11 October 2011

    Respect your fellow golfers

    Golfing etiquette is important. Here are some of the most important rules to respecting your fellow golfers:
    • You hit a shocker, it happens- keep the toys in the pram. Do not swear, test the flight capabilities of your club or appeal loudly to mystical bodies. Your partners are trying to enjoy their day, even if you aren't. Losing your cool means losing the game.
    • Do not scream and do a lap of honour if you play a career shot - others may be concentrating on doing the same near by.
    • If your group falls more than one hole behind the group in front and there is another group behind, you must let them play through. Two-ball groups have priority on the course over all others. If you are holding them up then let them through - someone will return the favour to you one day.
    • If you are looking for a lost ball you have 5 minutes to find it. If there is a group behind, wave them through while you are looking rather than hold them up.
    • If you are holding up a group playing in an official club match or competition and you are not, you should let them through regardless of the situation in front.
    • If you are being held up, do not hit your ball into the group in front to speed them up, even if they deserve it. Lawyers are doing well enough these days without defending your next personal liability case.
    • If playing in a fourball better ball game it is usual to change the order of teeing off between you and your partner at the 10th tee.
    • When playing foursomes, the non-playing partner should walk ahead in anticipation of the playing partner's shot. It is meant to be a quick game so get moving!
    • After your round, shake hands with your partners, "Well played, Better luck next time, etc..", and doff your hat as you do so. It's what golf is all about.

    6 October 2011

    Etiquette for watching golf

    Natalie Gulbis stretching
    Get in the hole!

    • Do not take your camera to tournaments. If your trigger finger cannot survive a day without a lens, some tournaments have cameras at the practice ground for you to take pictures of the players.
    • Turn your mobile phone off - you are out watching golf and nothing should interrupt something as enjoyable as that!
    • Do not make any noise when players are setting up to play or making a stroke.
    • Appreciate good play not bad play. If they yip it from two feet then sympathise rather than celebrate.
    • Think of the people watching behind you. Kneel down if you are at the front and keep an umbrella low if you are using one.
    • Wait until all the players have completed a hole before moving to the next tee to watch them hit. Tiger will still be there when you arrive.

    1 October 2011

    Course Management Tips

    • Know how far you hit each club. I can't go any further here if you don't! Go to a flat practice ground on a calm day, hit 20 balls, pace out the distance, remove the best two and the worst two and work out the average distance. If this is not possible, play a course with a yardage chart and note how far you hit the ball with each club as you play.
    • Play within your yardage limits. Even Tiger does not hit his Sunday best every time. Give yourself a margin for error by taking a club that you know will get you there, even if not hit 100%. It will reduce the pressure on the shot too.
    • Plan how you will play the hole before you play it. If the bunkers are in range from the tee, take a club that will not reach them. If the trouble is at the front of the green, take enough clubs to get you at least to the middle, even if you miss-hit it.
    • Leave yourself an uphill putt where possible.
    • Judge your own game. Everyone has off days and on days. Decide which one you are on before attempting a glorious shot. If it is an off day, leave yourself a margin for error by going for the widest part of the fairway or the middle of the green.
    • If you hit a ball into the rough, pick a spot on line with that point where you last saw the ball and walk directly to it. Hopefully you will find it more easily and it will also speed up your game.

    28 September 2011

    Lockers - What is the point?

    Ian Poulter and Tiger Woods lockers
    My club has 750 members so lockers are in demand. After being on the locker waiting list for 4 years I finally got mine yesterday. I dashed down to get my key and was chuffed to find I had a ground level one, no need to lug a big bag above my shoulder. I was also pleased to see my big bag fitted snugly in.

    So there I was all pleased with myself when i started thinking of the practicalities of it. When I finish a round of golf I like to clean my clubs in my own time, so the clubs would have to come home with me anyway. I also go to golf from home so I'm properly dressed when I arrive. I drive to and from the club so its easy to throw the clubs in and out of the car.

    So I think my locker is a white elephant. The only time i can think of it being any use is the one day of the year where i play and then get drunk afterwards but even then a taxi would take my clubs.

    Who has lockers and can anyone tell me what use I can make of mine now that I have finally got one?

