Good Ball Flight in Golf
It is the flight of the ball that gets us from Point A to Point B in the game of golf. So, the more we know about ball flight in golf, the better golfers we will become.
The way a ball behaves once it takes flight is determined by two things: the angle of the clubface on impact and the swing path that got it there.
When it comes to clubface angles, they can be open, closed or squared as the face hits the ball. Each of these angles produces a different type of ball flight in golf.
The clubface can travel on three different paths. The best path is when it travels along the target line.
Or, the club head can move from inside to outside across the target line.
Lastly, the club head may move from outside to inside. This is also known as coming over the top.
Ball Flight Characteristics:
If your ball starts out straight but then hooks or slices, your swing path is fine, but you are opening or closing the face upon impact. Check your grip to ensure you are not using an overly strong or weak grip.
When you grip your club, you should be able to see the first two knuckles of your left hand (for right-handed golfers). If you cannot see them at all, the weak can lead to a slice. If you see more than a couple knuckles, you are in a strong grip, which often leads to hooking the ball.
If your ball immediately heads to the right but does not hook or slice, you are pushing the ball. Your swing path is too much on the in-to-out plane, but your clubface is squared.
If your ball goes to the right and hooks, your swing path is too much in-to-out, and your clubface is closed. If it slices, same thing except your clubface is opened.
If your ball heads left right away, you are pulling the ball. A straight pull happens when you are on a swing path that is to out-to-in. If the ball also hooks, you are to out-to-in and hitting with a closed clubface. If it pulls and slices, you are to out-to-in and hitting the ball with an opened clubface.
As mentioned above, it is imperative that you hold the club in a manner that is neutral rather than too weak or too strong. A neutral grip allows the clubface to become square with the ball at impact. For many golfers, the grip is the key to fixing the hook or slice.
For both the push and the pull golfer, the first and most important thing to look at is the position of your club at the top of your backswing. For both types of players, the problem occurs when you cross the line.
Have a buddy or local pro take a look at your club position at the top of your backswing. If the club is pointing to the left or to the right of the target, your swing path is going to be affected, leading to either a push or a pull as you come back with your downswing.
A common fix for both of these swing problems is to bring the club inside a little more as you begin your backswing. Keep your lead arm straight, and pause at the top of the backswing to help you transition into the downswing.
With all these considerations on the ball flight in golf done, we now move onto the first tee.
Hitting a long drive is too often rooted more in wishful thinking than anything else.
Here are some useful tips to help you get more distance off the tee. In fact, some of you may get as much as 30 to 50 more yards (up to 45 meters) by applying these techniques.
One thing to keep in mind, however, as we learn to add some yards to our drives is that the longest possible drive is not always the best shot choice. If you have a long, straight fairway, big distance is important and useful. But, if you are faced with a dogleg or other type of challenge off the tee, consider using distance control as a strategy.
To get more distance off the tee:
Tip 1: Slow and Smooth Carries the Ball
One of the most common mistakes you see on all golf courses when players are trying to get more distance is the rushed golf swing.
The common logic behind this is if golfers want to get more distance, they only need hit the ball harder, which means swinging the club faster than normal. The logic is simple ñ but it’s also flawed.
It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference between a player who has perfected faster club head speed through practice and a player who is rushing his or her swing to get those added yards.
When you hurry your swing, you throw off your entire rhythm. This is especially noticeable at the top of your backswing, also known as the transition point.
Rushing the backswing causes you to unwind too fast as you begin your downswing. This improper action results in all sorts of misalignment and mishaps, including lost yardage.
The key element to overcoming this fault is to slow down at the top of the backswing, even stop for a second, and then transition into the downswing smoothly. This allows your core to unwind naturally, increases club head speed, and makes for a much more solid hit on the ball.
Tip 2: Avoid Over-Grip
It is almost second-nature for us to want to grip the club tighter when we know we want to get maximum power out of our drivers. This is a yardage killer.
A long drive requires that all muscles and joints be loose and relaxed, especially in the hands, wrists and fingers. All of these body parts must be able to move, cock, rotate, etc., throughout the swing. Once you start strangling that club in your hands, you lose much of this flexibility before you even begin.
When you address the ball, concentrate on a light grip. This is crucial during your downswing as well. This one tip alone can add several yards to your drive right now.
