Golf Lessons 101: Finishing a Good Round

Everyone has had one of those rounds where everything is going great and then you get to the last two holes and your score blows up because you mess those holes up. This happens to a lot of players because the thought of a good round sometimes gets in your head. Most players try to get too much out oftheir round instead of focusing on finishing strong.

When you get to those final holes, most players are thinking, ” Let’s get one more birdie,” and they end up overextending themselves and hitting some questionable shots during those last holes costing them their good round. To avoid making those mistakes toward the end of a good round it is important to take those mistakes and bad misses out of play.

The Steps to Making your round the best of your life are really simple and can make all the difference:

  1. Accept that the round you have put together is good and that you want to finish strong.
  2. Once you have accepted that you have a good round going, your next goal is to focus on finishing the best that you can.
  3. Take note of the holes you have left and decide that you should minimize any chance of going out of bounds or losing a golf ball. Hitting balls out of bounds or losing your golf ball can be the detriment of a good round. Limit your misses and take the appropriate club for your tee shot.
  4. Hitting the tee shots on your final holes are the most important part of finishing strong. Think positive and concentrate on hitting the fairway. KEEP YOUR DRIVER OUT OF YOUR HAND!!!
  5. Hitting your second shot (or 3rd shot) into the green is important. You want to focus on the middle of the green. Do not go after any dangerous pins or any tough shots. We are trying to finish our round strong. Remember That!!!
  6. Lag every putt to the hole. Try to leave yourself a 1-2 foot putt for your par. Going after birdies will sometimes result in 3 putts so please focus on keeping your putts short of the hole.
  7. Focus on a hoola-hoop sized ring around the cup and hit your putts inside that.
  8. If you do this for the rest of your holes you will surely finish with the round you were hoping for after the 1st step.

These tips are for people trying to finish a great round that they have never been able to do before… Please Send your videos to us so we could analyze your swings and give you a free golf lesson online. Visit our about us page and send us your videos.

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Golf Lessons 101: Masters Week Mental Game

Most announcers this week will be talking about the mentality and the discipline that the professionals need to have this week to stay in contention. Well it’s not a far strMost announcers this week will be talking about the mentality and the discipline that the professionals need to have this week to stay in contention. Well it’s not a far stretch to practice some of the same mental discipline in your own game while playing with your friends. Through this blog segment this week we will discuss different techniques to keep your round going throughout the day.

  1.  Positive Affirmations are probably the most important things you can do during your round. Maintaining a good “vibe” during your round is paramount to maintaining good play.  -Repeat these sayings before every golf shot or just while you are driving down the fairway:

>”I am a good player and I hit good shots”

>”Putting is easy and I always hit my putts on my line”

>”I like hitting good golf shots”

>”I always hit it where I aim” These are a few quick things to say to yourself during the round.

Now some of you might be thinking “Well I don’t always hit it where I am” or ” I’m really not the best putter” and these are valid concerns, but it is important that to stay positive throughout the entire round and to keep those positive ideas in your mind. Maintaining positive “vibes” during your pre-shot routine and during your round will keep your confidence up even when you are not playing your best.

Stay tuned to this blog for more tips on mentality coming up later in the week. Remember that we are really interested in user videos so if you have a video of your swing or a friend’s swing please send it to one of our email addresses. Feel free to contact us with any suggestions or feedback on our blog.

Golf Lessons 101: Bunker Practice

First Thing you have to know about Bunkers is that there are many different types of Bunkers. There are Bunkers that are full of sand, Bunkers that have no sand, and Bunkers that have a little sand. In these different types of Bunkers there are also different types of Sand that you have to think about. With these different types of sand, there are different techniques for getting the ball out of the Bunker.

Types of Sand and Techniques

There are several different ideas about how to hit Bunker shots and to tell you the truth it actually depends on the type of sand you are playing out of that day.

Rocky Sand

  •  This type has a very thin layer of playable sand and usually has larger granules of sand that resemble rocks or small pebbles.
  • The shot required for this type of sand is a less traditional shot that is less “blast” technique and more of a “sweeping”motion through the sand. You will take a lot less sand  in this Bunker shot and you will have to control the distance of the shot by your swing speed and length of your swing.

Powdery Sand

  • This type of sand has a thick layer of very fine sand that is very easy to get through. You will probably notice that your feet sink in this type of sand and that it feels kind of like a beach.
  • Make sure, in this type of sand, that you get your feet and stance set because you might have a tendency to slide in this sand.
  • This is a good time to use the classic “blast” technique. Get in there and really dig that ball out of the sand. Get set and take a big swing attacking the sand at a steep angle into the sand. Make sure you finish your swing and keep the club accelerating through the sand.
  • Control the distance with this shot by taking more or less sand depending on the distance you are trying to cover. More sand for less distance and less sand for more distance.
Thin Powdery Sand (Hybrid)
  • This type of sand is much thinner than the powdery type but it still has the same type of consistency as the powdery sand. It will feel like beach sand under your feet but you will be a little more stable than the powdery type.
  • The technique for this type of sand is kind of a hybrid as well; you will be trying to “sweep” and “blast” the ball out of the sand. You will be trying to come in a little more shallow like the rocky sand, but you will control the distance of the shot by how much sand you take just like the powdery type of sand.
  • This type takes a little more time to get used to because the sand is very inconsistent in how deep it is (normally). Keep practicing and work on your feel for this types of sand.

