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.