Tip 3: Extension
What I mean by this is extension on your backswing. Keep in mind that your backswing sets up your downswing. You want to increase the arc you create during your downswing so as to give the club more time and distance to increase its speed before impact.
Try this drill to improve your extension: Using your driver, set up as normal, and in slow motion begin your backswing. Pay attention to your leading arm (left arm for right-handed golfers). Is it straight and locked into position? The answer should be yes.
Do several practice swings with your driver and concentrate on maintaining a straight-arm until you get to the top of your backswing.
Try these tips next time you hit the practice range, and keep track of how much farther you are now hitting your drives. You should see some nice results quickly.
For a more detailed guide to adding distance to your drive, I recommend you check out the Golf Swing Speed Challenge:
The Secrets for Better Putting
Professional golfers make mistakes just like the rest of us. But there is one mistake they make that really irks them, and that is three-putting a hole. The point here is even the very best golfers in the world will occasionally three-putts so don’t be too hard on yourself if you do too.
Here are some techniques you can put to work to minimize those three-putts:
- It is wrong to believe that most three-putts take place on very long putts.
A lot of golfers will sadly attest to making three-putts on three-foot putts! Do not be over-confident when you walk up to a short putt. True, shorter putts are often easier to make than longer ones, however going too quickly or without taking a moment to settle in can often lead to a missed shot.
- Control Your Emotions:
A missed putt, especially a missed short putt, often results in anger or frustration. While you are angry can often lead to more missed putts. Settle down before you take your next putt.
- Short Putts:
This does not apply to everyone, but it does apply to enough golfers that it needs to be addressed. Three-putts are often the result of poor short golf shots. This is when your ball rolls forward but stops way short of the hole, thus leaving you another difficult putt which you are just as likely to miss as the first.
This can be rooted in many different things, including a lack of confidence. The cure for this is mastering distance control. And mastering distance control on the green should be a routine part of all of your putting practice sessions.
A good drill for mastering distance control on the practice green is to take several balls and putt them to an imaginary line that bisects the cup. Don’t worry about sinking them; just concentrate on getting the ball to that line or a little beyond. This is one of the best distance controls drills you can perform because it works.
- In order to get the ball close to the hole on long putts you have to hit the ball hard enough to get it there. If you find yourself with a long putt and are unsure of how much force you need to use, go to a point about half-way between the ball and the cup to take a few practice swings.
Because you are closer to the hole, your muscle memory will probably be able to better tap into putt you need to make the shot. Take this information with you to the ball, and when you set up to putt, bring your putter back twice as far as you did on the closer practice putt. This may feel odd, but give it a try anyway.
- The 3-Foot Circle:
This simple concept has been around for ages, and it works for many golfers. Imagine a
three-foot circle around the cup. Your objective is to get your golf ball within that circle. Don’t concentrate too much on sinking the putt; only get the ball within that circle.
This tip all but assumes that you will need to make one more putt, but that putt will be much closer to the hole. If the ball drips into the cup, great! But if it does not, you now have a short three-foot (or less) putt to make.
One of the best ways to improve is to do what I call a preview. This is basically the same as a pre-shot routine, only it takes place on the green rather than on the tee or fairway.
Developing a preview will serve you in many ways not the least of which is helping to settle your nerves on those tricky putts we all run into from time to time.
Here are some tips on how to develop your own putting preview routine:
Start your preview as you walk to the green. On some courses, you can tell the grain of the grass by the color you see as you approach the green. A darker shade indicates the grain is toward you, whereas a lighter shade shows the grain is running away from you.
You can also look for slope conditions as you approach the green. In many cases, seeing a slope will be easier from a distance than when you are standing on top of it.
Depending on the course you are playing, look for water and mountains. The ball will normally break toward water and break away from nearby mountains.
You do not want to hold up play for too long, but do take a few moments to size up your putt. Squat down and look at the line from as many angles as you need to in order to determine the break, if any.
Always take a few practice swings before putting. This not only helps to settle your nerves, but it also allows you a moment to catch your breath from the walk up to the green.
It also allows your muscle memory to get in sync with your swing.
A part of my putting preview is to pick up my ball, after marking its spot, and clean it. I then replace the ball, aiming it toward the proper target line using a black line I put on all of my golf balls. Yes, this is legal, in case you are wondering.
