Archive for the ‘A+Featured Swing Tips’ Category

All Body Swing!

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Yup, today’s golf swing practice went pretty darn well.

One of the things I was doing wrong was aiming.  I was aiming way too far left and I kept hitting a 20-yard banana fade (or slice) OR a 30-50 yard duck hook.

After I found out my aiming was off by at least 30 yards left of my target, I used a club to align myself.

Voila, it’s one of those moments when you need to get back to basics of golf, I started hitting my golf ball right on target.  Even when I missed, my misses would stay within 10 yard radius to left or right.

Great result right?

Yup, it happens to even the best of the pros, aiming.   I was about to quit golf then I found out it was my aim.

Also, after correcting my aim, I kept still duck-hooking all my longer clubs like the driver.

At first, I started swinging easier, making sure to use my body to make the golf swing.

Then, I started hitting the ball like 320 yards easy with my driver and darn straight.   One more note, I was delaying my impact with my arms and hands then I tried delaying the whole lag process with my whole body.

Voila, I start hitting these 320 yard drives right down the pipe at my target.

After that, I re-gained confidence in my ability to shoot some low scores under par.   I will play this Saturday and see if these things prove to work on the course so until then, make sure you are aiming “parallel” to your target, and don’t forget to swing with your whole body!

How to Make a Consistent Golf Swing with an Image Thoughts!

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

One of the ways you can make your golf swing consistent is to have a consistent backswing where you are swinging to the same point every time.

Over the years, I have found that image swing thoughts work the best to achieve the desired consistency above all other as your brain somehow manages to get your muscles right when you think of an “image”.

So what is this image?

Well, I will let you on a little secret.  For me, I imagine my hands about level with my eyes above my shoulders.   When I imagine my hands being in that certain position, I inevitably swing back correctly with my body.  From there, it’s piece of cake, just rip through the ball and same results every time.

Imagery is probably the most under-rated forms of swing thoughts, stuff that can actually hold up under pressure.

Instead of thinking, “keep my head down”, see an image of your head being in the position where you want while you swing.

Instead of thinking, “follow through”, see an image of yourself following through the golf ball while you swing through the ball.

You see, swing thoughts are only good if you can make an image of it.  I assure you, this results in more consistency in you golf swing.

P.S. My golf swing is coming back a bit, today I hit the golf ball really far, I will be playing for Pepsi Tour mini tournaments probably starting in July, wish me luck!

How Much Divot Should You Take? [Advanced Golf]

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

This whole month I am guilty of practicing only on mats at the range.  Usually that’s no biggie but sometimes it can make you think you are hitting the ball awfully well but you might actually “not” be.

I did hit up the grass tees couple times lately at the range and notice something funny, I was taking rather large divots.  Although I hit the ball good, making big and thick divots can make you hit “fliers”, ball with too much overspin and goes farther than you expected.

So, the question is, how much divot should you take?

It’s always good to take the less divot as possible, especially if you hit the ball long like me.  For most long hitters, hitting a flier can become a big problem as your error (of hitting fliers/too much divot) literally multiplies.

Also, divots should be as shallow as possible.  Plus, by taking shallow divots, you are putting less strain on your hands, which also allows you to achieve higher swing speeds.

Bryon Nelson used to take huge divots that looked literally like a dollar bill.  Of course, his divots were also “thin” as dollar bill.

My point here is that you want to make the shallowest, smallest divot possible because when you do that, it means you are getting more of the clubface onto the ball.

For long irons and woods off the fairway, you probably don’t even need any divot because your swing arc becomes shallow.

For middle to short irons off the fairway, a nice shallow divot starting “after” the ball is struck, would be ideal.

What to do if you keep hitting big divots that are thickalicious?

Most likely if you are making big-a** divots, there can be several reasons.

First, your golf clubs might be not probably fitted.  If your taller or shorter than average AND you use standard-size golf clubs, you are probably gonna dig that toe or heel end of the clubhead into the ground at impact, throwing off your shot and also cause bigger divots.   This is number one mistake I see among amateurs, they buy $2000 golf clubs and forget to custom-fit it to their body by getting longer shafts or cutting them to fit.  Also, there’s the loft and lie angles of the clubhead you NEED to adjust.   These things can all be done correctly if you ask your golf shop before ordering them.  Don’t get lazy.

If you don’t custom-fit your clubs, that’s like buying medium size T-shirts and giving it to your super tall/skinny daughter and super short/fat son who needs to wear 2XXL.

Second, if you are making big divots, examine what they look like.   For example, today I noticed that my divots were actually “aligned” about 15 yards left of my target, meaning my clubhead was closed at impact.   The real cause of this closed clubface was because I didn’t rotate my clubhead and body enough to the right on my backswing.