    23 September 2011

    No bad shots

    John Daly hits a bad shot in bad pants
    It may sound overly simple, but the key to a round is usually not in how many good shots you make, it’s how few bad shots you had. A bad shot is not only one that isn't good aesthetically, it’s bad because it didn’t help you at all, takes you from not being in trouble to suddenly being in major trouble or it throws off your whole course management game plan. You don't have to risk hitting that bad shot. Usually, there is a safer way of getting ‘ there” that avoids the unnecessary risk of a bad shot. You might have to hit some risky shots at times, but when there’s potential for bad results, choose a safer route. Don’t risk hitting bad shots when you don’t have to.

    18 September 2011

    Get up and down

    John Daly in jail
    Unless you're totally “in jail,” here’s one tip which – provided you make the putt – will allow you to get up and down. First, identify the shot you want to make – be it a chip, pitch, Texas wedge, etc – and then pick the area where you want the ball to land. The key is giving it the proper amount of room to roll. Finally, be crisp through the ball – toward the target, and be sure to strike it clean. It is much better to be positive and aggressive in your approach, than weak and tentative.

    13 September 2011

    Value of the short game

    The following example will help illustrate where and why pros are so superior to the average golfer. Say you happen to get your new, extra-long hitting driver and with your new metal three wood you’re able to bomb two shots and carry it through the back of the green to some light rough in two. If you have a great short game, you hole out the chip for an eagle. If you have a good short game, you chip up close and sink the putt for a birdie. If you have an OK short game, you probably chip up to ten feet, take two putts and get a par. If you have a poor short game, you stub your chip, take three puts and bogey the hole. See the difference between a potential eagle, and a bogey (or maybe worse)? Right. Your short game. Always end your practice with some short game work.

    8 September 2011

    Your work is done

    A lot of golfers have a control issue with the game of golf. They think they can influence where a ball goes after it’s been struck. You can't. Once it's been hit and is on the way, it's out of your hands. You can yell at it. You can encourage it. But in reality, your influence over the shot only exists before and during the shot. Once the ball's been struck, it will go where? Right. Where you hit it. Worrying about where it's gonna go immediately after you hit it is often what causes problems – like looking up, topping the ball, hitting it thin – during the swing. So don't worry about what you can't control. Focus on the shot at hand. Then, your work is done until the next shot.

    3 September 2011

    Texas wedging

    You may have heard the adage “your worst putt is still better choice than your best chip.” Try testing this theory someday on the practice green. Take a half dozen of two different types of balls – be it brand, color or numbers. Choose three spots off the green – yet relatively close to the green – which mimic actual situations you might find yourself in during a round. Alternate between chips and putts from each of your various lies. The goal is to get close enough to get up and down. Then look at the results. If you aren't chipping better than you putted, you may want to seriously consider how much better you might score utilizing the Texas wedge (the putter) when you’re off the green.

    30 August 2011

    The ball doesn't move

    Take a backswing, and then stop at the top and look down at the ball. Guess what? The ball didn't move. It's still there, exactly the same way it was before you started the swing. So why is there this great need to hurry down and hit it before you've even completed the backswing? There shouldn't be. The ball won't move. It will just stay there. You could take ten seconds to complete the swing and the ball will still be there. Make that simple concept a part of your thinking process. Relax. The ball doesn't move till you actually hit it. You can take a nice, smooth backswing and downswing, and allow the club to strike the ball at the bottom when the clubhead speed and timing is just right. Try it. The ball will be waiting for you.

    25 August 2011

    Tunnel vision

    When you’re driving a car through a tunnel, all you can see is what's ahead, right? There is nothing to the side of you to distract you. So it should be in golf. You survey what's out there on the hole, determine the tunnel or proper target line towards the hole and then act on it. Eliminate all distractions to the sides, and set out on your path to get you to the hole. Your objective on the drive is to get from the tee box to the middle of the fairway. Your objective on the approach shot is to land it on the green, as close to the hole as is practical and possible. Miss a green, and you chip toward the hole. Hit the green, you zero in on the putt until you hole out. See your target through “tunnel” vision. Eliminate the other variables. Keep it simple, focus and execute each shot to go directly to your particular target and you will get there in fewer strokes.

    20 August 2011

    Stop hitting it fat

    For those who iron shots fat (too much dirt/grass), there's a good chance you are doing many things right, but simply need to change ball position in accordance with your stance. Try moving the ball back in your stance – be it a quarter of an inch, a half, or even a whole inch – closer to the midpoint between your feet. You want to have the ball positioned in your stance in the spot that consistently allows you to strike it cleanly.

