Monday, April 13, 2009

Free Golf Tips

Greenside Bunkers

The most common mistake weekend players make in the greensidebunker is allowing their lower bodies to get too active. If you shift your weight or make a turn with your lower body, your swing's shape and impact position will never be the same from one swing to the next--you'll never know whether you'll leave the ball in the bunker or skull one 35 yards across the green.

Proper bunker technique requires that you place your weight forward--and leave it there throughout the swing. Here's a great drill to engrain this feeling. Go to a practice bunker and hit 25 bunker shots with your right (for right-handed golfers) heel in the air--only your right toes should be dug into the sand for balance. This will position the majority of your weight forward to begin your swing. If you try to shift your weight back to your right side as you play the shot, you'll feel the pressure in your right toes and you'll have to fight to keep your right heel from lowering into the sand.

It might feel as though you're actually shifting your weight forward in a reverse pivot, but you're not--you're just not used to the feel of the proper bunker technique. As you learn to keep your weight forward and quiet your lower body on these greenside bunker shots, you'll begin to notice the ball flying the same distance and on the same trajectory again and again. Once this happens, you'll start to develop some touch and begin to think about not only getting the ball out, but also about getting it close.

Poor bunker players have a far-too-active lower body. If you make a turn or weight shift, your swing's shape and the club's impact position will change from swing-with inconsistent results. To quiet your lower body bring consistency to your greenside bunker game, practice hitting sand shots with your right heel raised. Your swing's shape and club's impact position will be the same-shot after shot. When you are in a greenside bunker, and you need to get out (like you would need to stay in??), the most common mistake made is taking a half swing, and not following through. Try this: Pretend the ball is lying on a pancake, or sprinkler head. You want to aim FOR THE FRONT EDGE of the 'pancake' that the ball is lying on. DO NOT stop your swing upon contact. FOLLOW THROUGH to get the ball out. By hitting the sand first, and hitting through the ball, you will not 'skull' it. The ball will pop up gently, with the sand, and roll right into the cup (ok maybe not, but it will be much closer). Do you watch pro's, or other good golfers? Wonder why they 'take so much sand' with them? Now you know! Remember, don't hit the ball, hit the front edge of the pancake, and follow through. Let your backswing determine the distance you need to go, not your follow through! And always count to one one thousand before you lift your head.

That will insure that you KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!!

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