Golf Tips

GOLF TIP #1
A GOOD STANCE
A good stance is of major importance to a good golf swing. You are making an athletic motion when you swing a golf club, so it is vital that you are in an athletic position, ready to swing the club to the best of your ability.

Stand tall with your heels about shoulder width apart. Bend slightly from the top of your hips, keeping your back straight and letting your rear stick out. Let your arms hang down, gorilla style. Don’t let your chin tuck into your chest. Look at the ball with the bottom of your eyes as much as possible. This can be a problem if you wear bifocals, so do the best you can.

Let your right side (for right-handed golfers) tilt slightly lower than the left. Keep your weight equal and slightly toward the forward part of both feet.

Now relax the knees slightly. This is key. Make sure that when you relax the knees you keep your rear sticking out, but do not become sway backed. Avoid that sitting-down position that makes it hard to shift your weight properly.
A proper stance and posture means the right position for the most effective golf swing. Practice the proper stance in front of a mirror and memorize its feel.

GOLF TIP #2
TAKING AIM
Do you know where you are going on a golf course?

A wonderfully effective swing doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t aimed at a target.

Get in the routine of taking proper aim on every shot. Stand behind the ball and imagine a line from the ball to your target. Pick a spot on that target line about two feet in front of your ball. Now move into position and place your feet on another imaginary line parallel to the first, or target line – the one from your ball to your target.

The bottom edge of your golf club must be perpendicular to the target line, with the face of the club facing your target.

Picture the letter H. One long line is the target line, the other is the line your feet, knees, hips and shoulders are on. The cross piece shows you where the ball is in relation to your feet.

Now trust your aim! That spot you picked out about two feet in front of your ball hasn’t moved, even though it may look different now
that than when you were standing behind the ball. Having confidence in this is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!

Confidence in your aim allows you to make an unthinking swing…an uninhibited flowing motion will result in fewer trips into the rough, and lower scores.

Trust what you see from behind the ball. You’ll be surprised at how often your balls ends up on target!

GOLF TIP #3
GET A GRIP
Your hands are the only part of your body that come in contact with the golf club. What you do with your hands determines what kind of a shot you will hit.

Having a neutral, balanced grip, is essential to consistent play – solid shots that sound and feel as good as they look.

Ideally, the target hand (left hand for right-handed golfers) should be placed on the handle of the club so the grip is running from the base of the first finger to just under the heel pad, with fingers wrapped around at an angle. The line or closed V formed by the thumb and first finger should be pointing at a spot between your chin and right shoulder. The left thumb should be slightly to the right of the center of the shaft.

The trailing hand (right hand for right-handed golfers) should be placed on the handle of the club so the grip is in the fingers, left thumb fitting into the pocket formed by the right thumb and palm, again with the line, or closed V, pointing toward a spot between your chin and right shoulder, with right thumb slightly left of center.

The little finger of the trailing hand can do one of three things: (1) sit on the club close to the left index finger, (2) interlock with the left index finger, or (3) overlap the left index finger.

The most important thing about your grip, or your hold on the club, is that it be balanced. Neither hand should be in a stronger position than the other. You can check this by opening the fingers of each hand while they are in the holding position. If the palms are facing, the fingers are pointing down and the thumbs pointing to the sky, the hands are balanced and in the correct position.

Practice holding the club properly. Look at your hands. Feel your hands. And keep your grip, or hold on the club, light but firm. Imagine holding a bird. You don’t want the bird to fly away, but you don’t want to squeeze it. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 the tightest, keep you grip about a 4 or 5. Hold the club without creating tension in your forearms.

A good grip, or proper holding of the golf club, will bring amazing results.

If you are a beginning golfer, your number one priority is to learn the proper grip. It won’t feel comfortable at first, but the results of sticking with it far outweigh the struggle.

If you have been playing golf for a few years with the improper grip, then make an effort to change, even though it may take a while and you may shoot less than satisfactory scores for a few rounds. The effort is well worth the time.

However, if you have been playing with an improper grip for many years with somewhat good results, I highly recommend that you stick with it. Don’t try to change the grip. Instead, concentrate on tempo and rhythm to keep your game at the level you want.