    15 August 2011

    Staying down on short shots

    You can look up too early to see where your shot goes, and sometimes you can look up too late. The best method is the modern golf swing, but sometimes on shorter shots, the head needs to stay down a bit longer. Here's a drill: Practice a long putt. Make sure after hitting the ball, you have stayed down on the ball until it’s at least half-way to the hole. Do the same on chips. Stay down well after the ball is struck – looking at the spot where you've just hit the ball until the ball is at least half-way to the hole – then look up. Try the same method with lofty pitches; don't look up till the ball has landed on the ground. You’ll improve your ball striking, and reduce the chances of hitting it thin.

    10 August 2011

    Be it woods or irons, keep your swing the same

    Many people question if they should change their swings according to which club they're using. The short answer is No - the modern golf swing should be the same with irons and woods.

    First, check your ball position with the irons. Just 10 years ago, most golfers moved their ball position for each club up to 14 inches - from inside the forward heel for drivers - to inside the back foot for wedges. This "forced" us to have slightly different swings for each club.

    Today's top players change their ball position only about 3 inches from driver to wedge to putter. This allows the swing to be nearly exactly the same with all clubs. The only change is the width of the stance - controlled by moving the back foot from narrower to a wider stance - based on the length of the club being used. The key is keeping your center behind the golf ball.

    Picture: Two professionals: one with a driver; and one with an 8-iron. Notice how their head and center set up behind the ball? This allows them to swing the short iron and driver with the same, basic swing mechanics. The amateur shown at the right has her "head and center" already in front of the ball at address, causing a very steep angles into the ball. This results in weak contact ... usually short and right of the target.

    Drills: Try placing your 9-iron in the center of your stance for 5 balls. Then move the ball position forward 2 inches and hit 5 more balls. Then move the ball forward, and hit 5 more balls. Each time, you should notice a shallower divot and crisper contact.

    6 August 2011

    The Out, Up and Down blueprint

    Getting out of trouble, and then getting up and down to save par is something that happens more often for really good golfers than it does for the not-so-good. You are salvaging a score when it could have been a disaster. But, it is something that can be done. And, to a varying degree, getting out of trouble and salvaging bogey can be just as rewarding. To accomplish this after you’ve found yourself in trouble, you have to do three things: 1 – You have to hit a shot that gets you out of trouble. Find the fairway or a position near the green; 2 – Hit the next shot up onto the green, preferably as close to the pin as possible, but at least on the surface; and 3 – Attempt a putt to save par (or bogey) . If you hole it, you have gotten up and down. If you miss the putt because it was just too far of a putt to make, that’s OK. Out, up and down (in two) keeps the big numbers off the board.

    2 August 2011

    Putting primer

    Try to establish a routine before each putt, and here’s a quick checklist you may want to consider. While your order of thoughts may be different, make sure you go through the same process each time. 1 – Determine the distance of your putt. For this example, let’s pick 40 feet as an example. 2 – Determine if it's straight, left-to-right, right-to-left, and to what degree. 3 – Determine whether it's level, uphill, downhill or where it flattens out if on a hill. Then, determine how firm you must hit the ball from 40 feet in order to leave yourself a ‘gimme.’ Then, aim along your chosen line, stay down and execute your shot – firm and confident. And repeat the same process the next time you putt.

    30 July 2011

    Negotiating Slow Greens

    Sometimes – usually early during a round – it will dawn on you that the greens you are playing on are S-L-O-W, slow. Putts are coming up way short, even if you strike them firmly. You may then want to consider the “Five feet past” rule. Since your normal putting stroke has been leaving you five feet short all day, hit those long lag putts firm enough to go about five feet past. The drag on those slow, uncut greens will slow the ball down right around the hole.

    25 July 2011

    Know the course

    If you’re playing a course for the first time – or even if you've played it before, but never stopped to notice – stop to take a look at the topographical layout of the land. Find out where the high point and the low point of the course is located. Chances are practically all putts will want to break toward that low point on the course … even the ones that look straight or like they're going in the opposite direction. Additionally, most putts will break downhill from the high point of the golf course – even the ones with an optical illusion that makes them look like they're going the other way. For other areas within the course, pay attention to holes near lakes and sides of hills. Most contours will cause shots to break away from hills and toward lakes. When in doubt on a putt, hit it straight. But on a course where you know the high point-low point, when in doubt, trust gravity.