I fixed it by making sure to “turn and rotate” my clubhead and body starting from address.   Voila, I started making very, very thin and shallow divots again, the ones I am used to when I shoot under par.

Playing in the Wind Tip – Hit It Slightly Thin Intentionally

Also, one more tip, when you are playing in the wind, actually try hitting the ball a bit thin.  What this does is keeps your ball flight down and puts less backspin on your ball, which makes your shot less vulnerable to the wind.

You can practice these slightly “thin” shots by really keeping your upper body “UP” throughout the swing.  Plus, these can come in reaaaaal handy out of those fairway bunkers, allowing you to easily hit the green when you have a decent lie.

Well, I just told you what kind of divots you should be making out there (and some wind-play secrets), don’t forget to subscribe!

P.S. I am actually in the process of writing my new golf book, “How to Lower Your Golf Scores”, if you want a free review copy, let me know at the comments line!

How to Putt Better by Slowing Down and Lightening Your Grip!

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Well, today was the best putting practice session I’ve had in a long, long time.  I practically sank every 1 out of 3 putts I looked at.   One of the things I was practicing today was putting a “solid” stroke on the ball, like I was telling you the other day. (For those of you who haven’t read, please read how to putt better by trying less.)

While trying to get my putts down super solid, I stumbled onto more putting secrets.

Since I don’t like keeping secrets just to myself for my benefit, let me tell you and they are rather simple.

First, if you are not hitting every one of your putts solid, try slowing down a pace or two.  I slowed my putting stroke about a pace or two and bam!  I started hitting every one of my putts SOLID.

Second, you can also try lightening your grip as much as possible while you slow down your putting stroke.

If you already have a really, really slow putting pace, you might actually want to try the opposite, speed up a bit.

The trick here is to find the right rhythm and speed that gives you the best results, solid-feelin’ putts.

Try these small tips next time you are on the putting green.

And if you are never on the putting green, you know why your putting never improves.  I go to the putting green like it’s the most fun things to do in the world, and it is.   It’s like playing 8-ball but better.

How to Hit Downhill/Uphill/Sidehill Shots!

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

A lot of you may play great golf on flat courses where there are no hills but suffer bad scores on courses that have lots of hills.   I personally grew up playing very, very hilly golf courses and practically 90% of all my shots were either downhill, uphill, or sidehill.

If you don’t know how to hit these shots, you might want to keep reading as I can show you that they are not that hard, you just need to understand the fundamentals behind it.

How to Hit Downhill Shots!

Downhill shots are probably the hardest of them all to hit because most of the time, the downhill slope de-lofts your clubface.  For example, on a downhill shot, your pitching wedge will be more like a 9-iron or even 8-iron, depending on the angle of the slope.

Here’s THREE simple rules to remember about downhill shots:

One, setup with your ball further towards your right foot.  Because of the downhill slope, your clubface will contact the ground much sooner, meaning you need to place your golf ball where you will hit it, further towards your right foot.

Two, obviously you will need to lean a bit more toward the hillside, the right, otherwise you will lose your balance.

Three, because your ball is now further towards your right foot, you need to aim left as your clubface will be slightly open at impact.   Most of the time, I hit a 5-10 yard fade on downhill shots, just a rule of thumb I follow so I aim about 5-10 yards left target.

There’s more things you can do to enhance your downhill shotmaking skills but I am only going to make you learn the first three I mentioned here because these are perhaps the most important.  One more thing, try to keep your best balance here and swing smooth and easy.  This isn’t the best time to swing all-out.

For golf strategy, when you are on a downhill, your percentages are against you so play the safer shot instead of going for the green.

How to hit Uphill Shots!

Uphill shots are probably the easiest of them all because you are hitting into the slope and usually you can get by hitting it pretty hard.

Uphill shots are just the exact opposite of downhill shots, here’s THREE simple rules to remember about uphill shots:

One, setup with your ball further towards the left foot.  Again, the sloper will dictate that the best chance of hitting the ball is further towards the left foot.

Two, again lean a bit more towards the hillside, the left to keep balance.

Three, most likely you will hit a nice little draw because your golf ball is placed further left, aim 5-10 yards right of your target as a general rule of thumb.

For golf strategy, uphill shots are the ones to go for.  If you are in a grey area where you could make a potential eagle/birdie by going for the green, by all means, this is the time to go for it, just aim right enough and make sure to follow through all the way to your target on the finish.

How to hit Sidehill Shots!

Sidehill shots are also one of the hardest to master, especially the ones where your body is sitting higher than your golfball.