This black target line helps me to keep my head down as I putt since I only concentrate on hitting that black line squarely with the putter face.
An important tip about making a preview work for you is to make your putt as soon as you finish the routine. If you do your routine and then stand around for even a minute, you will lose most of the benefits the preview has to offer. When you complete your preview, take your stance
and make your putt.
With a little practice, most golfers can develop and perfect a putting preview routine that takes no longer than sixty seconds. Once you have your own unique sequence established, performing it will become easier, and faster, as time goes on.
The key to making this work for you, however, is repetition. You have to get a sequence established and then perform the sequence time after time. Repetition is the key!
It should also be noted that the routine that works for one golfer may not work as well for the next. The set-up of any routine should be rooted in what works for you. However, if you are new to golf or if you are not sure what to do, watch what some of the pros do on the green.
6 Strategies to Get a Lower Golf Score
How would you like to lower your golf score? Here are six ways you can do just that.
No single strategy is better than the others, but taken as a whole they can become a powerful tool in your golfing arsenal.
To get a lower score tomorrow, you have to practice today. Yes, we have all heard this a million times, but let’s look at this standby advice from another angle.
Anyone who wishes to lower their golf score must devote time to all aspects of practice. This means spending as much time on your irons as you do on your driver and woods.
A good idea is to follow a practice program. The details can be up to you, but it should consist of all of your clubs as well as any trouble areas you may have. Make your practice program comprehensive and complete.
- 5 Rounds:
Anyone can have an off-day. This tip will help you discover where your problem areas are so you can work on them.
Play five rounds of golf, keeping detailed notes on the shots you have trouble with on each round.
At the end of the five rounds, sit down with your notes and carefully study them. Note down the shots you had the most trouble with, and concentrate your practice time on mastering those shots.
- Take a Lesson:
This is such an easy tip that I am surprised at how many golfers miss it. Chances are good that you have a registered PGA or LPGA pro somewhere near you, often working as a local pro at a club.
For a small amount of money, these professionals can monitor your swing and other fundamentals to help you solve problems that might take months for you to identify on your own.
- Position Play:
This tip is about landing the ball where it benefits your strong shots. Sounds simple enough, right?
Some golfers will tee up a ball and hit it as hard as they can, hoping it stays in the fairway, but not really caring where it lands. This is NOT position play.
If you are having problems with your short irons or wedges, rather than landing the ball where you will have to use these clubs, land it so you can play your mid-irons, if this means laying up.
The key to position play is to think about the next shot (or two) and to do what is needed to put yourself in a place where you can perform that particular shot (or shots).
- Percentage Shots:
Newer golfers may not yet fully appreciate the fact that they do not always have to hit a club at 100%. You can hit a driver (or any other club) at 70%, 80%, 90%, etc.
Once you learn how to regulate the power of your swing, you can begin to play position on the course with little fear of undershooting or overshooting your target.
Being able to regulate your power also allows you to use certain clubs for certain situations. For example, using your 7-iron for a pitch shot in high grass.
- The Six-Foot Putt:
There are many golfers who use as many strokes on the green as they do getting to the green. Sometimes, even more!
It can take years to master the long putt, but you can learn to make those six-foot putts in no time if you just practice.
By mastering the six-foot putt (or less), you can shave more strokes off your game than you might think possible.
If it’s your golf slice that is holding you back, you should give The Simple Golf Swing a go. This anti-slice swing system can cure your golf slice within minutes, and you’ll be lowering your golf score ASAP.
Purepoint Golf Team
How to Putt Long Distance.
It is no secret that there are some shots in golf that are more difficult than others. Putting a long distance is one; putting down a sloped is another. When you combine the two, well, you often have a big challenge that results in a three-putt or worse!
To suggest that mastering long, sloped putts is easy would be misleading and false. These putts are difficult, even for the pros. But you are not defenseless. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when you are faced with these monster putts.
The Steep Sloping Putt
A steeply sloped putt, whether it is uphill or downhill, requires that you concentrate on the speed of the ball more so than the line. This does not mean you can ignore the line, but if the speed is off, line will not matter very much.
A good tip is to first determine how much speed the ball will need to get up or down the slope and then concentrate on the line. For severely sloped putts, consider two-putting as a very viable option.
The Straight Uphill Long Putt
Because you have a long distance from ball to cup, it is, again, vital that you concentrate on hitting the ball hard enough to get it up the hill and to the hole.
