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Right Golf Clubs?

Posted by on 12:46 pm in Header | 0 comments

Right Golf Clubs?

Once I started golfing better, I had the opportunity to get some better golf clubs. This REALLY improved my game. I was amazed at just how forgiving “game improvement clubs could be.   I also recommend getting “fitted” for clubs. If you are lucky enough to live near a golf store or club that lets you try clubs before you purchase, I highly recommend it. Keep your eyes open for demo days or other store specials when they may have club representatives on site. I was fortunate enough to have a Ping rep. let me try about 10 different club head, loft, shaft stiffness, and length combinations until I found what worked for me.   Don’t rule out the irons. I originally got fitted for a driver, but later for irons then a 3 wood. Start with a 6 iron, this will give you an understanding of the entire set. If the 6 works, try the pitching wedge.  Don’t worry so much about distance, but consistency, straightness, sound, feel. If you are taller don’t hesitate to ask to try a longer shaft, (or shorter if needed).   If you can’t afford an entire new set consider rotating your purchase. For example, a driver one year, irons the next, then wedges or fairway woods. This can spread the cost over 3-4 years and you are getting new equipment every...

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Need some ideas for fun scramble games for your golf outing?

Posted by on 9:35 pm in Header, Scramble | 0 comments

Need some ideas for fun scramble games for your golf outing?

For what ever reason you’ve decided to have a golf scramble. Now you are looking to make your outing more entertaining. You’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of fun games to play during your scramble. Pick some or all of them, I enjoy doing a few of these, but not more than 3 or 4 in a round.   String Each team gets the same amount of string. We usually use about 10 feet. The amount doesn’t really matter as long as they are all the same. During play you get to use string as a stroke. For example everyone misses a putt and the closest is only a few inches from the hole. Pull out the string, measure from the edge of the ball to the edge of the cup. Cut the string and keep the unused portion. This effectively puts the ball in the hole without adding a stroke. Use the string to get out from under a tree, out of a bunker or out of mud. The fun comes at the end, if there is a tie for the low round, the group with the most string wins. Toss Similar to the string once per 9 holes the group can decide to hand toss the ball. It doesn’t count as a stroke. As a group the decision is made to use the toss, it can be from a few feet and just drop in the hole or from off the green to try to tuck it up close. Choose your own rules, but the person should be standing. No getting on your knees. You will be very surprised on how difficult it is to judge distance if trying to roll it on the green. This can be used in the fairway, from the rough, or from behind trees, use it anywhere. Closest to the pin This is a scramble standard on par 3s. Another variation is closest to the pin on second shot on a par 5. Often golf courses will have sign post that can be stuck in the green by the first group and picked up by the last group. Whoever is closest to the pin (yes, it has to be on the green) gets to write their name on the sign. Longest drive Longest drive is often found par 5s but can also be used on long, straight par 4s. Again, ask the course if they can supply the little signs. Water balloons At first I had trouble with this one, but it was pretty fun. Tie 3 small water balloons together and set them up in a small pyramid. Use this as the tee. This makes quite a splash. This is best done on the first tee when everyone can watch. One drive (tee shot) from each/One putt from each Choose one or both of these to add an interesting twist. For each 9 holes, you must use one putt and/or drive from each player. For example, if you are on the 9th hole and you have one player that you have not used their drive (or any shot from the tee) then you must use it. This adds some level of strategy. If you have a player that is not very strong, and they hit an OK...

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Practice with a Purpose

Posted by on 8:17 am in Header, Instruction | 0 comments

Practice with a Purpose

When you go to the driving range (and you should) do you have a routine? Do you just hit the ball as far as you can? Club order This is something that works for me, try it, modify it, make it your own. When I go to the range, if I am not working on something specific, I hit my clubs in a particular order. During this routine, I pay close attention to how far each club is going. I start with my pitching wedge, it is one of the heaviest clubs in your bag. It warms you up, and gets you going. Then move to your 6 or 7 iron. Next is 3 wood or a long iron. Only then do I start hitting my driver. This club is hard to hit. I have played a few rounds where I left the driver in the bag and only hit 3 wood off the tee. While hitting the driver I don’t focus on hitting it long, I focus on not slicing. If I can hit without slicing, then I try hitting within boundaries, see below under aiming. Then I move to my wedges, I usually start with my 60 degree, just to get a feel and focus on good contact. Finish off the bucket with chipping and pitching. I happen to use my 52 degree wedge. I pick a patch of grass, or a previously hit ball as a target and try to land the ball on it. Long (50+ yards), mid (30 yards) and short chips (under 20).  This drill has really helped shave a lot of strokes off my game. Distance Make mental notes or even write them down. How far on average do you hit each club? Don’t keep track of your best shots, but your average. This exercise is VERY important. You really need to know how far you hit each club, it is critical to better golf. Putt Putt or mini golf I have found that playing Putt Putt or mini golf actually helps my putting. I have often putted best after taking the kids to play miniature golf. Give it a try and have fun with the kids too! Don’t have kids? It is a great place for a date too! Aiming When at the range, don’t hit just to hit. Pick a target, pick an imaginary fairway and try to hit within these boundaries. You don’t realize how wide open a range can be. Have a vision of where you are aiming and don’t allow yourself to relax your standards. Chipping I have often gone to the range and hit an entire bucket of balls with only one club. What ever club you chip with, try hitting a bucket. This will help you control your distance, and get more proficient around the green. Work on something specifc I have mentioned a few different ways that I practice. I sometimes go to the range just to work on shaping shots, or distance, or driving, or sand (if you are lucky to be near a range that has a practice bunker). While playing your next round, what shots are you finding most frustrating? Next time at the range, don’t just hit, practice the thing that gives you trouble. Spring/Winter muscles If you aren’t lucky...

