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How To Cure The Shanks

The fix for golf’s worst shot

Source: GolfDigest
By Keely Levins

We know, we know. You don’t even want to talk about the shanks for fear bringing the subject up will cause you to catch them. But like it or not, you might find yourself in a situation where you’re going to want to know a solution. Though awful, the plague of the shanks is curable.

First thing you have to do is take a break from the course. You need some alone time to sort this out on the range. Start by checking in on a few basics. Make sure you’re standing tall with your chest up during the swing, don’t hold the club too tightly, and make sure your weight isn’t sneaking up towards your toes. David Leadbetter told us that not tending to all of these little things could be the root of your struggles.

He also gave us a drill that will cure your shanking woes.

Set up like you’re going to hit it, and then put a tee in the ground just outside the toe of the club. While you’re swinging, think about keeping the grip end of the club near your body. “Miss the tee at impact, and you’ll hit the ball in the center of the face,” says Leadbetter.

Link to article: Click HERE

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Private Lessons: 3 Easy Keys for Sticking Your Irons

Source: GOLF.com
By Staff

1. KEEP YOUR FEET GROUNDED
Too much lower-body action can make you lose your balance, rhythm and timing. As you swing through impact, firmly plant your left foot in the ground, as though you were trying to leave a footprint in the turf. This effectively turns your left leg into a solid post, letting your hands, arms and club whip past your body and hit the ball with maximum speed. At impact, you should feel most of your weight in your left heel, and your right heel should be barely off the ground.
To swing around a solid left side, plant your left foot into the ground as you swing through impact.

2. MAINTAIN FORWARD BEND
It’s important to maintain the same amount of forward bend from address all the way through impact. This allows you to stay over the ball without moving your spine angle up or down, ensuring a solid strike. If you rise up (i.e., lean backward) out of your original address posture, you’ll probably flip the club upward and catch the ball thin.

3. FINISH LEFT
At the end of your swing, you should feel most of your weight (about 80 percent) resting on the outside edge of your left foot, with your left instep slightly off the ground. Your hips should face the target, and your right shoulder should look down the fairway. If you can hit this position in good balance, you’ll catch the ball flush time after time.

Your spine angle should remain the same from address through the hitting zone. A trick to achieve this: Focus on keeping your sternum the same distance from the ground.
For better balance in your follow-through, think “left” as you complete your swing. Most of your weight should be on the outside edge of your left foot, and your hips should have fired to the left.

Link to article: Click HERE

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Here’s a great article we found on how to have fun while keeping good golf etiquette!

How To Stink It Up Gracefully
And 29 other tips for having the most fun you can while playing golf

By Guy Yocom
Source: GolfDigest

The hardest questions in golf are the ones that never seem to get asked. Take that cigar-chomping first-tee starter with a wad of cash in his pocket. You’re wondering, Is he as up for a bribe as he looks? If so, how do I solicit a magic-carpet ride to the first tee? Another one: When your opponent hits a hosel rocket into the trees, are you obligated to express sympathy, or can you obey your first instinct and just laugh? How do you ask that LPGA Tour player out on a date, anyway?

No guts, no glory. Here are 30 issues you might have pondered but haven’t quite had the temerity to query your friends about. You won’t find the advice we’ve assembled here in any golf etiquette guide, but it’ll make you more fun to play and hang with. And the starter you greased won’t be offended, either.

1. STINKING IT UP GRACEFULLY
Inside, you’re burning with frustration, despair and self-loathing. On the outside—the only side that matters in a social setting—your friends should see a person blessed with inhuman patience, dogged persistence and self-deprecating humor.

2. RATTLING YOUR OPPONENT (LIKE SEVE DID)
Stand between him and his golf bag so he has to walk around you to get to it. Cough, sniffle and sneeze during his swing, then blame it on allergies. Insinuate yourself into every rules situation involving his ball. Make him move his ball marker on the greens, even when it isn’t exactly on your line. Finally, chip in a lot.

3. HAVING A LITTLE SWAGGER LIKE ARNIE IN HIS PRIME
When you hit it close or jar a long putt, imagine throngs of people cheering wildly.

Tip your cap to these invisible fans. Bow your head humbly. Do not, however, light a cigarette unless you smoke. And only hitch your pants if your waist size is 36 or smaller.

4. DEALING WITH THE RANGER WHEN HE TELLS YOU TO PICK UP THE PACE
You’re dying to explain there’s a beginner in your foursome, you’ve just looked for three lost balls, and the group in front is slow. But just thank him, nod, and play faster.

5. TELLING YOUR OPPONENT HIS PUTT’S NOT GOOD
One day you’ll have an opponent look at his downhill, breaking two-footer for par and ask, “Is the rest of that good?” Your answer, with a smile: “It ain’t bad. That was a beautiful lag.”