    20 July 2011

    Try the five-star plan

    Next time you're on a practice putting green, try this drill: Pick a hole that's got some slope and some break. Then get out five balls and place them all about three feet from the hole, as if they were the points of a star. This will give you every type of putt you'll encounter – left-to-right, right-to-left, uphill, downhill. Once you can make all five, move back to four feet and so on until you believe you can make everything.

    15 July 2011

    A walk in the park

    Ever watch the pro golfers on TV and how they walk? If so, you’ll notice they are fluid, balanced and in rhythm. Why? It's because they’re trying to go through the whole round in balance. They don't want a herky-jerky walk, which may cause a herky-jerky swing. Their swing pace begins with their walking pace. Nobody is laboring or trudging as they walk. A point could be made that each golfer is setting up their shot hundreds of yards down the fairway as they establish a graceful rhythm with a graceful walking pace, and maintain that pace right through their shots. Then they walk calmly to the next hole, and do it again. Smooth walking pace. Smooth shots. Something to think about.

    10 July 2011

    You can't miss

    If you strike a putt the proper speed – and it’s aimed at the center of the hole – it's going to go in. Period. It sounds simple, because it is. A firmly hit downhill 3-footer that might go 10 feet past the hole if missed, won’t. Why? Because it hit center cup. Putting is not that complicated. Determine the line and aim accordingly. Then hit the putt with the correct speed, and if it’s aimed properly, it'll go in. Do this often enough and you'll be a great putter.

    6 July 2011

    Best chipping day ever

    Have you ever broken down the best day you ever had driving the ball? Or putting it? Chipping it? Try it some time. Think about what factors were present those days to cause those to be the best chipping/putting/irons days you ever had. Identify them. You'll probably find similar thoughts were there during all of these ‘best’ days. You were relaxed that day. You tried to swing it with more rhythm that day. You concentrated on staying down and through your shots more that day. Once you realize what you need to think to hit your best shots, focus on thinking those thoughts during the next round you play. It’s not coincidence you had those good days, so find out what caused it and make it part of your routine. Every day could be your ‘best’ day.

    1 July 2011

    Gripping the putter

    Everyone has differing methods to grip the putter. But how hard should you be gripping it? Many teaching pros advise to grip it as softly, mildly and easily as is humanly possible, while still allowing you to be able to control it. Though you have to hold it firm enough to not be collapsing at impact, the softer you grip it throughout the stroke, the less likely you will put that extra push on the ball at impact and send it flying eight feet past every time. Be firm enough to accelerate through the ball at impact, but grip softly at the same time. Do this, and you’ll master that thing called ‘putting touch.’

    27 June 2011

    Chipping over obstacles

    Whenever possible, make your chipping practice into sessions that translate into something you can use on the golf course. Try plopping pitch shots over the practice bunker as a drill to get you used to concentrating on making good contact and helping to remove the fear of obstacles. If you have a pool at home – even a small, plastic one – try hitting over the water and landing shots just beyond the water's edge to get used to pressure shots over lakes. The goal is to get a stroke you can trust on the course when the going gets tough.

    23 June 2011

    Parallel universe

    One of the reasons a shot ends up going crooked is because your body alignment – where your body is actually aiming – and the projected target line through the ball – where you think you are aiming – are not going in the same direction. Since your swing path tends to follow the body's alignment, alignment is incredibly important. Body alignment consists of not only your feet and shoulders, but also your hips and knees. All four should periodically be checked to see if they are all aiming where you think they’re aiming. A club lined up against all four areas should be pointing at the target. Further, a line from behind the ball, through the ball and to where you are aiming should also be at the target. These two lines should be parallel to each other, like a railroad track. Make sure your alignment is “on track” from you to the target, and you’ll hit straighter shots to that target.

    18 June 2011

    Become a machine

    If you've ever watched a touring pro hit about fifty straight, perfectly struck, bombed drives, you would feel like you were watching a machine. And in a sense, you are watching a machine. The great golfer has refined his swing to be machine-like in its efficiency. The machine-like pro has incorporated such things as near-perfect swing planes and near-perfect launch angles with perfectly-timed swings that produce optimum clubhead speeds and ball flights. Great swing fundamentals can be learned from good teaching pros. Learn them. Then, start to think like that machine-like pro. Become a machine. Just plug yourself in to the concept of you, the golfer, becoming a swinging machine, and allow the “machine” to hit your shots through your body.

