Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Golf Tips and Tricks- Improving Your Grip


The placement of your hands on the golf club believe it or not has a lot to do with your golf game. Holding the club can vastly improve your game providing you follow these tips. You will notice a difference.

The first basic understanding is that the hand placement on the club guide the ball. If you have your hands all over the place then the club will guide the ball in the same manner.

There are two types of grips, the light grip and the firm grip. If you grip the club too tight it will cause the ball to slice. The lighter grip makes for easier wrist movement. You have heard the expression before, it is all in the wrist and in the game of golf it happens to be true. In addition to the light grip of the club, you will begin to the feel your arms and hands become more relaxed.

By positioning the club correctly with the light pressure grip, it can help you control the clubs position on impact. When you turn your body as you swing, the club moves at the same time. The body and the club must turn together; it must be a smooth swing. The wrist movement in the swing is the power of the game.

If you begin by placing the club more in the fingers than the palms of your hand you will notice more of an increase in your wrist movement and that can result in longer shots. That is one known mistake to golfers; they place the club more in the lead hand palm than the do in the fingers. By doing that the drive lacks power and the ball will slice.

Your trailing or bottom hand is the stronger hand for most golfers. For example, if you are right handed the bottom hand will be your right hand. This hand should be positioned to extract a powerful drive without over powering your lead hand. Your hands should be placed in equal formation. That is what makes a great player great. The swing of the club at a consistent rate combined with your balance will improve anyones game.

The problem of some players is that the rush the swing. When you do this you lose your balance the ball will not drive properly. If you watch the professionals play, they make their swing and grips look so easy. The swing the club smoothly and they hit the ball hard. Balance is the key; if you have a good relaxed grip and keep your balance you should notice a huge improvement in your game.

These things don't happen over night so be patient and with a lot of practice you will notice an improvement. Practice at a driving range so you can see how you are driving the ball. Concentrate and follow through and remember it is all in the wrist.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Diagnosing and Fixing a Slice


The Backswing

There are numerous backswing issues that can affect your impact. For slicing, the two basic flaws are a backswing that is going too much up, or a clockwise twisting of the shaft, or both.

If your backswsing is too much up and not enough around, then the club is going to approach the ball on an angle that is too steep. In other words, too sharply toward the ground. A properly squaring clubface would then create an impact that is hitting the ground too hard. In an effort to hit the ground a bit lighter, the golfer with this problem often opens the face on the way through, causing a slice.

To fix this issue, take a look at your backswing at the top. Make sure the shaft is over your shoulder at the top, not over your head.
To achieve this position, you may have to feel your left arm cross your chest just a bit, creating a flatter or more rounded backswing. You may feel a bigger turn this way too. Good! Engaging those bigger muscles will only help you generate more power.

The next important element of the backswing will be the clubface position. One of the biggest mistakes slicers make is to turn the club clockwise to begin the backswing (i.e., immediately opening the clubface on the takeaway). This movement feels like the club is going around properly, creating a good turn. Unfortunately, this opening of the club simply creates an open face at impact. True, the clubface should "open" on the backswing, relative to the target line. However, this natural opening is done with the turning of the shoulders and torso, not because of a twist in the hands.

When you are making your backstroke, just hold on to the club. No effort to twist or hinge the wrists should be made. When you get to the top, you can check for the proper position by looking at your left wrist. You should be able to lay a ruler underneath the face of your wristwatch and have it touch both your arm and the back of your hand. In other words, the back of your left wrist should be straight.

The Downswing

You know, with a good grip and stance as well as a good backswing position, I'd be surprised if your slice is still here. If these first few areas check out, you're 90-percent of the way to eliminating that slice.

To begin the downswing, make sure you start down without any lift or push forward with your arms. Your weight should shift to the front foot and your body should turn toward the target. While this is happening, you should feel a slight drop of your left arm down your torso. This will give you the feeling that you're approaching the ball by way of your right pocket. This movement will virtually guarantee that the club is coming from the right direction.

If the ball still has a tail to the right, you can add this sensation: Try to get the feeling that the club is closing a bit too soon. Feel as though the clubface is closed by the time it gets to your right leg. This should be done through softness in the wrists, with a feeling of letting the club swing. It should not be done by forcing the club to turn over with your hands. Some practice should give you the feeling.

Final Words
I have some very good news about working on this, or any other problem, for that matter. You have the best teacher in the world with you at all times, namely the golf ball. The way the ball flies will give you objective feedback about your swing.

You'll want to remember that you are improving if your 30-yard slice is now a 15-yard slice. No matter how strange a new move feels, always listen to what the ball tells you. You may be sure that the clubhead is turning over soon enough, but if the ball is still tailing to the right in flight, then you'll have to feel the club close sooner still. Not until you curve the ball to the left have you closed the clubface too soon! The feel can trick you, but the ball won't.