6. SWEARING AFTER HITTING A BAD SHOT
Color the air blue without actually swearing. Incorporate the words “suck,” “idiot,” “garbage,” “stink” and “moron.” Don’t yell profanities. Hiss them. Tommy Bolt, the best swearer ever, never screamed.

7. DATING AN LPGA TOUR PLAYER
How do you, a stranger, pull this off without winding up on the receiving end of a restraining order? One way is to write a letter requesting her accompaniment to your prom—it worked for two young fellas who sought respective get-togethers with Lexi Thompson and Belen Mozo. Another way is to be independently wealthy enough to become a regular on the LPGA pro-am circuit. Make trusted friends around the LPGA Tour and the player’s hometown. When you do ask, suggest a multiple-couple group outing at a public venue—a concert, or maybe a bustling restaurant. Good luck, and may Cupid’s arrows find their mark.

8. HAVING THE MOST FUN IN YOUR GROUP
Make the round enjoyable for your friends, and the karma will boomerang. Ask them if they want to walk or ride.
If it’s ride, ask if they want to drive or ride shotgun. Show up with a joke. Be quick with praise and sympathy, slow to complain. Help your buddies. Rake their bunkers, offer yardages, bring over an extra club. They’ll treat you the same, and how fun is that?

9. FEIGNING SADNESS WHEN YOUR OPPONENT HITS A BAD SHOT
Never hint that you actually enjoyed watching him skitter one into the gunch, though enjoy it you surely did. Never feign sympathy, either—it indicates you don’t care who wins, a transparently phony attitude if ever there was one. Best to react like a courtroom judge: attentive, impartial and nonplussed.

10. TOTING A BEER, HOT DOG AND YOUR GOLF BAG
Drink the beer down a third of the way before you leave the window. With the hot dog, go very light on the ketchup or mustard, especially if you’re wearing a white shirt. If you can consume the hot dog in three large bites, it’ll be done and out of your way before you reach the 150-yard marker.

11. TELLING YOUR BUDDY TO STOP HELPING YOU
When swing advice from this wannabe Butch Harmon doesn’t stop, nod attentively, then hand him your 3-iron, toss a ball into a cuppy lie and say: “Show me.” If he happens to hit that shot 220 yards with a high draw, give up. He might be onto something.

12. GETTING GOOD BOUNCES
Call us superstitious, but if you make a habit of whining at the golf gods for bad bounces, the deities will conduct a closed-door meeting and conspire to make things worse. If you accept the occasional rotten bounce as the golf gods just doing their job, they’ll be more likely to open the gates of heaven at the right time, and give you a good bounce when you need it.

13. HITTING A SHOT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT HITTING
Have quick retorts ready for when you fail. “I didn’t win the Powerball last night, so I just had to give that shot a go.” They say the best-looking girls don’t get offers because nobody dares ask them out. Same rule applies here: You’ll never get at that tucked flagstick if you aim for the fat of the green.

14. TALKING TRASH TO YOUR BUDDIES
Address your pal John as if he were a child. Condescend: “Fellas, don’t you think Johnnycakes is improving?” Assign reputations they don’t yet have: “The staff might think you’re a lousy tipper, but I’ll say this: Your swing is looking good.”

15. BUYING A USED CLUB ON EBAY
The “buy it now” button on eBay can be a portal to used-club heaven or junk-club hell. A list of musts as you proceed through a listing: sharp photos (the more the better), all the specs (shaft flex and length, loft and lie), reasonable shipping, decent seller feedback and a hassle-free return policy. The idea is to remove any possibility of surprise when the club arrives.

16. PLAYING WELL WHEN YOU’RE HUNGOVER
You brought this on yourself, so don’t even think of complaining. Chug water like a parched horse. Take one more ibuprofen than usual. Choke down a burger if you can find one: Hall of Famer Tom Weiskopf used to say the combination of bread and grease does a body good.

17. HUMILIATING YOUR BOSS (AND STILL GETTING A RAISE)
If you sense your boss expects you to lose on purpose, find another job. If you feel he’ll tolerate your winning but might take it personally, start updating your résumé. If you sense he wants your best effort because it demonstrates moxy and honesty, oblige. Then wrap him in gold, for he is a rare and beautiful creature.

18. GREASING THE STARTER
Slip him stuff rather than cash. A sleeve of premium balls, with an innocuous, “Have you tried these?” Or a couple of ball markers from your trip to the U.S. Open. He’ll understand. Don’t make a habit of it—just enough to make him remember you.