    12 June 2011

    Learn about golf watching baseball

    Watch a good baseball player taking batting practice some time and you’ll see an excellent example of great lower body weight transfer. All that power stored in the right leg striding over onto the left leg (for right-handers), clearing out the way for the upper body's arm and shoulder muscles to control a swing that culminates with solid contact through the ball and into a follow through. The baseball player's footwork and stride into the ball is the foundation of their swing. Similarly, the golfer's lower body weight transfer onto the left leg serves as the golfer's foundation. Learn from baseball and get more power from your legs for your golf game.

    3 June 2011

    Formula for power

    Take two golfers – Golfer A and Golfer B. Golfer A hits the ball way past everyone else off the tee, even though he hits somewhat behind the ball. Golfer B practically guides the swing, catches it reasonably clean, but leaves it short. Golfer A hit longer because he or she was coming through the ball with such tremendous clubhead speed that they powered the ball out past everyone – even though they had less than perfect contact. Golfer B was trying so hard to pick the ball clean, he or she dissipated their clubhead speed before impact. Swing under control, but swing with authority to hit it longer.

    25 May 2011

    Gaining feel when chipping

    Not all chips are the same. Some hit and roll more than you want them to. Others bite and stop faster than you want. The key is the amount and type of spin you put on each shot. The best way of controlling spin is hitting either near the toe or the heel of the club. If you chip out on the toe with a slightly open blade, you will impart backspin and the ball will stop quicker. Conversely, if you hit with the more closed blade – or hit the shot nearer to the heel of the club – the ball will release and roll further. Practice chips on or near the toe with varying degrees of open blade, and after some experimentation you’ll find a shot you can hit with consistency and control.

    20 May 2011

    Reason to believe

    For every shot that you take, your mind has to have a reason to believe you are going to pull it off. Of course, your mind knows you will tap in one-foot putts, but it has doubts about left-to-right six footers. You know you can hit drives, iron shots, chip shots under wide open, pressure-free conditions, but does your mind think it can handle shots with out of bounds, lakes and trees lurking nearby? That's why practicing to hit shots under various forms of external pressure is so important. You need to satisfy your mind you can pull off a successful outcome on these shots. Make this the goal of some of your practice sessions. Give your mind a reason to believe. Once the mind has been won over, the body will be able to pull most anything off.

    15 May 2011

    Set-up position for arms

    One thing nearly all good golfers have in common is a set-up that allows them to be in position to hit consistently good shots all the time. If you look at pictures of pro golfers head on at address, one area of the set-up you will always see (besides good posture) is a tight triangle formed by the two hands on the grip, up through the arms to the shoulders and across the chest. For a right handed golfer to have this tight triangle at address, he would have the tip of his left elbow pointing at his left front pocket, while at the same time, he'll have the tip of his right elbow pointing at his right front pocket. The exact point on each pocket you point at may vary, but all good golfers set up this way. Look at a picture of a pro at address, stand in front of a mirror and mimic the stance, and you can set up like a pro, too.

    10 May 2011

    Target practice on the green

    When hitting shots to the green, think like you’re throwing darts. A great shot would be the bullseye. Each concentric circle further out would be one degree removed from that perfect shot you were aiming for. However, the bullseye center of your target is not always the flagstick. Using a tightly tucked pin as the target could result in your slightly off-centered hit ending up in the bunker, or on the short, wrong side of a green. Instead, think of your concentric-circled target as being located where the greatest percentage of shots that hit the target also end up staying on the green. Usually this is somewhere near the center of the green, and usually, the pin is included within your target. If not, be sure to choose your targets wisely, get into less trouble and hit more greens in regulation.

    5 May 2011


    This is not really a golf tip, but it's a good health tip. When you are putting on sunscreen, and EVERYONE should be doing that, don't forget to put some on your ears. Most people think about face, neck, arms, etc. and forget that ultra sun-sensitive ear area. Skin cancer happens there. Cover your ears!!

    30 April 2011

    A big (and obvious) tip

    I'm a 19 handicapper whose card normally consisted of 3-4 pars and 4-5 horror holes. I shouldn't be a 19 handicapper but there's been something fundamentally wrong in my swing which I couldn't put my finger on since I've started to play golf seriously about 18 months ago.

