Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Golf tips on golf swings, golf grips and golf setups.

Here's some pretty good tips on Bunker shots I thought I would pass along.

Bunkers - How to Play Them

Fairway Bunkers

The fairway bunker shot can be an intimidating shot for many inexperienced golfers. For starters, when playing out of fairway bunkers, it is wise to take one to two clubs more than normal. Begin by setting up normally, with your feet slightly dug in for stability and the ball positioned more toward the middle of your stance. Next, grip down slightly on the club for greater control. Right before you begin your backswing, lift your chin off your chest. That raises your center of gravity and increases your ability to hit the ball first, which is crucial in executing the shot.

Swing at 70 percent of your normal speed and there's a good bet you'll hit a clean, solid shot. So, Hitting a shot from a fairway bunker poses no great problem if the ball has a good lie.

(Well, I am really just trying to buildyour confidence. I could say, you are in a bunker, you're score just went up three strokes!!!)

Long or middle irons as well as 3, 4, and 5 woods can be used with confidence in this situation. Take a open stance, wider than normal. Work your feet into the sand for better balance. Play the ball back 1" to 2" to assure that the club hits the ball before the sand. Choke down on the shaft. Close your eyes (just kidding).

From an open stance, aim slightly to the left.
Swing Normal Speed


On long fairway bunker shots, try a 5 wood in preference to a long iron. Don't try to overpower this shot. Restrict your body turn and swing easy. Now, if it is a BAD lie, then you need to play the course. Grab your club you are confident with, between a 7 and SW. Observe the course. Realize that you are not Tiger Woods. Realize the average golfer will clunk it out about 75 yards. Aim for a safe fairway shot to get you back into play. Shoot for the MIDDLE of the fairway, not left or right, 75 yards 'down bunker'. Most importantly, follow through on your swing. Most weekend golfers, whether near the green or in a fairway bunker, STOP their swing on impact. Golf is simple. You ALWAYS need to follow through. Again, swing easy and follow through.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Take Away

Notice: See my "Hot Tip" at the end of the article.

We've covered the Golf Grip, The Golf Stance, The Golf Setup and now before we get into the Golf Backswing, I think we should look at a very important aspect of this game. The Take Away:

The Take Away

Standing to the Handle

As you address the golf ball there are some critical parts of the setup that must be in place before you start the backswing.

  1. If you look down and see the grip-end of the golf club across from your belt buckle there is a good chance you have MOST of the critical parts in place.
1. Across from Belt Buckle

Having the grip-end of the golf club across from your belt buckle assures you of having your head in the correct position, not tilted too far to the left side or the right side of the golf ball. The second part is your spine is probably in the correct position, if the grip end is pointing towards you chin, your spine is too long. If the grip end is pointing lower than your belt buckle, your spine is bent over too much. Lastly, the most crucial part is the golf club is soled on the ground with the correct amount of loft.

The golf club being soled correctly on the ground is the sure guarantee that you are in the correct set-up, after you confirm all the positions that we discussed above.

The Key to Starting the Golf Club Back

One of the top five most asked questions in the past 25 years has been, “What starts the backswing?” The answer is a bit complex, so grab your Hi-Liter and let’s get started.

  1. When you are ready to start the backswing, the clubhead, shaft, your hands, arms and right shoulder move in ONE PIECE at the exact same time.

  2. The clubhead starts back on an arc (we will get to that in the next section). The right shoulder starts turning backwards.
2. One Piece Take-away

3. Right Shoulder Turns as Arm Swings Club

The take-away is one piece all the way until it arrives at the 9:00 o’clock position (we will get to that in two sections).

As you start back, both knees are flexed and during the backswing- the right knee NEVER changes positions. It does not flex more, nor does it straighten out and it does not slide back away from the target.

The left knee also plays a major role in the backswing. It does not move towards the line of flight and it does not straighten out. As the golf club starts back, the left knee moves towards the right knee as a RESULT of the upper body turning and the lower body resisting this turn. The left knee never passes the golf ball in the backswing.

The Correct Path in the Backswing

4. As the golf club starts back away from the golf ball the club head must swing back on an arc which is inside the straight line to the target.

4a. Correct Arc

4b. Correct Arc

If the golf club travels outside in the backswing the right shoulder will tilt up in the backswing and the golf club will swing vertical to the ground in the downswing. If the golf club travels too much to the inside of the arc in the backswing, the golf club will travel too level to the golf ball in the downswing. If the golf club swings too straight back you will have a tendency to hit the ball in the heel of the club at impact.

Too Much Outside

Too Much Inside

Too Straight Back

When the golf club travels back on the correct path the combination of the arms and hands will be able to swing the golf club back to the correct position at the top of the backswing as long as the right shoulder turns out of the way.

From Address to the 9:00 Position

When the shaft of the golf club is level to the ground and parallel to your intended target line- we refer to that position as 9 o’clock.

  1. The first check-point in the backswing is the 9:00 o’clock position.

When you reach 9 o’clock, you are half-way back and this is a great time to stop and take a look around, as long as you know what you are looking for. The first thing you want to take a look at- is the golf club in the exact correct position? The club should be parallel to your target line and level to the ground. The second part to take a look at- is the right shoulder turning and not tilting? It is very difficult to get to 9 o’clock with a tilted right shoulder.

Right Shoulder Tilted Too Much

Right Shoulder Turned Too Level

If the right shoulder is tilting up the golf club will most likely be outside the path and pointed up. If the right shoulder turns too much in the backswing the golf club will swing around you too much. If you are in the correct position, it is time to head back to the top of the backswing.

From 9:00 to the Top
  1. From the 9 o’clock position the golf club must continue up on an arc.

This can only happen if you continue to turn the right shoulder out of the way. As the right shoulder turns out of the way, the arms, hands and golf club will continue to swing inside, however, after the golf club passes the 9 o’clock position, it will have to swing up. This combination is what I believe is the most difficult part of the backswing.

You can not stop turning the shoulder. If you do stop turning the golf club will start to swing up to much. If you continue to swing the golf club around with the shoulders the golf club will swing too much around.

  1. The proper combination is when the shoulders turn and the golf club swings up. When you reach the top of the backswing with this combination you will be in position to swing the golf club down on the correct path and with clubhead speed.

3balls Golf

*-----------Hot Tip----------*

How far should you stand from the ball? Take your regular left hand grip. Hold the club straight out. Slowly lower to the ground. There you go. Set up to shoot. You should have no more than a fist and a half between the end of the club and your body. Feel uncomfortable? GOOD!! You know it must be right.