From Roger Gunn

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5 Simple Ways To Improve your Golf on the Course

When you go out to golf you're hoping for a good round. I know I do. How often does your outcome match what you hoped for? Do you usually shoot the scores you had envisioned before you teed off? If not, do you ever evaluate where and how you could have saved strokes and avoided those blow up holes?

I've got 6 easy tips for you to implement immediately that will shave 4-6 or even more strokes off your score the next time you play. Give them a try and see what happens. Here they are:

1. First off you've got to put the proper fuel in your body before you leave home. Most golfers don't give it a second thought. They either don't eat at all before they leave home or they eat something that is not going to give them the long-term energy they're hoping for. So, whether it's lunch or breakfast before you leave, you need to consume a complex carbohydrate and a good protein source. This combination will warrant the best use of your energy for the long haul.

An example for breakfast would be a bowl of oatmeal and a couple of eggs with a piece of fruit or a juice. For lunch you could have a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with a piece of fruit. Lot's of lettuce on the sandwich and try to avoid mayonnaise or butter.

2. The second tip is to properly warm up your body before you even hit your first ball. I see so many golfers show up 5 minutes before tee time, hack a few balls and head to the first tee. Those golfers are headed for a double bogey right off the bat - but hey they're just getting “warmed up” right?

A better approach is to give yourself at least 30 minutes before your tee time. First do some dynamic (movement oriented) stretches to prepare your body to perform. Things like arm circles, partial squats, toe touches, etc. Then take some half swings with a 7 iron. Now after that you're ready to hit some wedges. You'll find with this approach your hits on the range will be much better, which will build your confidence.

3. Drink lots of water even before you leave your house. Try to consume up to a gallon of Water before you get to the course. This will help you absorb and digest your pre-game meal and hydrate your muscles for optimal performance. Don't take this lightly. Dehydration causes energy loss, lack of focus and concentration and fatigue later in the round. And remember, that's before you even come to the course. Once you get their you should be drinking water every hole.

4. Don't wait 'til you get tight to stretch on the course. You should be constantly moving your body and stretching your joints while you play. I see and hear too many golfers complaining of tight lower backs or shoulders during the round. What amazes me is that with all that complaining they do nothing about it. Why? Think of your body as a machine. If the machine starts to break down - fix it. I mean stretch those areas while you're playing. You'll see a big difference in your swing mechanics late in the round.

5. Snack while you play. No I don't mean the full meal at the turn with a beer I mean bringing fruit and nutrition bars to eat every 4-6 holes. When you supply your body with the proper nutrients your energy levels stay balanced and you will avoid those mental lapses late in the round. How many times have you had a good score only to blow up late in the round? I'll bet more than a couple of times. I know I have. Treat your body like a Ferrari not a Ford Pinto.

Link

Thursday, January 25, 2007

10 Ways to Increase Your Energy Instantly with a Golf Performance Diet

A golf conditioning program should always be accompanied by a solid golf nutrition plan. In essence, what you eat determines how you play. So, which foods produce champions and which foods hinder play? Let me give you a few hints.

It goes without saying that proper nutrition is important for all of us. But, if you are serious about shaving valuable strokes off your scorecard, you need to make some tough decisions on seeing your diet through. If you travel for golf, or play in frequent tournaments, it is important not to fall into the trap of ‘settling’ for fast food or a quick bag of chips or chocolate bar. Make a commitment to use some or all of the following tips and your energy will reach new heights in your next round.

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both of these are diuretics and cause fluid loss. They also both affect performance. Coffee can over stimulate your mind or your muscles, making your performance uncontrolled. Excessive consumption of alcohol severely affects your coordination.

• Avoid large amounts of food in the two hours leading up to tee time. Food in your digestive system diverts blood away from your brain and muscles, affecting concentration and physical performance. A meal two to three hours before play is preferred.

• Don’t skip meals. Golfers need that slow and steady release of energy to see them through difficult or long hours of play. Smaller meals are better to help increase metabolism.

• Eat 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day. This gives your body the nutrition it needs to last.

• Drink lots of water. Think in terms of 8 to 10 glasses each day. Continue throughout your round to stay hydrated especially during the summer months.

• Combine carbohydrates, proteins and fats at each meal. This aides in overall digestion and ensures you are getting the proper nutrients.

• Bring a snack or bag lunch. Beverage carts are not known for healthy choices, so don’t put yourself in a position to feel forced to rely on them.

• Avoid high processed foods or sugar based foods. They tend to raise blood sugar levels quickly and, then, drop rapidly causing fatigue.

• Stick with the basics. Don’t try new foods just before you play. Stick with what you know your body responds well to.

• Keep it simple. There is no need to make elaborate meals or go to great extent in preparation. A piece of fruit and bag of nuts will go a long way in replenishing energy when you need it.

As a golfer, especially if you are of a championship caliber, it is essential to have a wide variety of complex carbohydrates to maintain your energy through an 18-hole match or a 72-hole tournament.

