Quick tip: Putting

11 Putting

Putting is the most important element of your game.

Just by never three putting you can save 10 shots. Always train your muscle memory, by measuring each shot in number of paces from the hole, this way you will learn to play perfect weight and length, you can visualize the shot and make adjustment in your mind, if the ball is 15 paces from the hole downhill in my mind I play the shot as if it was only 14 paces from the hole, if the putt is 15 paces from the hole uphill then I play it as a 16 pace shot.

There are many different ways to putt and you will have a putter you are confident with, but in the end it still comes down to feel and touch the putter is and extension of your mind, you must learn to visualize the ball rolling into the hole, transmit that vision, to ensure 100% coordination between mind, eyes and arms. Hours of practice, set yourself objectives. Learn to read the greens, speed the amount of turn to expect.

Stand feeling comfortable. Keep your lower body perfectly still NO leg movement.

Check the line and contours of the green.
To prevent misalignment study the green very carefully. Your brain now has many calculations to consider, is the putt uphill or downhill, will it turn from right or from the left this depends on the contours of the green at what point will it start to turn, if it turns from right to left — then just how far right must I aim to ensure the ball drops in the hole.

Also consider the distance, length -amount of weight played is often more important than the correct line- you never want to three putt. On a long putt imagine a big bowl is the hole and you are aiming to get it in the bowl that way you will either get it in the hole or very close, at worst leaving yourself a tap in putt short putts do not ground the putter head.

Ensure your clubface is square to the target, the target is not always the hole it is a point on the green where the ball will start to turn, or run away downhill.

PUTTING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT element in the game of golf – average of TWO on every green, if you are three putting then you will lose every game.

Head and eyes directly over the ball do keep your head and body perfectly still, NO movement in the legs.

Keep your back swing smooth. Rock the shoulders arms moving in a pendulum like motion.

Take the putter back only a short distance and then accelerate towards the ball keeping the putter blade going through smooth and square in line with the target.

DO NOT LIFT your head until the ball is well on its way, on short putts you should hear the ball drop in the hole, not see it. Practice your putting every chance you get, make your practice a challenging game, place six ball in a circle 2 yards away from the hole putt each one in turn you can not go on to the next stage until you putt every ball in succession.

Next place one ball two paces from the hole and another ball every two paces from the first ball, putt the first ball then the second till all six are in the hole, this will implant the correct weight needed related to the number of paces the ball is from the hole.

Long putts

On a long putt hold the putter gently. It helps to point the logo on the ball in line with the hole or direction of play.
On long putts you can break the wrists on the back swing, also on the follow through this should give more feel.
Ball position opposite left instep this will ensure you brush the ball with a rising blow then the ball spins and stays rolling which will keep it on line to the cup.

Practice for long putts:
To develop a feel for weight needed, to ensure the ball travels the correct distance; this takes a lot of practice. To train your mind you need to practice. With the ball a set distance from the hole.

To do this on a flat green place at row of balls starting with one pace from the hole – then a ball every pace back to 15 paces. Start with the first ball, then putt each ball in turn. Then when you play this will teach you to think in terms of how many paces the ball is from the hole. In your mind add one pace for uphill; – take one pace off for downhill.

Practice long putts with just your right hand this will give you the feeling of the rolling ball.

You could also try to putt with your eyes closed this will enhance your senses and help you develop the touch and feel required to judge just how hard you need to stroke the ball for varying distances to the hole.

Speed will take the turn out of the putt, you need to be confident of your line sure that you can place the ball dead centre of the hole then you can putt with pace, most players elected to play a slow ball and judge the amount of turn required. Practice both once you decide which method gives you the best average, and then always play that way.

Practice PUTTING as often as you can certainly in Preference to hitting ball after ball on the range.
Putting is the most important element in golf, if you have a good short game and can putt, combined with good course management, you can play in the mid eighties. Putting is the one element in golf that gives you the opportunity to develop your game to another level.

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Quick Tip: Approach Shot to the green

10: Approach shots to the green

Long Irons often the best choice for your second or third shot, and Par- three holes off the tee, refer to the yardage chart for distance you could expect to attain with each club the LOWER number should give you more distance.

For example your 6 iron should give you an accurate shot with a distance of 145 yards.

One of the ways I recommend to keep you timing and tempo. Keep this saying in mind:
Normal speech!! My favourite saying is:

The degree of difficulty increases the *LOWER the number on the club. (Lower the number gives you less loft).