19. WINNING A BET ON THE FIRST TEE
Most golf is four-ball match play, so come to the first tee knowing who the best player is, and snag him as your partner. Follow that quickly with the bet you want to make. If you’re answering to the other team’s proposition, you’re already on the defensive. Also, be mindful of the serious edge to be had on side bets—the “junk.” If you and your partner are better ball-strikers than your foes, propose larger payoffs for birdies and greenies.

20. KEEPING UP WITH THE BIG HITTERS
After you’ve squeezed every morsel of distance you can by normal means—practice, lessons and tweaking your equipment—there’s one trick left. That’s to swing the club faster and a little more recklessly than you’re comfortable doing. Golf is a sport in which physicality and some aggression can pay off.

21. SURVIVING A NIGHTMARE ROUND
When you’ve hit a gazillion bad shots and nothing is working, reset. If you’re a teetotaler, summon the beverage cart. If you’re not a music person, kick on the tunes. Ask your buddy if you can try his driver. Go left-hand-low. Play a hole barefoot. Anything to get you to the parking lot with a smile.

22. HITTING A GOOD DRIVE WITHOUT WARMING UP
Make a couple of practice swings with drowsy slowness, then tee your ball a shade higher than usual. Swing at 75 percent of your power, concentrating only on making the center of the clubface meet the ball. Regardless of where the shot goes, keep in mind that you aren’t warmed up for your second shot, either: Stretch everything out as you walk to your ball.
23. THROWING A KILLER MASTERS PARTY
Serve pimento-cheese sandwiches. (Recipes are all over the Internet.) During commercials, challenge your guests to say, “Hello, friends” in the manner of Jim Nantz. Conduct an eagle pool—$10 to enter, players chosen by blind draw. Have two TV rooms: one for people who yack through the telecast, the other for serious viewers.

24. CONSOLING YOUR PARTNER WHEN HE’S PLAYING LIKE A DOG
Ever see Ryder Cup partners roll their eyes at each other or give the silent treatment? Of course not, except for Tiger and Phil in 2004. The lesson: Never admonish, scold or cold-shoulder your partner. When he’s hitting it wild, a squeeze on the shoulder or pat on the butt might get him striping it again.

25. TELLING A GOLF TALE THAT’S ACTUALLY INTERESTING
Here’s the outline of a first-person golf story. Read and learn.

Stan got bit by a rattlesnake during our golf trip in Arizona. It was on the fourth hole at Screaming Cactus Country Club. He snaps one into the desert and goes after it. Doesn’t even scream. He just runs back to the fairway, takes a drop and hits. The bites are pinholes. One of the snake’s broken fangs is sticking out of one of them. But Stan wants to finish the hole. Another guy in our foursome calls 911. The paramedics meet us at the clubhouse—after we finish the round. Stan didn’t play any more that trip, but he’s fine. Still has the fang and keeps it in his bag for good luck.
See what we did? The story was told backward, punch line first, and kept in the present tense, as though it’s happening now. And blessedly, it was over in less than two minutes.

26. PLAYING 18 IN UNDER 3 HOURS
You’re going to need an open course, a good set of lungs and people as up for this as you are. Tee to green, ditch the range finder, don’t take practice swings, and remember that when you’re not hitting, you should be walking. On the greens, if you crouch to read a putt, you’re too slow. Don’t mark your ball, and be generous with concessions.

27. PRACTICING CHIP SHOTS WITHOUT HURTING ANY BYSTANDERS
You know those “no chipping” signs by the practice green? How they were allegedly put there to protect the turf? The course operators are playing you. They want to prevent 16-handicappers from trying Phil Mickelson’s greenside flop shot and blading one into the shin of the guy practicing four-footers. Use common sense. Never try to carry the ball more than two feet or aim at a target farther than 10 feet away. And for all that’s holy, don’t try to be like Phil and see if you can hit one left-handed.

28. WINNING YOUR OFFICE POOL
Check out recent form and how the player has fared at a venue. Near home, he’ll have extra fans—and extra incentive. Nothing beats being comfortable.

29. BREAKING THE ICE WHEN YOU’RE A SINGLE JOINING A THREESOME
Start with: “You guys look easy—want to play for a hundred each?” Just kidding. Be polite and deferential, like a party guest. Keep the conversation light, at least at first. Three keepers: Will Tiger play in the Masters? Ever been to one? When did you get that new driver? It’s gorgeous.

30. GETTING YOUR WIFE TO CARE LESS IF YOU PLAY SATURDAY
The real trick is pulling it off Saturday and Sunday, but because we’re starting small, here’s a primer: 1. Arrive home 30 minutes earlier than you promised, and never be late; 2. When you walk through the door, head to the kitchen and start doing the dishes; 3. Press the $40 you won into her hand and say, “I won this because you make me a happy golfer.”

