A slightly different lesson today…I have some in-round insights to help your swing, and also your putting and short-game.
Here we go!
I played a rare holiday game of golf with various family members the other day. I have been only playing about 9 holes/week; my game is okay – just not sharp for 18 hole scoring.
We were playing a nice “members course” – with tree-lined fairways and a couple small lakes off to the sides of some holes.
The course was playing much shorter than its regular 6080m or 6750 yards.
I hit a straight drive off the first hole, and a slight draw with a “gripped-down 110m wedge”, from a slight right-to-left-lie. A classic: “take-plenty-of-club, 3/4 Adults Golf Swing wedge-shot” – which drills the ball in low, towards the pin”.
I had a good read on the putt from 12 feet; picked a couple of targets in the last 1/4 of the putt that formed a path, and in she went.
Short par 5 Second: crappy drive, left; a good 3-wood from the trees to about 30m short of the pin, an okay pitch and another putt made from about the same length.
3rd Hole: Stayed forward on my drive (not letting myself move laterally) and hit a good drive. I had 150m in (165 yards), felt like there was a cross-breeze that may have also been into us slightly.
So, I choose my 150 club to hit this shot about 140m. I gripped down a little and went for a straight ball-flight… and the best iron strike of the day materializes…the ball rifles at the pin; it stops 3 feet away.
I was nervous on that putt! But I stuck to my routine – chose a spot short of the hole on the path to the hole kept that in my brain as I went through the physical action of putting. Boom… 3-under after 3 holes!
What a start! – quite a surprise. Sadly though, I was scrappy with my irons for the rest of the day. Woods were good on the back 9 and putting and chipping saved my score – a 1-under par 71.
I had not played enough 18 hole golf in recent times to go super low – not enough “match fitness”.
Lessons learned that you can apply to your game
Putting and chipping: I had 25 putts – making 2 from 2 x 10-12 foot putts on the 1st and 2nd, and two putts from the same distances on the 17th and 18th greens.
I worked on: multiple spots along my line…then my body reacted to them (it is quite magical…you are FEEDING your subconscious; your body responds to the mini-trance you get into from picking multiple targets)
Chipping: ball way back in stance; chipping hasn’t been this good for two decades – feels easy; been hitting chip-shots in the backyard for a few months. Get the ball-position correct, then simply imagine and hit, different shots with different wrist-releases (ball is always back for low-chip-shots).
Here is article on my golf blog on improving your chipping; there is also another link in the article to another short-game article which includes a mention of Steve Elkingtons excellent shortgame video-training.
My downfall on the day, was my irons – despite a couple of good ones in the first three holes.
On the day, I felt tense and was rushing these swings. The next day, I went and hit some practice balls at the driving range – a rare visit of late.
How did I get my iron-swing back?
A key component of making an excellent Adults Golf Swing – like the one’s I made on the 1st and 3rd holes which set up birdies, is to: “select a club that goes further than the distance you have”; IMPORTANT.
At the driving range, I started with some half and three-quarter wedge-shots; practicing these shots helps your feel, tempo, and hinging/unhinging of your wrists. When you play a “part-shot” you must swing the club shorter, have a smooth transition, and then be accelerating through the ball (arms wrist, legs and hips).
Too many club-golfers have this shot in reverse: long swing, slow and weak through the ball. The opposite is how you play them: shorter backswing, smooth transition, fast through the ball.
I then went up to full shots with my 120m-club – my wedge (I missed a few shots with it the day before). I started trying to hit the ball only 110; I was hitting ball after ball, pure.
I then applied this concept to my 7 iron and 5 iron; same result: solid swings and shots.
Having “enough club” has the effect of you FINISHING your swing at a controlled point in your swing, your wrists get a chance to re-hinge and slot into the perfect position on the transition, and your tempo is correct (they don’t do this on a full, tense, kids-swing).
So, a simple concept can have a huge impact on your swing.
You don’t have to get all technical, by me thinking about a “110” for a 120 shot, or “140 when I have a 150-club”, my subconscious reacts in a relaxed, rhythmical fashion; I don’t try and hit too hard which results in my technique, tempo and my entire swing being better.
Want to improve your ball-striking and scoring in 2015?
I have three programs that can help:
The Truth About Putting – You may have heard of it!
The Adults Golf Swing – Helps you create a better technique using pictures and feelings (based around 4 dynamic fundamentals)
The Automatic Golf System – This helps you “recover” from “golf-instruction-information overload”, and gets you back thinking, seeing, feeling, swinging and shooting low scores – like “Rico” below.
The Automatic Golf System information page now features one of our Auto-Golf/Truth About Putting Devotees, Rico, A 69 years young, American, who just beat his age of 69 by 2 shots…yep, that’s a 5-under par 67. His words are below:
“Success leaves clues”
Have a great golfing year,