Three irons will give you 175 yards; with a lot of practice will be straight and long. Most average club players prefer to use a three wood for this distance, professional nearly always use the irons because they have a smooth repeatable swing and they or their caddies know the exact distance they can achieve with that particular club.

Most us how play with the latest top of the range driver , they all have one thing in common large club heads, so we have become accustom to teeing the ball high in line with the sweet spot on you club.

You need to practice on the range, maintain a nice easy smooth swing with balance timing and tempo, and hit five balls with each club, record the distance of each ball then divide the total by five and that is the average distance for that club.

With wedges that is a different technique, at the academy we teach on the principle of the clock face, that way your muscle memory can record the correct swing for the distance you need the ball to travel, the short pitch or chip shots needs soft hands, feel and touch.

Many golfers now play with the new hybrid (Iron-wood) which can promote higher more accurate shots.

Before you select your club check the distance, this can be the actual yardage to the flag, or the distance that will give you the ideal shot to the green. If it is too far to reach the green from the fairway or has hazards then most good players prefer to select a target that leaves them their best distance to the flag. (You can expect to play a good shot to the green with a pitching wedge from 100 yards out).

Do not forget to allow for cross winds; also make adjustments for the lie of the ball. E.g. slopes rough grass etc.

Refer to your yardage chart; select the club for the distance. Select the club that allows you to make your normal full swing. No matter what the distance is your swing tempo remains the same every time, the club selected will control the loft and distance. Trust the club always no negative thoughts be confident and positive.

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Quick tip: Bump and Run

9 Bump and Run

Bump and Run, ever since Tiger Woods played a three wood like a putter from the edge of the green, in the US open; there has been a change in every ones game.

Bump and run is a low risk shot, but still need practice to develop touch and feel.

The basic guide lines are simple. It is a putting stoke with an Iron. Philosophy: Select a club with sufficient loft to carry the ball over the rough on to the green with momentum and roll to reach the cup taking into account all of the contours on the green in the same way you would for a long putt.

The more rough grass there is: The higher the number on the club: Some examples:

If the Flag is 18 paces from the edge of the green and the rough is three paces, take your five iron, take it back like a long putting stroke —in line with target (e.g. the spot on the green where you intend to land the ball, which for this shot 6 paces onto the green, with the correct weighted shot the ball will roll the remaining 12 paces to the hole – and IN.

The other end of the scale: 18 paces from the flag to the edge of the green, and 12 paces of rough then use your eight iron (More loft to clear the extra rough grass).

Take the club back in line with the target, eyes fixed on the ball, do not look up, hit through the ball in line with the target, which for this shot is 12 paces onto the green, the ball will land and roll up gently into the hole.

You need to practice using the same basic principles with each club 4 Iron to 9 Iron.

It is not magic; it does still take a lot of practice to perfect. But the short game is the key to low handicap and good golf. Important make up your mind on the shot required NO negative thoughts, take the correct stance, one last look at the target area, hard down and play the shot, positive thinking in the hole.

This is still my preferred way to play shots on to the green, because I am set in my style of play:

Standard Chips and Pitches:

Not easy to follow but great tips. If you stand in front of a mirror and study /read what we are saying then practice till you can remember, your short game will improve.” Club face square – shoulders square Feet & Hips open (Aiming left)

The shorter the shot

  • The narrower the stance
  • The more ‘open’ the feet & hips aim (open means move your left foot back)
  • The more the weight favours your front foot
  • The more the shaft leans forward (Means at address the hands / shaft is ahead of the Ball and Stay ahead through the shot)
  • The more the ball moves back in your stance
  • The lower down the grip you hold the club

The longer the shot

  • The wider the stance
  • The less ‘open’ the feet & hips aim
  • The more the weight ratio becomes even
  • The less the shaft leans forward
  • The more centrally the ball is positioned
  • The higher up the grip you hold the club

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Quick tip: Bunkers shots

8 Bunker Shots

Do not fear a bunker shot with practice they are comparatively easy – more predicable than heavy rough.

Look over the edge of Bunker -study the contours of the green, select the spot where the ball must land, to roll into the hole. Keep this image in your mind.

Set up with open stance, aligned your feet left of the target, wiggle feet till well set down in the sand. (You do this or two reasons first it tells you how soft the sand is, second gives a firm base for your swing.)