If you are playing with the proper grip now, then hooray for you! You’ve taken the first step to becoming a consistent player, and to having more fun on the golf course.

GOLF TIP #4
GOOD BALANCE
Good balance is essential to a good golf swing.

Start by placing your feet together. Take some short swings, letting your body turn as the club swings freely back and forth. Keep your feet together and lengthen your swing until you reach your full back swing. Hit a few shots, keeping your feet together.

Now move your feet so the heels are about shoulder width apart. Make short swings, expanding again to full swing. Feel the balance. Notice your weight moving naturally to the right when you swing to the right; to the left when you swing forward. Hit a few more shots, letting your arms swing and weight move naturally back and forth.

There are three important positions in your golf swing – the starting position, the top of the backswing, and the finish.

Your follow through is as important as your starting position or top of your back swing. You should have good balance in all three positions – starting position, top of back swing, finish.

Imagine how you would want to look if someone were taking your picture at the end of your swing. You would want to look like the pros on TV – weight on your left (for right-handed golfers), belt buckle facing the target, club over your left shoulder. Assume that position. Feel it. Now do it, swinging the club to a full backswing and through to that great finish.

CLICK!

Congratulations! The camera just recorded your balanced golf swing!

GOLF TIP #5
THE STICK TRICK
Do you want to play better golf?
Do you KNOW you could play better golf if you practiced?
Do you lack the time to do anything that might improve your golf game?
Does getting to the golf course or driving range take too much time?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are in for a pleasant surprise!
You CAN play better golf.
You CAN find the time to practice.
You CAN practice right in your home or office without taking the time to drive to the range. (And without your boss catching you!)
All you need is a YARDSTICK!

Put one end of the yardstick against your belt buckle and place your hands on the yardstick as you would hold a golf club. Make sure both arms are extended – not stiff – but as they would be if you were holding an actual golf club. Look at the triangle formed by your shoulders and arms. Stand in front of a mirror to see this better. Remember this triangle!

Take your regular golf stance, with the yardstick pointing at a spot where a ball would be, but don’t let the stick touch the floor. Make sure that one end is still touching your belt buckle.

Start turning your hips from right to left (for a right-handed golfer), letting the yardstick and your arms move with the motion. KEEP THE TRIANGLE.

Now imagine a clock. Your head is at 12:00, your feet at 6:00. Turn to the right until the stick points at 8:00, then to the left to 4:00. As you turn, let your weight shift from right to left as the stick swings from right to left. WATCH THAT TRIANGLE! Don’t let it change at any time. This is important.

Keep moving, from right to left to right to left to right. Back and forth. Feel your weight shifting, your hips turning, your arms swinging. Don’t let the elbows bend or try to pick up the yardstick. Don’t go past the 8:00 and 4:00 positions.

CONGRATULATIONS! You are making a perfect golf swing!

Next time you go to the practice tee or golf course, try to feel that same swinging motion, with everything moving back and forth together. You’ll be surprised at the results!

GOLF TIP #6
PRE-SWING ROUTINE
One of the most important parts of your golf swing starts before you ever swing the club. It is called your Pre-Swing Routine.

Watch the professionals, or the better golfers at your club. Each prepares to strike the ball the same way on every shot. Everyone does it differently and within a different time frame, but it is their way of getting started.

Decide what is the best way to start your own swing. Usually, it is from behind the ball, picking a spot on your target line, walking to the ball, aiming the clubhead and placing your feet. Do your waggle, or whatever motion starts you moving, and you’re into your swing.

Doing this same routine each time creates confidence within. This allows a free swinging motion, a no-thought swing that allows everything to just happen, and happen correctly. It is a great way to play golf…knowing you are aimed at the target and all you have to do is swing the club.

GOLF TIP #7
MORE DISTANCE FOR LADIES
Are you concerned because you can’t hit your 3-wood any farther than you hit your 7-iron? Do you feel like you should get more distance with all your clubs? If so, then here is a tip for you.

Stick a tee in the end of the grip of a 7 or 8-iron. Now make some short swings, allowing your wrists to cock on the back swing so the tee points at the ground. Do the same on a short follow through, making sure the tee points at the ground.