For these tips and more keep checking for more posts each week. Send us your videos for a free golf lesson and free tips online from James or Brinson. Feel free to Contact Us any time.

Golf Lessons 101: Swing Center

If your goal is to get the ball started on a straighter line, one of the first things to focus on may be your swing plane throughout the back swing and down swing. A lot of beginner golfers don’t fully understand swing plane, while most professional golfers focus most of their attention on it. There is a reason for that!

In a game designed to hit the ball in a cup that is only 4.25 inches wide, direction plays a huge role. Most beginner golfers think it is all about distance to help lower scores. Although this may be true to an extent, the majority of shots are taken from shorter distances and rely primarily on direction to execute properly. Concentrating on your swing plane and what positions the club is in throughout the back swing and down swing is a great place to start.

Your swing plane relies on two different angles that, if executed correctly, can start the ball off on a straighter line. These two angles relate the club shaft to the target line and the steepness of the club shaft to the ground. The club shaft with relation to the target line affects swing path. This determines what line the ball will start on. The closer the club is to your body during the down swing, the further right the ball will start. The steepness of the club shaft with relation to the ground affects the angle of approach. This determines the trajectory of the ball flight. The steeper you attack the ball, the higher the trajectory. How can you determine what swing plane you are on?

In the back swing you want the grip end of your club pointed down the target line when the club reaches hip height and the club shaft is parallel to the ground. Here you will add a second lever into the golf swing by cocking the wrists. Once the club reaches the top of the swing, the grip end should be facing the opposite direction, while remaining on that target line. I mention this because the club head tends to follow the plane of the grip end of the club. This will be important in the down swing and is easier to accomplish if you start back on the correct plane. The fewer compensations you have to make on the down swing, the easier the shot will be to execute. How do you know if you are where you’re supposed to be at the top?

One way to check where your swing plane is at the top of the back swing is to see if your wrists are bent or not. If they are, you need to get the club into a position where there is no wrist bend, otherwise called a flat left wrist. Keep in mind ‘cocking’ the wrists is the motion you would make if you were to shake someone’s hand, while ‘bending’ the wrists is the motion you would make if you were swatting a fly. You do not want a bend in the left wrist if your intended ball flight is straight. Once you get into this correct position at the top, simply complete the steps in reverse throughout the down swing, keeping in mind that the grip end of the club dictates where the club head will follow. As the club shaft is parallel to the ground, if the grip end is not pointed down the target it will be difficult to execute a straighter ball flight.

These tips are designed to help the average golfer improve their game.  If you have any questions or wish to receive your own personalized golf lessons feel free to contact us.

Golf Lessons 101: Balance Drill

Balance is probably the one fundamental that I would put above all others for developing a consistent golf swing. I firmly believe that most amateur golfers have terrible balance and are completely unaware that they have balance issues. There are a few things that you can check to determine if you have balance issues in your swing.

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  1. Can I hold my finish??
  2. Where is my weight in my golf swing??
  3. Can I stand on my left foot after I finish??
  4. How is my balance when I close my eyes??
  5. What am I doing after I finish my swing?? Fall, Lose Balance??
  6. If you lose your balance, which way do you fall??
  7. Does your finish look like Paula Creamer’s??
  8. Can you hold your finish for more than 5 seconds??
Answers You Should Have:
  1. It should be very easy to hold your finish.
  2. Your weight should be centered and slightly on your right side at address.
  3. When you finish, can you lift your right leg without falling over or losing your balance.
  4. You should feel at ease when your eyes are closed. This should be the same when you stand on either leg with your eyes closed.
  5. Finish with a stable balanced swing with your weight on your left side and holding your balance.
  6. If you fall at all you should be doing some sort of balance drill.
  7. Your finish should be balanced and poised with your weight completely transferred to your left side.
  8. If you can count to 5 while holding your finish, your balance is pretty good and you might want to work on something different than balance.

*These questions and answers are for right handed players- for lefties you should flop which foot you balance on in the golf swing.
Balance Drill
If your answers differed from the answers I have provided then this drill could be an answer to your problems. Hopefully, this video will be a great drill that will help you find your balance in your golf swing. This drill is called the Single Leg Balance Narrow Base Golf Posture. If you wish to see a video of this drill check it out at mytpi.com
  1. Start with one foot off the ground and get into your golf posture.
  2. Get your balance and hold this pose.
  3. After you have your balance, slowly lift your heel off the ground and balance on the balls of your feet.
  4. Feel your “proprioceptors” activate and strengthen your balance muscles.
  5. This drill should begin to slowly affect your balance- you will feel yourself trying to balance as soon as you start this drill.
These tips are designed to help the average golfer improve their game.  If you have any questions or wish to receive your own personalized golf lessons feel free to contact us.