Open the clubface; Ball forward in your stance.
Stance open to the target, swing the club along your bodyline so the club head approaches the ball on an out to in swing path. Aim the club face to impact in the sand 2″ behind the ball, do not quit on the shot play right through with confidence.

Ball on the sloping edge to the bunker (You need to play with one foot in the sand, and one foot on the grassy slope.) Take one extra club, wider stance, lower centre of gravity, easy swing.

Bunker shot with ball in the sand close to the edge of the bunker forcing you to stand on the grass. Take extra club, a much wider stance, and body on even playing field; aim a little too the left, easy swing. Do not quit on the shot.

In the fairway bunker

Remember when in the bunker the rules of golf say you must NOT ground your club e.g. Do not touch the sand with your club before you play the shot. Check line to target – pick intermediate spot to play over, ensure you can clear the lip, if not play safe, a normal bunker shot with lofted club (SAND WEDGE) back on to the fairway. This is also the best choice if the ball has landed hard and is half buried in the sand.

If you are sure you can clear the edge of bunker and want to play attacking golf.

Set feet in the sand, ball back in the stance; pick the ball off the sand using one club more than the same distance off the fairway. However ensure you have sufficient loft to clear the lip. Also if you are still a long way from the green you can try playing with a fairway wood, brush the ball off the top of the sand with a sweeping swing. Take the club straight back and straight through maintain balance timing tempo, DO not be tempted to swing hard, nice and easy count- 1—- 2  trust the loft on your club it is designed for this shot.

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Quick tip: Ball above, or below your feet

7 Ball above your feet or below your feet

When playing on a side slope with the ball above your feet. Take a wide stance good solid balance. Grip down the shaft; stand closer to the ball. Take one or two practice swings to check balance, timing, rhythm, keep your swing pattern consistent, 1-2 nice and easy. Maintain your balance throughout the swing.

Important that you check the line to your target, a ball above you feet will always turn left- (Imagine aircraft banking to the left) the flight of your ball will be the same. Aim to the right of the flag / target to compensate. Do not rush the shot, take the club back smooth and low in line with the target, and make sure your shoulders turn square.

Do not lean to the side, keep your head still eyes on the ball left arm in control – pull down with the left turning the upper body, accelerate to the ball but with timing and rhythm, club face square at impact hit right through the ball, do not look up until the ball has gone.

When the ball is below your feet same set up, but the ball will always turn right, so aim left of your target. Most high handicap players make the mistake of bending over to compensate for the ball being lower, DO NOT do that, you must maintain your normal posture back straight, just bend your knees more.

If you are on a practice round and not holding other players up, take two balls and play shots from difficult positions, then when you are in competition you will know the shot to play and have confidence.

Remember that difficult shots can be avoided by good course management always select your target. You always try to avoid a bunker or water so apply the same principle when you can see hills or a sloping bank.  Make sure your target is on the fairway short grass level ground.

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Quick Tip: Looking up

6 Looking up before impact with the ball:

This is the number one mistake that golfers make. Being too keen to see where your shot is going, you begin to look up during the down-swing and before the club-face makes contact with the ball. This moves the body, which misaligns the swing path.

How I overcome this problem?
During my pre-shot routine I place the ball on the tee will the logo lined up with the target.

At address I never freeze over the ball, I waggle the club to shake the any tension from my arms take one last look at the target, visualize the shot in my mind, take the club back smooth and low in line with the target, make a full turn, start my down swing with a movement of my right hip, pull down with the left arm butt of my club pointing at the ball till below my belt, now fully focused on the point of impact, I actual can see the club make impact with the ball. You really can train your eyes to see your club impact with the ball, the club should still be in line and prior to impact on level to slightly up ward plane. Trust your swing and the loft on your club, but ensure you remain focused on impact with the ball. Keep arms fully extended through impact, concentrate on a low follow-through.

With your own eyes you will see the ball — “disappear”. Main objective is timing tempo, relaxed natural swing with light grip. Pull down with the left arm; do not let the strong right arm force the shot. DO NOT swing like a mad axe man, keep left side firm with left knee bent through impact. Swing through the ball, not at it. Make sure your arms fully extended through impact.

Rotate your wrists / hands hit through the ball in line with the target If you are battling with a lack of distance, one of the first things you should concentrate on is releasing your hands through the ball correctly. Make sure that your forearms are close together at impact, and after impact, your forearms should be crossed as you make your full follow through. This will ensure are not making a block shot it will help with the slice, and will do wonders for your distance. If you are losing balance then you are for sure swinging too hard and too fast.