Link to article: Click HERE

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Here are some great tips we found for making the perfect putt!

3 drills that will build a great putting stroke

By Todd McGill
Source: GolfWRX

When you find yourself scratching your head because of all the putts you’re missing, take the time to hit the practice green and work out the kinks. All players go through slumps and face times when their stroke needs touching up, these three drills will go a long way in helping to reestablish a solid putting motion.

1. 4 Tee Drill
This drill is great for focusing on center contact as well as helping to maintain a square putter face through impact.
Most players will associate this drill with the two tees that many players on tour use for solid contact. But what makes this drill different is that by having two sets of tees, it forces us to have a good takeaway, as well as a good, follow through. Just have the two sets spaced 3 to 5 inches apart with the openings of the two sets being slightly wider than your putter. From there, any unwanted lateral movement with your putting stroke will be met by a tee.

2. Coin Drill
This drill pertains to those who tend to look up before hitting a putt which throws off our follow through and makes us manipulate the head. We do this for different reasons, though none of them are justifiable. Because those that keep their head down through the stroke will allow you to have better speed, control and just make a better stroke in general.
To perform this drill, just place the ball on top of the coin and make your stroke. Focusing on seeing the coin after you hit your putt before looking up.

3. Maintain the Triangle drill
One of the biggest things that I see in high handicap golfers or just bad putters, in general, is that they either don’t achieve an upside-down triangle from their shoulders, down the arms, and into the hands as pictured above. If they do, it often breaks down in their stroke. Either way, both result in an inconsistent strike and stroke motion. It also makes it harder to judge speed and makes it easier to manipulate the face which affects your ability to get the ball started online.
I use a plastic brace in the photo to hold my triangle, however, you can use a ball or balloon to place in between the forearms to achieve the same thing.
These three drills will help you establish proper muscle memory and promote strong techniques to help you roll the rock!

Link to article: http://bit.ly/2V109Zq
 

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TOUR-TESTED TIPS: Golf’s best players make the game look effortless. How do they do it? That’s what we wanted to find out. Luckily, these guys were more than willing to talk. We tracked down Cameron Smith to teach us the secret to tight-lie chips.

Cameron Smith:

“Weekend players fear tight lies, but the setup is really the same as a basic high chip. My keys are to open the face, position the ball just forward of center in my stance, and make sure that my spine angle is perpendicular to the ground.

From there, I pick out a spot where I want to land the ball on the green then take a final moment to soften my arms and release any tension. From this relaxed position, all you need to do is rotate around your body, back and through, at a smooth pace. There’s no need to lift the ball into the air. The loft on your wedge does it for you.

Link to article: Click here

Source: GOLF.com
By GOLF Editors

PGA Tour player Russell Henley explains how to hit the tricky, fluffy chip shot…

You missed the green, but hey, the ball’s sitting up in the rough. Good, right? Maybe. In this situation, it’s not always certain how the ball will come out. As with all short-game shots, crisp contact is the key.

Step 1: Even if you’re short-sided, refrain from opening the face too much. With the ball up, you risk sliding the club right underneath it if you add extra loft. The ball won’t go anywhere. I keep the face square in this situation, or barely opened if I really need more loft to stop it close.

Step 2: I swing as if I’m hitting a little draw, with the club moving in-to-out and my hands rolling over slightly through impact. This helps the club remain shallow, which usually results in cleaner contact. My main thought is to get as many grooves on the ball as possible. Think “glide,” not “chop.”

Link to article: Click here

 

Source: GolfDigest
By Keely Levins

Learn how to turn back, not sway.

Let’s talk about hip turn. James Kinney, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers and Director of Instruction at GolfTec Omaha, says that from the data GolfTec has collected, they’ve found lower handicap golfers have a more centered lower body at the top of the swing. Meaning, they don’t sway.

If you’re swaying off the ball, you’re moving yourself off of your starting position. The low point of your swing moves back when you sway back, so you’re going to have to shift forward to get your club to bottom out where the ball is. That takes a lot of timing, and is going to end up producing some ugly shots.

So, instead, Kinney says you should turn.
“When turning your hips, you are able to stay more centered over the golf ball in your backswing and the low point of your swing stays in the proper position, resulting in consistent contact.”

To practice turning, Kinney says to set up in a doorway. Have your back foot against the doorframe. When you make your lower body move back, your hip will hit the door fame if you’re swaying. If you’re turning, your hips are safe from hitting the frame.

Remember that feeling of turning when you’re on the course and your ball striking is going to get a whole lot more consistent.

Link to article: Click here