For sidehill shots when your body is sitting higher than your golf ball, try to stand a bit closer to your golfball and also as tall as possible.  From there, make a very smooth and easy swing.   Remember, this is one of the most delicate shots (because of the angle) so take it easy!

Also, don’t forget to aim about 5-10 yards left (depending on the side slope) as your ball will be not fading but actually going at a different angle!

When your body is sitting lower than your golf ball, grip down about 1-2 inches on your golf club and make the same golf swing.  No need for any changes other than that and also your golf ball will travel slightly from right to left so aim 5-10 yards right.  This is much easier shot in my mind (because of the angles) so play more aggressive when you have lies where your golf ball is higher than your body.

For shots that are mix of an uphill and sidehill, you will have to take everything into consideration.

For example, if you have a downhill shot on a right-to-left slope (where your ball is higher than your body), you might want to put the ball slightly right toward the right foot, grip down about an inch on the club, and aim slightly right of the hole.  Of course, the aiming part might be completely different depending on how much downhill/sidehill slope you are facing.

The important part is that you actually practice these uphill/downhill/sidehill shots with every club in your bag so you have your own “feel” of how the distance/aiming vary.

Trust me, these are one of the hardest shots to master but they could potentially be your best weapon when you are playing a hilly golf course.

You won’t be able to practice most of these shots on a practice range so I suggest you to practice them on the golf course.  When it’s not too busy on the golf course, just make sure to hit 3-4 shots whenever you encounter these hilly shots.

Most importantly, know that you need to make these small adjustments on these shots, even on a slight slope.   When you don’t, that might be the reason why you “duff” or “skull” the golf ball because you don’t play the slope, the slope plays you.

Practice, practice, and practice.

How to Putt Better by Trying Less!

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

If you want to improve your putting, first thing you will want to do is “stop trying” to sink your putts.

I know, I know, the whole point of putting is that you want to make the ball go in the hole but if you keep your focus there, you will inevitably make less putts.

So, how do you putt better by trying less and “not” trying to sink every putt?

I want you to try this exercise, I assure you, this will help you putt better.

The next time you go out to the putting green, I want you to practice putting by hitting towards “nothing”.

What do I mean?

I want you to actually don’t worry about where your golf ball goes but rather, focus on your putting stroke.  Keep putting the ball into “nothingness” while focusing on achieving solid hits.

When you start letting go of everything including that of making putts into a target, you will inevitably start developing a better putting stroke.

Having a good solid contact on all your putts is not only essential, it will pretty much determine whether your putt has a chance to go in the hole or not.

99% of amateurs I have seen play don’t hit their putts solid, the main reason why putts don’t go into the hole.

What does hitting putts solid mean?

When you hit a solid putt, you will be able to feel it in your hands.  This will happen because you made a good, free putting stroke without trying to manipulate it.  When you hit your putts solid, you will be hitting them squarely in the center of the putter’s sweetspot.

When you hit putts solid, two things happen.

One, your putt won’t be affected as much by the slope nor the putting surface.

Second, you will inevitably sink more putts because your putts “roll” true and smooth.

On the other hand, if you don’t hit your putts solid, you probably don’t even have a chance of making it. (unless you got lucky)

Most pros on tour don’t miss putts because they mis-read the putt, they miss them because they didn’t hit their putts solid.

Once you have mastered your putting stroke, then you can start trying to sink putts on the practice green.

If you keep hitting putts that don’t feel good in your hands, it’s always a good idea to focus on your putting stroke by practicing the stroke itself.

Even one of the best putters in the world Ben Crenshaw tells you to do this in his instructional putting video.  Plus, did you know that Ben Crenshaw used to sink putts from everywhere with 1 quick look at the hole when he was a teenager?  This is because when you hit your putts solid as hell, you will sink a LOT of putts, as simple as that.

If you don’t believe me, try this next time you are on the putting green.

I really could give a damn how you putt whether that’s left hand down the shaft, criss-cross, or whatever but if you can hit your putts solid, you are gonna be winning more skins and your friends will wonder why you are such damn good putter. (and them always buying you dinner)

Where You the Right Elbow Go at Address?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Today, I realize one HUGE difference in the way I hit the ball at the range, simply by focusing on my right elbow at address.

Simply put it, make sure your right elbow is just slightly bent (happening naturally from relaxing your right elbow) before you swing the club.

What this does is makes sure that your whole swing (especially downswing) is set in motion for an inside-out swing.

Of course, also try to be aware of your right elbow during the swing, that will help you even further keep a steady, consistent swing radius throughout your swing.

With this new little trick, I am hitting the ball so much more square, every ball is getting off the clubhead like a rocket!