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Quick Tip: More Distance

More Distance

Objective MORE DISTANCE

Go through your pre-shot routine. Check all the possible hazards, bunkers, water, out of bounds, and the distance to your target.

Select the optimum position within the tee box; tee the ball high so it lines up with the sweet spot on your driver. Line the logo up with the target.

Visualize the shot in your mind, the ball flying high and straight, landing right on target.

Keep that vision clear in your mind.

Your practice swing should pre-empt the swing you intend to make, which as always should be a smooth natural swing with tempo, timing, balance, rhythm.

At address:

Widen your stance, with left toe pointed out, 60% of your weight on right foot.

Place the ball in line with your left heel, and 32″ from your toes. Taken stance slightly left of target, bend from the waist till the club rests behind the ball.

Use a strong grip and light grip pressure. Waggle the club to relax muscles and rehearse hinging of right wrist.

Take a last look at the target, and then fix your eye on the ball. No tension, your arms forming a triangle, push back with your left arm low and in line with the target.

Maximize coil and keep body relaxed with a light grip. Hinge wrists fully at top of back-swing.

Maximize coil your left shoulder and hip behind ball on back-swing. Try not to lift left foot on back-swing.

Keep your left arm bend at the top of the back-swing. Start your down-swing by pointing the butt end of the club toward the ball. Pull down with the left arm in control Relax arms, make a shallow approach, delay turning of shoulders on down-swing, let arms extend and pull shoulders into finish. Accelerate the club slowly on down-swing. Rotate shaft through impact.

Try to generate maximum club head speed when the club head passes the ball, not at or before impact. Keep head and upper body behind ball throughout swing. Try to keep your right heel on the ground longer on down-swing to help keep your body back. Hit the ball on the upswing. Hit through the ball in line with the target.

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Quick tip: Hook

Cure your hook :

First check you’re grip the V in each hand should point over your right shoulder (Assuming you are right handed). If your grip is correct and you are still hooking then try changing your grip by moving both hands to the left.90% of Pro Players use the Interlock Grip.

Always check your grip, as above. The club is an extension of your arms, learn to feel the shot. Grip not to tight – just like the same as squeezing a tube of tooth paste. Check you stance your feet and shoulder must be in line with your target. Go through your pre-shot routine, visualize your target. Keep that in mind; take one last look just before you start your back swing. Check the ball position it with your driver it needs be in line with your left heel and 32 ins away from your toes, if it is placed to far back in your stance it produces an in to out swing path. Pull down with the left arm; make sure your left arm is in control at impact, if your strong right wrist takes over it will close the club face too soon. On the down swing start by turning your upper body and legs this will prevent your wrists unhinging and closing the club-face to soon.

Key objective to return the club to the point of impact in line with the target, hit through the ball not at it, do not rotate the wrists to early, do not look up until the ball has gone. Hit through to ball in line with your target.

Golden rule timing balance rhythm, nice easy natural swing. DO NOT swing like a mad Lumpur jack. To keep your timing balance rhythm and tempo:

Say: Tee it high let it fly that is the time it should take from start of back swing to impact with the ball. Keep that head down.

Note: Golden Rule

Everything in the swing depends on fundamentals. Get the basics right at address this month we are featuring your complete guide to building (or re-building) a better game. Whether you’re new to golf or have played for years, you will score your best with a solid foundation.

Distance, long and straight you need to make impact with your club-head approaching the ball on a level to slightly upward path. Trust the loft of the club to help launch the ball on the on the correct flight path and with the optimum amount of backspin. Your club needs to return to point of impact in line with your target and level with the ground. That’s the angle of approach you must attain with your driver off the tee. If you swing down with your driver too steeply, making contact with a descending blow. You will send the ball sky high and no distance, and if you hit the ball too much on the upswing, chances are you will top the shot. Stay level through the swing.

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Quick tip: Slice

3 Slice (Ball turning right off the tee)

Reason: Out to in swing is putting spin on the ball. — You are casting the club out on the down swing.  Stop! Because that is the main cause of slicing.

Check your grip: and stance. Go through your pre-shot routine, line the logo on the ball up with the target. Make certain that the club-face is square and in line with the target. Objective: To return to club-face back to that exact position at impact.

