One of the most common questions I get as a golf coach is, “So, what should I be practicing?” That is a great question and the answer is determined by two factors. First, I always ask, “What do you struggle with?” I’ve noticed that in my 25 years of coaching golf that most golfers avoid practicing the thing they need to practice the most. This is flawed thinking because your weaknesses will always be exposed during a round of golf, and when they are, your score goes up…a lot. So, what I like to do with my students is to attack their weakness and turn that weakness into a strength.
The second factor that should be considered is simple statistics. Numbers don’t lie. So, what is most important in golf? It’s ALL important, and all parts of the game are linked but here are some undeniable facts that will help you make the most of your practice time.
This graphic should be very useful in helping every individual make the most of their practice time. One note: The yellow wedge (Trouble Shots) shouldn’t be overlooked. I see many golfer make a mess of these shots which absolutely wrecks their score. I’ll write a post on those shots soon.
This article will also be featured in November issue of New Zealand Golf Magazine.
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!