    Last week, whilst on a golf tour, I found the missing link. My hands have been too far away from my body. My hands are now tighter to my body and I'm like a different golfer. Since this 'Eureka' moment, I have shot +16, +16, +18 and, last night, +14. I still had a double and a treble last night, but that was just down to one poor shot on each hole. To have 16 of my holes no worse than a bogey is a big improvement to the card.

    As I see it, with the hands closer to the body, there is a lot less to go wrong and it's a lot easier to get a consistent feeling. With the tighter hand position, I feel the angle of the back swing makes you less able to wrap the club around your body and produce a hook (which was my common area of failure). I genuinely feel like a half-decent golfer now.

    The main reason I'm sharing this is that there may be someone out there who, like me, believe that they are only missing one fundamental aspect of consistent ball striking. Two months ago, a Pro told me that if someone told him I was a 3-handicapper after seeing my swing, he wouldn't doubt it, so I knew I wasn't far away from having a good swing. I really believe that the answer to a lot of 19-24 handicappers problems is the position of the hands.

    I suspect this is obvious to a lot of people but, sometimes, the obvious still needs stating. If this helps only one person, I'll be delighted.

    25 April 2011


    Use enough club to not only get on the green, but to get to the pin on every shot possible. Not just on approach irons, but you should try to pitch, chip, and lag putt long enough to reach the hole as often as possible, with the idea being to never leave it short. Why not get it closer as soon as possible?

    20 April 2011


    If you are ever playing during the late afternoon, and it's getting closer to dark by the minute, and you know there are groups playing behind you, would it be too much to consider the notion of PLAYING FASTER! Don't be so totally absorbed in YOUR OWN SCENARIO to disregard other living, breathing, thinking human beings who ALSO want to get their rounds in before dark and go home and get dinner BEFORE THE STORES ALL CLOSE. When you have a chance to, be considerate of your fellow golfers, cause, someday, YOU will be the one behind "those jerks taking forever."

    16 April 2011


    The answer is, you should tee it to YOUR perfect height every time. Why ever do it any differently that YOUR optimum height to hit a great shot. Experiment. Where will YOUR usual swing smack the belly of the ball on the sweet spot most consistently? Tee it there. (Usually 3/4" to 1" off the gound with the driver, but your results may vary.)

    6 April 2011

    The 7th at St Andrews.

    Just finishing reading the Scott Gummer/David Kidd book on the building of the Castle course at St Andrews.

    It is an enlightening and funny book that gives outsiders a facinating insight to the trials and tribulations of building a new course.

    Having read the book I now want to play the course.
    Any lucky readers played it?

    3 April 2011


    After you've struck your approach shot and are walking or driving up to the green, stop talking with your partner and start observing what's between you and the hole for your next shot. Say you're gonna have a long chip or pitch shot. Is the course sloping to the left or to the right? Uphill or downhill? How much green do you have to work with? All this info should allow you to make a good choice for your next shot before you even get there to line it up.

    27 March 2011


    When a tight pin near the fringe or rough around the green makes a floppy wedge shot a risk to either get caught in the rough, or land and release too far, sometimes the best shot to play is a bump and run. Choke down on the apprapriate 6, 7, or 8 iron, chip it crisply into the "bump" of the fringe or rough, which should kill enough of the momentum to slow it down, but be enough momentum to "run" it the rest of the way to die at the hole. You have to practice it, but you'll probably need it at least twice every round.

    23 March 2011


    The next time you hit a drive down the middle of the fairway and end up in a divot, or, the next time you hit a shot onto the green and are left behind an unrepaired ball mark, think about where you are in terms of golfing karma. Some golfers do NOT bother to fix their ballmarks or replace their divots. If you are one of them, then you deserve every bad lie and break you get. If you are a "good" golfer, and still get "unlucky," then, every chance you get, remind every golfer you play with, to FIX THEIR DAMAGE ON THE COURSE. Bad course conditions are the sum total of all who neglect their courses. And remember that, some day, good karma will reward those who deserve it.

    17 March 2011


    Try to visualize everything about your shot BEFORE you even approach the ball. Think about your stance, your posture, your rhythm, good contact thoughts, good follow through - and even visualize the ball landing at your target. Then, once you've got a good, positive image, step up to the ball and try to achieve your result by doing in reality what you just envisioned.