Adjust your swing to ensure the club face is square at impact to achieve this, take the club back with the left hand in control, keep the club low in line with the target until outside your right foot try a smaller arc on the back swing; on the down swing focus on an in to out swing, DO NOT CAST THE CLUB OUT or your will pull the club from outside to in imparting spin on the ball.

For just 10 seconds, one they start the back swing they switch to natural swing the one they use every time for that shot, they play on instinct and trust their subconscious or and muscle memories to make it happen for them.

The club must return on the same path as your take away directly in line with the ball and target. To cure your slice keep your eye on the ball and aim to impact on the inside of the ball, keep left arm straight and in control pull down with the left arm do not force the shot timing tempo hit through the ball wrists rotating arms in line with the target – keep your head down until the ball is well on its way.

If you are still slicing try dropping your right foot and shoulder back from the target, objective to develop more round the body swing.

Note:

Everything in the swing depends on fundamentals. Get the basics right at address: Whether you’re new to golf or have played for years, you will score your best with a solid foundation.

Distance, long and straight you need to make impact with your club-head approaching the ball on a level to slightly upward path. Trust the loft of the club to help launch the ball on the on the correct flight path and with the optimum amount of backspin. Your club needs to return to point of impact in line with your target and level with the ground. That’s the angle of approach you must attain with your driver off the tee. If you swing down with your driver too steeply, making contact with a descending blow. You will send the ball sky high and no distance, and if you hit the ball too much on the upswing, chances are you will top the shot. Stay level through the swing.

If you are really keen to drive straight on target and VERY long 280 yards + then check out our Free feature 5 Keys to Distance, when you submit the form below you will be sent the links to these videos ( By the World Long Drive Champion Eric Jones) Amazing – he is not a big guy but drives the ball over 400 yards.

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Quick Tip: Pre shot routine

2: Pre-Shot routine

Your pre-shot routine must be practised until it is second nature. Determine your optimum target area, and the correct distance from the tee. Taking into account all these factors hazards, water, bunkers, trees, heavy rough, out of bounds. Wind direction from behind, wind against, swirling. Is the fairway narrow or wide? Does it dog leg right or left? Where are the Fairway Bunkers?

Now select the correct club, you should know the distance with your metal three woods, on average 200 yards, driver 220-230 yards depending on the wind and ball selection.

Between the tee blocks select precisely where to place your tee, it needs to be positioned to give you a direct line to your target. Your tee MUST to be the correct height, so the ball is level with the sweet spot on your club.

Now step back behind the ball line it up with the target, the logo on the ball can be adjusted like a rifle sight to point to the target. Step back behind the ball check the target line. Maybe select an old divot a short distance ahead which is in line with your target, aim to hit the ball over this marker. Take a relaxed practice swing. Step up to the ball. Arms and club stretched out in front of you, slowly bend fore-ward from the hips until the club touches the ground behind the ball. Take your stance the width of your shoulders. Feet aligned slightly left of the target, check your grip, do not grip the club too tight, you are now ready to take the shot. Take one last look at the target, deep breath relax no tension in the arms, just think rhythm and timing, keep your eyes fixed on the ball. Do NOT freeze over the ball waggle the club, push back low and smooth with your left arm, your upper body starting to turn, DO not sway back, only the upper body turning (SET IT LOSE MOTHER GOOSE). That is your tempo. Pull down with the left arm in control keep your head down eyes fixed on the ball!!!! Hit right through the ball the club staying low and in line with the target follow through.

Key objective to teach your mind and body to synchronize: Maintain balance and smooth transfer of weight from right to left follow though.

DO NOT LOOK UP UNTIL THE BALL HAS GONE.

Once you have golf swing which is smooth natural and you can repeat it every time then you are on your way to being a single handicap golfer.

Check out our feature page 5 keys to distance.

Free Distance Course by: Eric Jones the World Long Drive Champion
Eric has put together a 5-part training course focused on distance. It’s based on the same key swing concepts found in The 5 Keys to Distance, and uses a few of the same drills.
Try these drills FREE and you will hit the ball longer and more consistently if you are a average golfer with the full video training course you will drive up much longer and on target) When you add 50 yards + to your drives and more distance on all your long shots from the fairway, it will transform you complete game. You lower your handicap and start winning your club competitions and how good will it feel when you win the longest drive. With a world long drive champion prepared to share his secrets with you it will be a distinct possibility not just a dream.

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