Tag Archives: golf coaching

A New Series: How to Actually PLAY Golf.

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A view of the spectacular par 3, 14th hole at Titarangi Golf Club in Auckland, New Zealand.

An Introduction to a new lesson series.

There are literally countless articles and videos on the many ways you should swing a golf club. Learning how to swing a club efficiently is vital if you are going to enjoy your current golf and keep playing this great game in the future. However, when golfers are put in real-life situations on the course, many times their practice of “golf swing” doesn’t lead to lower scores. Lets face it, a lot of bad things can happen to good swings on a golf course. There is a disconnect between what was taught on the practice tee and what one can produce on the golf course. We’ve all either said or heard the phrase, I can’t take what I do on the range to the golf course. This is the universal lament of the golfer who wants to get better, but never seems to. What I have found in my lifetime of teaching and coaching is that there just isn’t enough information for golfers about how to navigate themselves around the course to help them lower their scores.

Its frustrating for you, the golfers who put so much effort to go into improving your golf via practice and lessons, only to be disappointed with results when you actually play. Its frustrating for me as an instructor for my students to suffer needlessly—and as I say, to not get paid. Most times I see scores balloon not because of technique, but because of a player’s poor planning, trying to do too much with a shot, a bad decision, panic, or just hitting a shot out of pure frustration.

cog graphic how to playOnly about 4% of all golf lessons given are playing lessons. I believe that this is one of the big factors preventing golfers from improving as much or as fast as they should. Golfers aren’t given the knowledge to know what to do—or more importantly, what NOT to do—on the golf course. I see this as a recipe for failure. So, in some ways your poor score is not your fault. The fact is, you haven’t been trained on how to PLAY golf. In fact, years ago I was going to give a talk about this very topic at PGA training and they told me straight out, “You can’t give this talk.” I was stunned when I heard this. Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to know that I gave the talk anyway.

The bottom line is this, strategy and having a set of rules for what you will do or won’t do in a given situation is biggest key for scoring. If you follow these strategies your scores will go down, regardless of how you hit the ball. My goal is to arm you with the knowledge to go on the course and lower your handicap so you can beat your mates!

So lets learn something useful and apply these principles. And by the way, if you have certain situations you’d like to see discussed mention them in the comment box and I’ll get to them either individually or in a future article.

Look for the first installment of How to Actually Play Golf in the following days.

Awesome Irons

When I am giving lessons to new students more times than not one of the first things I have to adjust is how far or close someone is to the ball. Most golfers don’t have a clear understanding on what is the most effective. I find that most golfers stand too far away from the ball with their irons, with their arms extended and locked in a stiff, un-athletic manner. This is one of the root causes of poor swing mechanics. Extending the arms so far away from the body creates a myriad of problems. “Reaching” creates tension in the arms, flattens the swing plane, which creates a poor swing-path and makes it difficult to make solid, consistent contact with the ball. In addition to that, being too far away from the ball reduces swing speed so you won’t hit the ball as far.

Hopefully, this photograph will explain and make it easy for you to understand how to get into a proper set-up position.

I really only look for one thing. I want to see the toes, the butt end of the grip and the shoulder on the same vertical line. If those 3 things are touching that line you’ll be in great shape! Let your arms hang straight down. Don’t reach! If you set up like this you’ll find a lot of your swing problems will be diminished. Many of you will feel at first that you are too close to the ball, but you are not. If you feel that way it’s because you were too far away from the ball to begin with.

Try this an your swing will feel fluid and athletic. Your path will be better. Your contact will be better. The ball will fly long and straight!

If you have a topic you’d like discussed please use the comment box. I will be glad to address your questions. Thanks for reading!