Golf Lessons 101: Knee Action Basics

Knee Action is a key part of the golf swing and an important movement that everyone should learn how to master. Knee Action starts the motion of the golf swing and controls where the center of gravity in your swing goes. Knee Action is also one of the hardest things to master but it is very easy to mess up. I will start by explaining the wrong way to use your knees.

The Wrong Way 

Some people have what I would like to call “Elvis Knees” and they can not seem to keep there knees from moving side to side in their golf swing, kind of like the King doing his dance. This move has a distinct look and a distinct pattern and we will talk about that now.

  1. The knees start severely bent at address and the person usually looks like they are about to sit on the toilet rather than hit a golf ball.
  2. This posture limits the ability to move the knees properly during the golf swing.
  3. On your backswing, with this posture, your right knee (for right handed golfers) will begin to “sway” back and will look like your knee will be over your right foot.
  4. Your left knee will move in and under your body creating a poor base to begin your downswing. It is very important that your base be strong and stable to swing the club around.
  5. During the downswing your knees will shift and slide toward the target making that dancing move that Elvis used to do during his concerts.
  6. This terrible swing fault causes mis-hits, chunks, thin shots, and inconsistent shots that affect your round of golf.

The Right Way

The right way to use your knees in the golf swing is a process and somewhat differs for every golfer depending on their posture and flexibility. This is because the lower body flexibility has a big affect on how easily you can stabilize your knees and center of gravity. I will discuss the “proper” sequence of movements for a standard golf swing.

  1. The hips start to turn back and around by the bending and straightening of your two knees. The way you will know that you start the backswing properly in the lower body is that there will be tension in between your right thigh and right hip flexor.
  2. At the top of your backswing you should notice that your right leg is slightly straightened and your left leg is slightly more bent- However: notice that your posture has not risen, that is to say your head is still in the same spot as it was at address.
  3. It is key to notice that you posture does not move up and down even thought your legs are bending and straightening. It is acceptable to have a little side to side head movement in the golf swing but never up and down.
  4. On your downswing the left knee and hip begin to rotate up and around your body creating the look that you are “squatting” into impact. This is a huge power move the allows for awesome distance if done correctly.
  5. Notice: Tiger’s knees never go outside of his feet which means he is not swaying on the way back and he is not sliding on the way down and through. This is a great picture that shows the knees in perfect action. Take note of Tiger’s performance.

If you have any questions or wish for me to check out your Knee Action please feel free to contact myself or James for more information. Feel free to contact us anytime. 

Golf Lessons 101: Lower Body Posture

In a game where alignments are so important, it is vital to make sure your posture is correct at address before ever thinking about actually making a swing.  Think of it this way, a shot performed perfectly in the wrong direction is still an incorrect shot and a waste of a perfect swing.  In this post we will discuss lower body alignment and how it affects the golf swing.

For the lower body I want to focus on three different functions: hips, knees, and feet.  These three parts help to stabilize the body throughout the swing for better balance and more consistency.  Any beginner golfer should learn their importance in the golf swing before hitting balls.

Hips

The hips generate a lot of power in the golf swing and have a direct impact on both distance and direction.  Although most of the time your hip alignment will comfortably fall parallel to your foot alignment, it is still possible for a golfer to setup with hips too open or closed to the target.  Make sure to start with the hips aligned parallel to the target and set directly over the center of your stance to encourage balance throughout the swing.

Knees

The knees affect rotation and lateral movement in the swing and have a direct impact on distance and direction as well.  Throughout the swing the knees will bend and rotate slightly in either direction making it important to set them in the proper position initially to allow full range of motion.  At address the knees should be aligned parallel to the target and slightly bent to ensure an athletic stance and readiness to transfer energy to the golf ball.

Feet

The feet affect balance throughout the swing and have a direct impact on both distance and direction like the hips and knees.  At address, start with your foot alignment parallel to the target line.  Turn your lead foot towards the target approximately 30 degrees and your trail foot away from the target approximately 15 degrees.  This, once again, allows for maximum rotation and better balance throughout the golf swing.  The club head should be square to the target while the foot line is parallel to the target line, aimed slightly left (for a right handed golfer).

An easy way to test this is using training rods.  At address set one down on your foot line and another parallel to the first on your target line.  If you step away and look down the line, your first rod should point just left of the target while the second is directly at it.  Don’t be shy to use these rods in every practice session to emphasis proper alignment while hitting balls.  They will come in handy later when checking swing plane and club head positioning in the back swing as well.

This may seem like a lot of information for some, but if broken down properly, can be very simple and will become a natural part of your swing.  Once you have mastered the lower body you are ready to move on to upper body posture, ball positioning, and the takeaway.  Check back later in the week for more advice on upper body alignment and how it will affect your swing.

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