There are so many different golf accessories available on the market these days that it’s very complicated to know what to buy! It’s all very good to have the latest headgear, marvelous gloves, the fleece-lined jacket to protect against the wintry blasts or the trendiest gadget all the pro’s use, but will they make you play any better?
One of the latest ‘must have’ golf accessories is a ‘Golf GPS’ hand held device! It makes you question how Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus ever got by with what they had!
No matter what your preferences are for getting accessories to improve your enjoyment of the game, and there is a huge range of really useful items available, but where precisely do you start looking?
The Pro’s shop at your golf club is an excellent place to start, but they sometimes have a restricted amount of space and only supply the larger range of items. Local golf stores are an alternative place to start looking as they generally have a superior range available, but that isn’t always the case. You may, of course, live some way away from the nearest golf store, so it isn’t easy to just go there to look around. So where else can you start looking?
You can try your local newspaper ‘classified ads’ in case someone is selling something you’d rather like to have, or you could put in a ‘wanted’ ad yourself if you know exactly what you want. You can also find ads on the internet in a variety of Free Ad sites, or look out for yard sales or boot fairs in your local area, especially in the summer months. These are always a good resource of golfing accessories.
Your fellow golfers are another great resource when it comes to getting useful accessories. If you spot one of your golfing buddies with a ‘must have’ item, if he won’t sell it to you himself he’ll tell you exactly where he got it from. Take advantage of this company if you can, and avoid making pointless trips to the golf store to buy expensive accessories. You can also look on sites that are meant to sell the items online.
E Bay is the one that springs to mind first for most people, and this is a very good place to look. E Bay is one of the main online stores of all things old and no longer widely available. However, there are also numerous online golf accessory stores that may offer what you need. The bigger stores are generally more reliable and more trustworthy than the average eBay merchant and they also sell new items. As long as you are sure that you are getting a value item and not some cheap version that will break right away, these sites are very good to check out. Your favorite search engine will quickly lead you to an abundance of them.
If you try all of these different resources, you are almost certain to find what you need. Just remember to be prudent when it comes to golf equipment. Even if you feel like you can afford it, you still don’t want to get too free with your wallet and start tossing money everywhere just for the sake of it. This is a good way to squander huge amounts without having much to show for it, except a lot of accessories that you might not use very much.
Discover some really useful golf accessories, including a Golf GPS, by just browsing online where you’re sure to find something you couldn’t play golf without! They make very good birthday presents too. For the golfer who hasn’t quite got everything – yet.
There is nothing more beautiful to a golfer than a high flying drive that travels over 250 yards and splits the fairway. Power and accuracy is the key to good tee shots but how do you hit them long and straight consistently? So here’s is how to drive a golf ball with style.
Driving a golf ball begins with the proper grip, ball position and stance.
The first change you will probably need to make to achieve greater distance is to adjust your grip. The longest hitters have very strong grips which mean that their lower hand is more dominant in the swing. For lefthanders this means turning your left hand clockwise so that two to three knuckles are visible as your look down.
Grip strength is determined not by how tight you hold the club but whether your dominant hand is turned more to the right or the left. For lefties a strong grip has the left hand covering more of the right hand while a weaker grip does not. A strong grip will promote a draw which will carry father and then will roll more once it releases because of the top spin it encourages.
Ball position is another big factor that will determine your distance off the tee. You want to get the ball up in the air quickly, so with the driver the best place to position the ball is just inside your front foot. For lefthanders this means lining up the ball with the heel of your right foot. For tee shots you will also want to tee the ball up high for the longest possible drives.
The other big factor which will determine how to drive a golf ball to achieve distance and direction off the tee is your golf stance. Much of your power comes from your legs so you need to set a solid foundation for your swing. Your feet should be a little more than shoulder width apart and slightly open to encourage a wide body turn. Lefthanders need to make sure that their front foot is facing out; think of a clock and point the big toe of your right foot at 1 o clock. Since you are setting up to draw the ball from left to right, remember to aim your shot left of your target.