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Broken Tee, course management and other ideas

Posted by on 9:07 am in Header, Instruction | 1 comment

Broken Tee, course management and other ideas

Broken tees: I suppose this falls under etiquette  as much as instruction, but PLEASE pick up broken tees and either move them to the side of the tee box or better yet dispose of them in the trash. Personally it distracts me when I have anything in my field of vision while teeing off. I often put at least one broken tee in my pocket for use on par 3’s or other layup holes (see course management below). You have the opportunity to put your ball on a tee and give yourself a great lie, take it! Sharpie mark: Three tips in one… You should mark you ball uniquely so you can identify it from others. There is nothing more embarrassing than picking up someone’s ball or having to confront someone that has picked up your ball. Carry a Sharpie (not a sponsor of this site…yet) and mark your ball. I tend to mark my ball with two long straight lines, these lines can be used for putting alignment once on the green. Use any mark you like but keep it unique enough to distinguish it from another if there is a question of ownership. The third tip about ball marking is when I tee it up I face the Sharpie mark where the club face will strike the ball.  It will leave a mark on your club face and this way you can get an understanding on where you are striking the ball. For example, if you hit two or three drives a little too high on the face, and slightly miss the sweet spot, you may want to tee your ball lower. A few off the toe, and you may want to stand closer to the ball. Notice in the photo, I was actually hitting a little closer to the heal of the club. Course Management: Layup or punch out when the chances are slim you will “make it”. When I was just starting out golfing I almost always was shooting for the hole. I wish someone would have told me that it is OK to not “go for it” every time. I have played some of my best rounds by not trying to hit the ball over water that I am not likely to make, or punching out of trees even if I thought I might make it through a small opening. Downhill vs. uphill putts: Many new or occasional golfers may not have come across this tip before. If you are putting uphill, the ball will break less, downhill and the ball will break more. Many golfers miss on the low side, especially when hitting downhill. Play for that little extra break and watch your speed...

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Swing Thoughts – What do you see when you are swinging?

Posted by on 9:02 am in Header, Instruction, swing thoughts | 0 comments

Swing Thoughts – What do you see when you are swinging?

Introducing the “yellow arrow”. Here is a tip that dropped several strokes off my round. A few years ago I noticed that my ball striking was OK, I didn’t lift my head up (to be covered soon) and I made solid contact with the ball. I was very inconsistent in the ball direction. I was aiming my feet, shoulders and rest of my body correctly, but the ball would go a little left, or a little right of where I was aiming. Nothing drastic, but just not consistent. Here is what I found, while I was aiming my body, I wasn’t aiming the ball. Besides finding a repeatable pre-shot routine, I developed an imaginary yellow arrow that helps me understand what the club will be doing at and after impact. Prior to using this technique, I realized that I was going to hit the ball, but after that I really didn’t know what was going on. By envisioning this yellow arrow as my club head path, it creates a direction for the ball to follow. You will still hit the ball, but by imagining the club head continuing down this path you will tend to hit the ball more down the intended target line. This graphic is mainly for iron shots. In another post I will bring back the yellow arrow and discuss my swing for a drive.      ...

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Tiger’s back or Tiger’s back

Posted by on 10:15 pm in Header, Tiger | 0 comments

Tiger’s back or Tiger’s back

What can we say about Tiger’s 2013 season so far? Over the last couple of years, all of us including the media have wondered will Tiger ever be restored the the Tiger we have known over the past 16 years? So far this season he has won 5 tournaments. Some tour pros never win five times in their entire careers. We have come to expect it from the Tiger of old. Maybe Tiger’s finally back. But, if you saw the highlights or actually watched this passed Sunday’s “The Barclays”, you would know that Tiger actually dropped to his knees after hitting a shot. Maybe Tiger’s body is finally showing signs of aging or wearing out. Maybe it’s Tiger’s...

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