Plus, since I am hitting the ball even more accurately, I don’t have to swing hard at all and the ball goes farther.

One more note, I also tried swinging as if I was simply turning from a standing position, meaning I “turned”, not “rocked”.

Well, just writing my thoughts for today’s golf swing and remember that right elbow should be just ever so slightly bent that you consciously make a note of it before you hit that golf ball, that’s all.

By the way, this works throughout all types of shots including chips shots, pitch shots, and even putting!   What it does is keeps your mind from hitting outside-in, rather inside-out.

And most traditional golf instructors will actually tell you to do this but I found the “reasons” why today.

Swing Thoughts!

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Okay, here’s some swing thoughts that helped me hit the ball really great yesterday even with a 5-month layoff:

  • Keep your grip super light.
  • Swing with your body as a whole, don’t overswing.
  • Smooth, fluid rhythm, keep everything moving, momentum works best when continuous.

I started hitting the ball really good after I realized that I was overswing.  I wasn’t over-swinging like John Daly or nothin’ like that but my backswing was long enough where I felt like my arms were coming off my body.  When you do that, it’s a lot harder to control your swing plus you will need perfect timing to hit the ball solid.

Instead, I shortened my swing a bit, feeling like my whole body (the hands, arms, and your torso) were moving “together”.   This kept my hands and arms in front of by body at all times (also result of shortening my swing), and I hit the ball super solid and straight.

Well, that’s all for today, try these swing thoughts!

Short Game Tip – Getting More Feel Before Hitting That Chip Shot!

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

If you watch pro golfers on TV carefully, you will notice that sometimes (during the heat of a match/championship), the pro golfer will walk the greens.

This is because he/she is trying to get a “feel” for the greens before hitting their chip shot.  Sometimes pros do this for even longer pitch shots such as 90 yards in.

The nature of the game forces the greens to get harder as the day goes by and usually when you see the leaders finish on the last couple holes, that’s usually when the greens are hardest and fastest, especially on windy days.

These little, minute effect of nature can have a great impact on how your ball behaves when you are chipping or pitching to the green.

To get a good feel for the greens, simply walk the green where you will be landing the ball and rolling it to the hole.  Then try to get a good “feel” for the greens by feeling the green with your feet.

After getting a good feel for the green, visualize your chip/pitch shot and then hit the darn thing.

You should start doing this more often (although you don’t have to do it everytime) as it will help you predict and hit better short shots around the green.

Also, by walking around the green before you hit the chip shot, you will subconsciously relax yourself and also help your mind get a better “feel” for the shot.

Short game requires more “feel” then anything and your feet need to feel the greens when under the gun.  Whether you are hitting that chip shot close to win a nassau bet or the U.S. Open, this little tip will help you win more often than not.

If you don’t believe me just watch the pros walk around the greens before they hit their chip shot and also watch exactly where they are walking.

Putting Tips – How to Putt Consistently!

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Last time I showed you some putting secrets of how to roll the putt better by hooking it.  Well, today, let me give you couple tips that will help you putt even better.

First, I don’t really care how you grip but your putter should “hang” naturally from your hands.  This fixes many putting flaws.  When your putter is “hanging” naturally by gravity from your hands, your putting stroke will have consistency.

To do this, simply feel the weight of the putter head and make sure you can feel it “hanging” off your hands and arms right before you begin the putt.  You will also find this is easier to achieve if you stand up as tall as you can.

As for the putting grip, I find that the one with your thumbs going down the middle of the shaft works best.  Also, I have tried “looser” putting grips where your thumbs are placed diagonally across the putter grip.  These are good for light hands but ultimately make you miss short putts, where it counts.

For your putting stroke, make sure it’s a “stroke” back and forth, not a “hit” back and forth or any other fast, jerky movements.

Try to keep your putting clubhead on the ball as long as you can and that is what I mean by “stroking” the golf ball.

When you do this right, you will find you hit more putts solid and they also “feel” right in your hands.

As for the putting rhythm, try to mimic a metronome.  Just like an old wall clock that goes back and forth, your putting stroke is the same.  No need to get more complicated than “1-and-2″ rhythm.

Remember, when you practice putting, you are striving to achieve a putting stroke that will roll your ball smoothly on the green.

A great way to test your roll is to putt on a humid green when there’s a lot of fog.  Try a long putt about 30 feet and see if your golf ball “jumps” or “skips”. If it does, that means you are not doing it right, apply my tips until your golf ball “rolls” smoothly.  When you have truly master the art of putting, your golf ball should never “jump” or “skip” on foggy greens.

It’s Friday, I hope y’all have tee times, and I will have more golf tips next week!