    12 March 2011

    Swing A Baseball Bat

    Ever want to strengthen the muscles that help you hit a golf ball farther? Get a 34 oz. or so baseball bat and take 50 or so swings a day. Loosen up and stretch first so you don't hurt anything. Then, swing that bat through the hitting zone with all the Sammy Sosa-like power you can muster. This is an excellent exercise for strengthening your wrists and forearms and will make the club seem light in your hands. CAUTION -- this is for healthy-backed people. Do not try this or anything that might cause you injury if you are prone to back pain.

    7 March 2011


    Next time before you golf, try playing your favorite soft, soothing music as THE LAST THING YOU HEAR before going out on the course. Ideally, the right kind of music, be it classical, jazz, or even something more contemporary, can provide you with both bodily relaxation and a melodic mantra that might help soothe your mind and help promote a good tempo and rhythm during your swing. Play something that will almost guarantee that you will have THAT SONG stuck in your head all day. You'll be amazed at how the right kind of music will help your golf game.

    3 March 2011


    If you have a carpeted hallway that stretches along a solid wall, use that as a practice putting area. Place the ball as close to the wall as possible, (about 2 to 3 inches) and try to hit some straight putts that travel parallel to the wall. If your stroke causes pushes or pulls, the wall will tell you where you're going wrong. Practice hitting your putts straight and parallel to the wall and watch how easy it is to transfer that out onto real greens on real golf courses.

    28 February 2011


    Ever wondered what it would be like playing a round of golf KNOWING it would be your last round ever - KNOWING that each shot struck would be the last shot you'd ever play? You would treasure each shot, savoring the experience, seeing and feeling things through a whole new sensory perspective. It would be very special, wouldn't it? Well, EVERY round can be that special if you choose to experience it with the right attitude.

    24 February 2011


    Do you know the difference between a bad ball striker and a good ball striker? A bad golfer slices uncontrollably, while a good golfer fades it with control. Bad slices can turn into okay fades with adjustments to alignment, grip, swing path, and clubface position as it relates to target line. Get a lesson from a pro and tell him or her to show you how to turn that 30 yard slice into a controlled five yard fade. It's a very easy adjustment if you'll just listen and follow instruction.

    18 February 2011

    Don't Steal Golf Balls

    If you're on a golf course, and come upon a ball that you know is not yours, do NOT pick it up unless you KNOW FOR AN ABSOLUTE FACT that it's NOT someone else's ball that's in play. If you're on the fairway on one hole, and there's golfers coming up the fairway of the adjacent hole, it's PROBABLY THEIR BALL! And if you DO accidentally pick up someone else's ball and they later ask you if you picked up THEIR ball, apologize and give them their ball back. Accidents do happen. But don't lie and deny it. There's NO room for that in golf. When in doubt, leave the ball there.

    14 February 2011

    Your Feet

    Your feet are the only thing touching the ground during a golf swing. How they stay in contact with the ground is the key to your balance, to power, to consistency, to just about everything. Your feet supports your weight transfer during both backswing and downswing. They support your entire body throughout the "hitting the ball" process. They keep you on balance. If certain tendencies to try to clobber the ball overwhelms the fundamental relationship your feet have to the ground to support your body during the swing, you are doomed to failure. Don't swing any harder that what your feet can support.

    9 February 2011


    If you play with a golf glove on your lead hand like most people, DON'T allow it to be an adverse factor. Gloves get old, wear out, and start to get so worn out or moist on humid days, they hinder your ability to grip the club. Each shot is important, and should have such a good grip on the club you don't have to think about it. If the glove doesn't fit, you must... get a new one.

    4 February 2011

    Get up and down

    Unless you're totally “in jail,” here’s one tip which – provided you make the putt – will allow you to get up and down. First, identify the shot you want to make – be it a chip, pitch, Texas wedge, etc – and then pick the area where you want the ball to land. The key is giving it the proper amount of room to roll. Finally, be crisp through the ball – toward the target, and be sure to strike it clean. It is much better to be positive and aggressive in your approach, than weak and tentative.