Whether you use the Vardon grip or the Interlock, your wrists should be facing each other in the proper golf grip. When you place your right hand (for lefties) on the club, point your thumb straight down the shaft to make sure that your wrist is properly aligned and then just place the left hand over the right. The wrist on your left hand should be on top of the shaft to insure the proper hinging during the swing.
The swing grip described above will make sure that you achieve the proper hinging of the wrist. As you take the club back, your wrists will lock as you straighten out your front arm. When you get to the top if you have the proper wrist position the club will be parallel to your shoulders in a straight line.
Start down by forcing the butt of the club towards the ground. As you get close to the ball you want to roll your wrists over right at impact. Getting the proper timing for the release of the wrist will take a great deal of practice. If the wrists release too soon your shot will result in a hook and if the wrists fail to roll over you are going to hit a slice.
Watch the professional from Powermaxgolf.com to see just how to drive a golf ball and how easy it is
Your golf score is never going to improve if you can’t putt. Strokes on the green amount to about half of your strokes in a round of golf and it is absolutely essential to be able to get the ball in the hole. Becoming a good putter starts with a solid putting grip.
The proper wrist position is different in the putter grip than it is for the swing grip.
The very best putters are ones who do not roll or release the wrists at all. The proper golf grip for the putter is one that keeps the wrists and hands as static as possible. To consistently strike the ball cleanly, the wrist of the lead hand must remain firm and not move. One of the hottest players on the PGA tour right now is Steve Stricker whose success is credited to his ability to putt. He achieves excellent results by lining up his forearms on opposite sides of the putter with his palms facing each other.
When you keep your wrists and hands firm in the putter grip you control your distance with your arm swing. The farther you take the putter back, the longer the ball will roll. Do not try to control your distance by hinging and unhinging the wrists, it is extremely difficult to achieve consistent results.
There are a number of grips being used in the game of golf today. It is hard to say that one is better than another; you have to find which one is best suited to you through experimenting and practice. The grip is the overlap which most closely resembles the grip used for other shots. Left-handers should place their right hand on the grip first and then lay the left hand over the top of it. The index finger of your right hand should lie on top of the lower fingers on your left hand.
After the overlap the most common grip is the two fingers grip. In this case you will hold the club in the fingers of both hands and then point each index finger straight down the shaft. Professional golfer Mark McNulty has used this grip quite successfully on tour and is regarded as one of the best putters on the P.G.A. tour. Pointing the fingers down the shaft helps lock the wrists in position so they don’t breakdown during the swing.
A similar grip that is becoming more common is known as the box. This grip calls for placing the palms facing each other onto the club. As the name suggests your hands should form a box shape around the putter grip. Some golfers will use a cross hands approach. For left-handers this would mean placing the right hand lower on the club than the left. Those who switched to this putting grip have usually done it because they have been suffering from the yips and blown a number of short putts. It provides a little more stability but makes longer lag putts a little more difficult.
The style you choose does not matter as long as you can repeat the swing consistently. The key to good putting is keeping the hands as quiet as possible and executing a good arm swing to get the ball rolling. Think of your arms as a pendulum swinging back and forth.
Putting On Line
The easiest way to cut strokes off your golf score is to become a better putter. Making more one putts and eliminating the three putts is sure to get you out of the 90’s. The secret comes down to choosing the line, reading the green and feeling the pace.
Learning to read the green is the first step in putting well. Knowing how the putt is going to break is essential to choosing the line to hit the putt on and determining how fast the green is will tell you how hard to hit it. To determine the break take a good look at the green and examine the slope and contour. Examine the grain of the green and check to see if you will have to putt with the grain or against it. When you putt into the grain the putt will be much slower than when you are going with it.
As a rule the faster the greens the less the ball will break. The same principle applies if you are putting downhill because the quicker that the ball rolls the less it is going to move. Take this into consideration as you choose the line for your putt. Determining the pace is a matter of feel. Make sure to give yourself some time before your round on the practice green to gauge the speed.