As you do this, your weight should shift to the right on the back swing and to the left on your finish (for right-handed golfers). Allow your arms to swing freely.

Now hit a ball off a tee with this short swing. See how far it flies! Hit some more shots like this, allowing the wrists to cock on the back swing and follow through.

To check your clubhead speed, turn the club around and take your regular grip at the opposite end of the shaft, just below the head. Make some full swings and listen for the swis-s-s-sh as the club moves through the hitting area. The louder the swis-s-s-sh, the more clubhead speed, which means more distance. Make sure the swishing noise is ahead of the ball and not behind it.

Practice making swishes in your backyard, then do this exercise on the practice tee. You’ll increase your distance.

GOLF TIP #8
CONSISTENCY
What keeps your game consistent throughout your round? The answer is…tempo. Your natural tempo is the one for you. If you are fast-moving and talk quickly, your natural golf swing will probably be the same way. If you are slower in your movements and speech, your swing will follow that pattern. Maintain a smoothness in your swing, regardless of whether the tempo is fast or slow.

Start your pre-swing routine by taking a couple of deep breaths. Try to find a swing trigger…a waggle of the hands or slight inward kick of the knee, then start the swing back in a coordinated motion of arms, body and club swinging together.

One exercise to promote this feeling is to start with the clubhead about two feet into the follow through, then swing it back over the ball, making your full back swing and then on to the follow through. Do this a few times and you’ll soon get the feeling of a smooth, one-piece takeaway.

GOLF TIP #9
LOSING THE FEEL
Do you ever lose your feel on the golf course? If your answer is ‘yes’, don’t despair. You are not alone. Even tour players lose the feel from time to time. What you need to know is how to regain it quickly.

When suddenly everything fails and you’re in the middle of a round, the first things to check are your fundamentals…Grip, Aim, Stance, Posture (GASP). And last but not least, always check your finish position.

Next, concentrate more on swinging the club freely than on hitting the ball. Do this by swinging the club a few times with your eyes closed.
Let yourself use one club more than when you’ve got the feel. Use a three-quarter swing pace until the feel starts to return.

Think back to what you thought about the last time you lost your feel. Check for old bad habits that might have popped up. Make a mental or written note of your most effective swing thoughts for the next time you lose your feel.

GOLF TIP #10
HUSBANDLY ADVICE
Ladies! Does your husband tell you to keep your head down, sit down to the ball and keep that left arm straight? I’m not going to tell you not to listen to his advice, I just want to explain what he really means.

You can’t swing a golf club properly and with any speed when your head is absolutely rigid and still. What he means is to keep your whole upper body from moving, or swaying, too much up and down or side to side. A little movement, including letting your head turn slightly as you swing, is OK.

By sitting down to the ball he means to bend a little more from the top of the hips and keep your legs slightly flexed, at the same time keeping your rear out, not under, your torso.

Now that left arm. Keep it firm, relaxed and extended, but not rigid. A better upper body turn allows you to do this.
So don’t get upset when your partner offers some advice on the golf course. Now that YOU know what he means, go on and enjoy that game.

GOLF TIP #11
BABY SWINGS
Let’s talk about that waist-high swing that is so important in any good golf swing.

Start the golf club back from the address position smoothly, club, arms and hands moving as one. Stop the club in the waist-high position, with your left arm (for right-handed golfers) and club parallel to the ground. The toe of the club should be pointing to the sky. Your club should be parallel to a line that runs across your toes.

Practice swinging the club to this position in a smooth, one-movement takeaway of arms, hands and club. Now swing through to the same position on the other side…your follow through. Again, the club should be parallel to the ground and to the line across your toes, with the toe of the club pointing skyward.

Practice swinging back and forth to this waist-high position, making sure the clubhead brushes the grass each time. This is a great drill that incorporates good position, feeling, weight shift and balance. And you can do it inside – just watch that lamp!

Nan Ryan
Senior Member
Ladies Professional Golf Association
Teaching and Club Professional Division
1600 Wapiti Circle #8
Estes Park, CO 80517-5409
Phone: 970-586-4242 Email: ryannan@me.com