Mentally your brain needs to stay conditioned to tell your body what to do, not to mention calculating distances, swing strength and maintaining focus. Follow these 10 tips and watch your scorecard drop to new lows.

Susan Hill is a CHEK Golf Biomechanic, Sports Nutritionist and President of FitnessforGolf.com, a private, member’s only, online golf fitness website dedicated to the improvement of golfers worldwide. If you are looking for ways to increase your endurance on the course, then visit http://www.fitnessforgolf.com.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Newbie Golfer Guide To Buying Golf Clubs


If you a beginner at playing golf, you should probably not buy a new golf club set immediately, since you may find out that you don’t like the game that much after all. Furthermore, you have yet to find out your real niche in the game and your own unique playing style, which will greatly affect the way you choose golf clubs once you are a more seasoned player.

The good choice for a beginner is to start with used golf clubs. The main goal is to keep the price down so that you aren’t making a huge investment before you really know what you are doing. Here you will find some tips to follow to help you to hunt down your starter golf clubs.

At this point in time, you should be trying out as many golf clubs as you possibly can. Borrow them from your friends, rent them out from golf club rental stores, and take the clubs down to the driving range. Hit as many balls as it takes to decide whether you want to stick with that particular club when you make the purchase.

If it feels at all uncomfortable or if you keep missing shots that you would normally make, you should probably reconsider your choice and find a different golf club that will work better for you. When you actually go out to buy some used golf clubs, carefully make sure that they are similar to the ones that you have tried in the past. If they are what you need, you’ll notice a huge difference in their quality.

As you search around for used golf clubs to get started with, you should bring along a friend who knows a little more about golf clubs that you do. By enlisting the help of an expert golfer, you can use their knowledge on top of your own personal preferences.

If you are stumped on a certain set of golf clubs and you aren’t sure whether they are worth the money or not, they will be able to help you make up your mind anyways. If you don’t know anyone who has such a high level of expertise, you can take your questions elsewhere.

Find out the specifications of the golf clubs that you are looking at, and discuss them with the pros at the golf shops, or even with golfing communities on the internet. Make sure you get some sound advice from at least a few people before you make the purchase.

Beginners also frequently make the mistake of buying a full set of golf clubs. A full set consists of 14 clubs, and is usually absolutely, 100% unnecessary for someone who is just getting started. Instead, look for something called a half-set. There are certain clubs in a full set that are more difficult for a beginner to control.

This includes the driver most of all, so this is the first one to go when narrowing down the clubs to a half set. Narrowing down your club set to just the most necessary clubs will give you quite a few benefits. It will make it easier to choose the right club when you go to make your stroke, and it will mean a lighter load to carry around all over the golf course.

Allan Wilson

Friday, January 05, 2007

Golf Tips - Ball Position

As I have stressed before, proper golf fundamentals are the key to a solid and repeatable golf swing. I've already covered the golf grip, and now I'd like to address ball position. There are a couple of different teachings in this area and I've experimented with most of them. The one that has worked the best for me is the Jack Nicklaus method of ball position.

According to Jack, "I play every standard shot with the ball in the same position relative to my feet. That position is opposite my left heel."

Butch Harmon offers a nice explanation:

...ball position is very, very important. That's why I like you to think of a constant ball position. Always position the ball off the logo on your shirt. If you don't have a logo on your shirt, position the ball in line with your left breast. The only thing that changes is the width of your stance - - where your right foot widens out farther the longer the shaft of the club gets.

If you think about it, if I was hitting a wedge shot, it would look like the ball was pretty much in the middle of my stance. Yet, if I was hitting a driver, you would have thought that I moved the ball way up in my stance. But really nothing has changed. All I've done is widen my stance out for the different clubs. This means that my alignment stays the same and my shoulders stay square the target line...

I used to try to play everything from the center, but the Jack / Butch method worked much better for me.

Remember, ball position off the left heel doesn't necessarily mean forward in the stance. As you use longer clubs, your stance widens, so the ball moves progressively forward in the stance. Conversely, as you use shorter clubs, the ball moves progressively back in the stance. For example, ball placement for a PW would appear near the center of the stance because the stance is so narrow (and sometimes open).

Here are some pics of David Leadbetter and Nick Price demonstrating the ball positioned off the left heel with varying stance widths. Notice in the large picture that Leadbetter is actually holding a club right where Butch recommends that you position the ball - in line with the logo on your shirt!

This picture captures Nick Price's ball position with a 9-iron:








Here's his position with a 3-iron:

Notice in each case, Nick's ball position is approximately the same distance away from the left heel. This is very similar to Tiger Woods' ball position. How does this compare to your ball position? If you are having problems with your ball-striking, it could be simply a flaw in your ball position. Try the Jack Nicklaus / Butch Harmon / David Leadbetter / Golf Grouch ball position and it could yield amazing results!

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