One common trick many golfers use to determine the break is plumb-bobbing. Kneel down, hold your putter by the top of the grip and let it hang straight down facing the hole. The putter head will swing in the direction that you should strike the putt to get it going on line. As you look, close your weak eye and examine the break through your dominant eye (probably the left for most left-handers ) Another good way to determine how a ball will react on the green is to watch the shots of your competitors as they land. Information is the key to finding the line.
Once you find the line it won’t do you any good if you can’t hit the ball on that line. Alignment is critical to making a good stroke. Square the putter to the ball and take the club straight back and follow straight through. Make sure to keep your speed the same going back and coming through the ball. One very common mistake by most people is to slow down the club as they strike the ball.
The only way you are going to become a better putter is through practice. While most golfers will go to the driving range and hit balls to groove their swing, many neglect spending an equal amount of time on the green refining their stroke. Remember, half of all shots in your round are putts. Therefore practicing your stroke is very important for those who would like to improve their overall scores on the golf course.
The first thing to work on when you get to the putting green is your alignment. You are not going to hole many putts if you can’t get the ball started on your target line. The simplest way to practice this is to lay two clubs on the ground, side by side forming a chute to the hole. Practice your putts between the two clubs, making sure that your backswing and follow through stay inside the chute formed by the clubs.
Practicing using the clubs will also help you develop the proper arm swing for your putting stroke. The image that most teachers will tell you to picture is a swinging pendulum. Move your arms and shoulders from side to side in the same manner that a pendulum swings back and forth inside a grandfather clock. You don’t want to use your wrist in making the putting stroke. Control distance by how far you swing your arms back.
Another way to groove your swing and make sure that you are rolling the ball properly on the green is to mark your ball with a thick line. Align the line on the ball with the hole and hit the putt watching to make sure that it rolls end over end toward the target. Most of today’s putters have lines on them as well to help you set up properly to your target.
The most difficult of the putts is the long lag putt. The key to eliminating three putts is to be able to get up and down in two from anywhere on the green. Using the pendulum style of putting can make the long putts difficult so many pros have gone to what is known as the piston technique. In the piston technique the right arm and the club hang directly below the right armpit (for left-handers . The left arm is then used to take the club back and push the putter through the ball towards the hole.
You might think that spending any time on the driving range would assist improve your golf game, however if you are just hitting balls to hit balls do not anticipate to break 90.
When the pros practice, they practice with a purpose. They work on particular shots and alternately hit hooks and fades to prepare them for whatever shot they are going to face out on the course.
Consistency is the key to scoring low in golf and that starts by developing a solid swing. To repeat the swing in the same manner over and over again it is essential to develop a pre-shot routine.
Take your stance in the same manner, take a look at your target and give the club a little waggle before you start. This routine should be used every time you step out onto the driving range to practice
Tempo and shaping shots are other things to work on, on the practice range. Try to always take the club back at a slow steady pace and then accelerate through the ball. On the practice range, experiment will ball placement in your stance to see how it affects the flight of the ball. If you move the ball back in your stance you will hit a fade (bending back to the left for lefties) and if you place the ball a little more forward than usual you will hit a draw (left to right movement for lefties).
It is important to have a golf plan even for practice. Warm up by hitting a few shots with your pitching wedge and then start with your short irons. After you are loose begin to try for different targets on the driving range with the same club. Go through your pre-shot routine just as you would if you were in the middle of the round. Once you have concluded your iron work break out the driver. Your golf plan should include very specific goals as you work with the driver. Don’t just see how far you can hit it, work on your accuracy and see how many balls in a row you can keep in the fairway.
Make sure you complete your practice by spending some time on the putting green. Hit chip shots and putts. One good drill is to work on getting up and down from different spots around the green. First hit your chip and then get out the putter just as you would on the course and work on getting the ball in the hole.
Golf Course Management
If you are having cutting a few strokes off your score, the problem may not be your golf swing or putting stroke. For many golfers, poor course management is what is holding them back. Going for birdie every time can often lead to a bogey or worse and poor decision making may be what is holding you back.
