short to long." These exercises are going to lower your scores by improving your short game, increasing your confidence and awareness, and gradually letting your body get into golfing shape to prevent injuries.