With this type of putt, do not be afraid to hit the ball firmly. Remember, it is better to have the ball go past the hole than it is to have it die halfway up and then roll back down to your feet.
The Straight Downhill Long Putt
Getting the right speed on these putts is critical. As you do your putt preview, determine the grain of the grass. Are you putting with the grain, against it, or sideways? This information is often vital in determining how hard to hit the ball.
For extremely long downhill putts, try to find a spot between you and the hole that is on-line with your intended putt. Aim at this spot, and let the slope carry the ball to the hole.
Long Putting Across Slope
These putts are tricky. Visualize the ball running along the line and the slope in such a way that the ball falls into the hole from the topside of the cup, at almost 90 degrees.
If you aim for dead centre of the cup, you will most likely miss the hole on the low side.
Depending on the distance to the hole and the degree of slope, it is often wise to consider two-putting. This means getting the ball to within a reasonable distance to the hole for a easier putt in.
One common mistake is to hit the ball too softly. This only results in having to make this same difficult shot again, only from less distance.
The Long Combination Putt
These are putts that are long, cut across a slope, and are either uphill or downhill to boot. They can be nightmares.
A good tip for these putts is to always remember that the slower the ball is moving, the more it will break. A ball that is going downhill will typically break more than one that is going uphill. Keep that in mind as you determine your line on this type of putt.
The good news about long, sloped putts is that the more you practice them, the better you will become at making them. Spend time on the practice green learning to read the grain and the slopes and especially learning distance control with your putter.
For a revolutionary new system on putting that completely blows away anything else I have tried. You won’t believe what you’re about to see
Purepoint Golf Team
How to Fix 10 of the Most Common Golf Mistakes
No matter how low your score, you’ll run into one of these sooner or later.
This is perhaps the most common golf mistake made by all players. At the heart of the slice is an open clubface at impact. The tricky part is determining what you are doing wrong.
For many, the slice comes about because there is too much play in the wrists during the backswing.
Your wrists should cock and uncock naturally. If you are deliberately working your wrists, stop it and see if that does not cure your slice.
Check out this anti-slice swing system for a simple and effective technique for curing your slice:
If slicing is number one, hooking is number two. A hook is caused by a closed clubface upon impact. Like the slice, all sorts of things can lead to a hook, and finding out what is causing yours should be at the top of your to-do list.
A golf great tip for those who hook the ball is to stop the club at the top of the backswing and mentally count to three before beginning your downswing. Try it; this easy trick works!
Everyone shanks a ball now and then. If you do it consistently, however, you have a problem. A shank shot is almost always caused by poor fundamentals. The two keys to avoiding the shank are to make sure you are the proper distance from the ball at set-up and to ensure steady balance.
If you are too close to the ball or standing up too straight, you will shank it. If your weight is on the toes or heels and not in the centre of your feet, you will likely shank it as you lose your balance at impact.
4/ Low Drives:
Try teeing the ball up a little higher than what you are doing now. A ball that is teed low will tend to fly lower, which is great if you are playing into the wind, but not so great otherwise.
5/ Pop-Up Drives:
Try teeing the ball lowers to avoid this type of mishap. Also, make sure your feet are positioned properly for the club you are using.
6/ Missed Fairway Shots:
Many players simply do not spend enough time practicing with their irons while on the range. This often results in missed fairway shots. It is important that you know where to play the ball in your stance in regards to your irons and fairway woods.
7/ Breaking Putts:
Learning how to read the green is vital to making putts. When reading a break, it is usually best to approach the hole from the top side of the cup with the intention of dropping the ball into the hole at a 90- degree angle.
8/ Putting Short:
On average, more putts are missed due to being short rather than being long. When practicing your putting, spend some concentrated time working on your distance control. Mastering distance is a key element to mastering putting.
9/ Putting Too Quickly:
A lot of putts are missed simply because there is not enough time taken to read the green and determine the correct speed. You should not linger too long over a putt, but definitely take enough time to size up the putt in order to execute it.
10/ Emotional Gaffs:
Anger, frustration and dread are three of the most destructive emotions. All of these normally lead to poor play once they take hold of a player. The cure is to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
Don’t forget to check out this anti-slice swing system for a simple and effective technique for curing the #1 golfing problem
Purepoint Golf Team