    30 January 2011


    Many golfers are selecting the wrong targets when they hit pitch shots. They either think "get it over the trap" (and anywhere on the green), or they simply lob it all the way to the pin on the fly, which often then sends it too long and sometimes even off the back of the green. Try selecting a target area that allows for the ball landing AND ROLLING so you can END UP next to the pin. Think THAT AREA, sometimes ten to thirty feet SHORT of the pin as where you want the pitch to land. You'll make adjustments as to how much roll you'll get on uphill, downhill, sidehill, soft, moist or firm greens, but narrowing your focus to "landing the pitch to the optimum area that will get you close" will help your golf score.

    25 January 2011

    Freedom From Back Pain?

    This is only anecdotal and SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE, because only a doctor does that. But I have found a great assist in my lifelong battle with a bad back. By utilizing one of those hanging upside-down, anti-gravity inversion rack devices, my back has gotten much, much better. The device, which lets you shift yourself from upright to upside down, allows your body weight to pull you down, while your ankles hold you up, which creates a natural traction effect on the area that needs it. It has pulled some of the pressure off of my bulging disk such that a round of golf can be played now that is relatively pain free. Again, ASK YOUR DOCTOR OR CHIROPRACTOR about "hanging upside down." Tell them you've heard of one person who said it helped.

    19 January 2011

    Each Shot Is A Challenge

    Every shot you take is a challenge in and of itself. Sure, a one foot gimme putt isn't MUCH of a challenge, but most everything else IS. Will the drive be long enough, or in the fairway? How much will the wind affect the next shot? Do I go for the safe part of the green, or attack the pin? Or lay up short of the bunkers? How much will the ball run once it hits the ground, so do I chip it, or pitch it? How will the slope effect the roll? How firm to putt it uphill? Or how easy to hit it downhill? EVERY SHOT has it's own, unique challenge. Once you are done with one, CONCENTRATE on the next.

    16 January 2011


    Not a score. An age. After having just played a round of golf with an 89-year-old women, I can say it's probably possible to play this game longer than any other sport. It certainly puts a lot of things into perspective about your own game, seeing someone who's out there, just happy to be playing. Golf reduced to it's basics -- Hit it, find it, hit it again, etc. The longest distance she could hit it? About 89 yards. And yet she got on in two, took two putts for a bogey four on a tough, heavily trapped 171 yd. par three. Some things transcend your own round of golf.

    11 January 2011

    Putt Out Two-Footers

    As we have seen by the many misses on the pro golf tour, a two-foot putt is NOT a gimmie, even for pros. Even though it's "inside the leather," two feet is a distance that CAN BE MISSED. Why do people give themselves putts that they capable of missing two or three out of every ten tries? To some people, a two footer with some break is a difficult, knee knocking test of golf. I can see, for the sake of speedier golf, a policy of "gimmies" for putts INSIDE of one foot in non-tournament situations, but I think two feet and out is definitely too far to be given. Bottom line - ANYTHING that's far enough to miss should be putted out.

    6 January 2011

    A Bunker Mentality

    If you are really bad out of sand traps, the kind of person who shoots huge numbers on holes (because you can't get out) when they're in them, then think about this possibility. Try chipping out sideways, or backwards (where there are no lips) to get out of the trap on the first try. If you aim it correctly, and execute it half way decently, you shouldn't have to contend with that bunker anymore, with only a chip or pitch to the green remaining. A good chip and a putt will get you the same result as if you hit a pretty good bunker shot and two putted. Play away from weaknesses and toward your strengths.

    2 January 2011

    Discovering the secret of your swing

    I went to the range last night and managed to get a bay with a mirror for once. Just loosening up and realised that at the top of my back-swing the club-head was aiming about 15 degrees left of the target line. Possibly explains why I have been blocking so many shots left all summer.

    So I adjusted my swing accordingly which as a consequence led to my right shoulder staying closer to my body and then proceeded to hit glorious shot after glorious shot.

    Now Im under no illusions that this will translate onto the golf course in any way, we have all been there before. But it sure feels good at the time.

    But my question is has anyone ever had this kind of eureka moment which has actually been exactly that and led to a massive improvement in their game, or maybe just led them to understanding their swing better?

    Personally I think the main reason I was hitting it so well is because I'm off to Scotland on a four day golf trip tomorrow and felt totally loose and relaxed. Which would lead to my second question, how can you take your range head (and what I feel I've learned) to the course, I'm not great at doing that - always way too tense for the first few holes.