Every shot you make should be carefully thought through. You should not only consider what happens if you hit the ideal shot but what if you catch it thin or fade it a bit too much to the left. No one wants to plan to hit a bad shot but there are many occasions during a round of golf where it will pay to hit a safe shot and avoid trouble. For example, on a long par 5 do you go for the green in two or lay up to your favorite distance for your third shot and try and hit it stiff.
Focus on shot making as you travel the course. If you are playing a long par three with water on the right, make sure that if you miss the green it is going to be to the left so you can still make par. If the water is in front of the green, go with an extra club just in case you catch the ball a little thin so you won’t end up in the water. Smart golfers will play to avoid that one big number on the scorecard which will kill any round.
One way that many people practice good golf course management is by visualizing the shot they are about to hit before they hit it. If you are playing into a green, figure out exactly where you want to see the ball come down and picture it landing there. This mental exercise also will work with chips and putts. For that pitch shot, determine where you need to land the ball on the green so it can roll close to the hole. If you have a bending putt, picture in your mind how you think it is going to break and then get the ball rolling on that line. Visualizing where to hit is a great way to build confidence before you stand up over the ball.
If you want to hit the ball farther it may be time to hit the gym first. For years, golfers worked endlessly on their swing but neglected their overall physical fitness until Tiger Woods came along. Woods has shown what the combination of a beautiful swing and a powerful body can produce and the other professional golfers have taken note.
A good stretching routine should start by working the legs. To loosen the muscles in the front of the legs, grab your ankle and pull the foot up behind you. Next stretch the back.
This is done easiest by putting a chair in front on you, grab the back of it and bend down. Building muscle is the way to create power but for golfers lifting weights alone won’t help add distance to your drives. A weight training program has to be done in connection with an extensive stretching routine to maintain maximum flexibility which is critical in the golf swing. Tiger Woods training regime starts with a half hour of stretching before he starts into lifting weights or his cardio.
To stretch the hamstrings in the back of the leg bend at the waist and try to place your palms on the ground. A good turn is essential to any golf swing and your stretching should include bending your body by rotating your shoulders from side to side. An easy stretch to work the hips before teeing off is to sit on the bench at the first tee, cross the ankle of one foot across the opposite knee and then pull your risen leg up toward the opposite shoulder.
Correct body balance is another key to creating power in the golf swing. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your feet not only from side to side but also from front to back. If you are leaning back on your heels you won’t be able to generate as much power and if you are leaning forward on your toes the swing will be inhibited. Proper balance means a powerful transfer of weight during the downswing. For lefthanders this means loading up as you turn back to your left side and then pushing forward with your legs as you start back down.
Odds are at some point during your round of golf, you will be faced with an uneven lie. In some parts of the country you may feel like you are always hitting uphill or downhill shots and knowing how to approach them will save you shots and lower your score.
We will start with uphill lies because they are the easier of the two to play. Many golfers even prefer the uphill shot over a level lie because the slope helps them get the ball up in the air quick. The first thing to adjust playing an uphill shot is your stance. Your golf swing on an uphill shot is going to be flatter so you will need to choke down on the club a little bit. It is also a good idea when making your club selection to use a little less club on an uphill shot because it is going to carry farther than your typical shot. An uphill shot tends to go right (for lefthanders) so you need to aim your shot a little more left than normal.
The challenge to playing an uphill comes in trying to keep your balance throughout the golf swing. Your weight is going to remain back on your left side so you have to move aggressively through the swing. The ball position should be slightly forward in your stance.
Playing from a downhill lie is more difficult than uphill. The ball position should be back in your stance (close to the left foot for lefties) to make sure that you hit the ball before hitting the ground. Lefthanders need to aim right because the ball is going to fade back to the left. When playing a downhill shot you need to go with a shorter club because the ball is going to come out hot and carry farther than it would from a level lie.
Side hill shots pose another problem. When the ball is above your feet make sure to choke down on the club and stay down as you complete your golf swing. If the ball is below your feet on the side of a hill flex the knees a little more to lower your body to reach the ball. Aim far to the right of your target because this shot is going to shoot left.