A Simple Tension-Buster for When You Just Gotta Go for It

One of the cool things about spending too much time on the driving range is that you eventually start to gravitate toward the other regulars. It’s a good way to meet other serious players and, most importantly, to catch some great tips. This one comes courtesy of a fellow range rat at my local course (thanks, Phil!). As you’ve probably heard many, many times, tension is a killer in the golf swing. I’m sure I’ve heard it from the likes of every famous teaching pro, and I’ve no doubt read it in various books and magazines. It’s virtually impossible to consistently hit good golf shots when you have tension that creeps into your hands and arms during the swing. It prevents smooth, free motion and can cause all sorts of problems. The photo at the top-left depicts a guy with more of a mental tension problem, not a physical tension problem, but it kind of makes me laugh so I couldn’t resist. But we’re definitely talking about physical tension creeping into your arms. Your muscles

Curing Fat Shots

Never let it be said that Twitter isn’t a great way to find helpful information.  Recently, Dexter from Golf Tips & Quips tweeted a helpful YouTube video featuring Hank Haney giving some great advice on two causes of fat shots and how to cure them. As I watched, I saw Hank imitating the exact problem I suffer from and I thought it would be helpful to point it out here, since I don’t currently have any decent video of myself to share. Have a look at the video and meet me down below when you’re finished. As you saw in the video, there’s a problem with steep fat and shallow fat.  The steep issue is the exact problem I’ve suffered from for a long time.  I took some video last season that showed me doing exactly what Haney described. The only difference is, I don’t really suffer from fat shots (primarily) as a result of being too steep.  I tend to hit the ball off the toe and pull hook it.  Mainly, this happens because

Reading Lies on the Golf Course, Part I

A few weeks back, I was contacted by a reader who is interested in learning how to read lies and suggested the topic to me.  I thought it was a great idea, so here we are.  He pointed to a recent golf telecast where Nick Faldo, in discussing the new groove regulations for 2010, pointed out that players are going to have to do a better job of reading lies now. As most of you probably know by now, grooves in irons have been dialed back at the highest levels to try and reduce the spin that wedges and short irons can impart on the ball.  In recent years, it became common for players to just bomb away off the tee, because they knew that their wedges would still provide high spin from the rough. Now, with grooves providing less help to players out of the fairway, Faldo made a good point, that reading lies will become more important.  (Note that the new grooves won’t affect most of us for quite a while, but all

Five Recovery Skills You Need in Your Game

golf_tree

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times.  Golf is a game of misses.  If you think about it, you only make 18 shots per round.  Every other shot misses to some degree.  As we all know, some of them miss by an extremely high degree.  Unfortunately, they tend to build golf courses so that the worse you miss, the more harshly you’re punished. Golf courses are filled with trees, water, sand, rough and so on that are just waiting to dole out some punishment.  It’s critical, if we want to score, that we learn basic recovery skills so that these trouble situations have a minimal impact. Following are five recovery skills you need in your golf game. Learning to Say ‘No’ That’s right, one of the most important recovery skill is a mental one. We’ve all been there.  Off the tee, your drive was off target and you end up in the rough.  It’s fairly thick, but you can see the ball.  You have 200 yards to the green with a creek guarding the front,

Misunderstood Advice: Hitting Down on the Ball

There are several bits of information that come up on the topic of the golf swing that are often misleading to people. Some things just naturally lend themselves to various interpretations or even varying degrees of whatever is involved. One of the big offenders in this category is the idea of hitting down on the ball with irons. We might say “hit down on the ball” or “the club makes a descending blow”. Unfortunately, some players may get two wrapped up in that idea and take it too literally. Let’s step back for a second. Think about the arc of the golf swing. Obviously, the club head starts behind the ball. It moves in an arc back and up to the top of the swing then back down in a similar (though not necessarily the same) arc, through the ball and then up into the follow through. By definition, that arc will have an absolute low point, where the club is closest to (or under) ground level. Once the downswing starts, the club head is