Posts Tagged ‘alignment’

Practicing on the Golf Course!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

One of the “secrets” to scoring well in golf is being able to hit various different shots on the golf course.  I am not talking about completely flat lie at the driving range but the ones from real fairways, rough, and from different sidehill/downhill/uphill lies.

How do you practice these shots and how to you learn to guage the differences?

Simple, you practice them on the golf course.

Now, you are going to have to outsmart the weekend warriors because if you only play golf on the weekends and your golf course is rather busy, you are probably not gonna have a chance to hit more than one shot during your round of golf.

Here’s a couple ways to get around that:

1. If you just can’t play golf during the week when the golf course is not so busy, try getting a tee-time for the weekend for the earliest tee time.   And also get a golf cart.  Once you tee off, just skip a couple holes so you’ve got about 1 hour of difference between yourself and the foursome behind you.   And just leave the foursome you joined so you can get some practice done, seriously.

2. Go out during the week, preferably Monday through Wednesday.  Usually the old timers are there in the morning so if you tee off right at noon during lunch time, you should be have no competition.

3. There’s always “loop holes” at the golf course, just go skip some holes and find the loop hole where there’s no one playing for 2-3 holes.  Find some hackers, they will surely be 2-3 holes behind.

On the golf course, play your round but whenever you miss a golf shot, try at least 2-3 times until you get it right.  These on-course practice gives you valuable feedback and positive experience you can use later.

I remember this is actually a “golf tip” one of my high school rivals gave me.  And it was really unbelievable because he never went to the range yet he would shoot par or under and he told me his secret was “practicing on the golf course”. (His name was Scott Wingfield btw, he played for UNLV but don’t know what happened to him.)

Anyways, if you haven’t been practicing on the golf course, start doing it and get better at scoring golf!

Back to Basics, Getting your Shoulders and Elbows Aligned!

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Today I started hitting balls at the range and totally lost it.  I was hitting a 50-yard sand wedge but couldn’t hit it at the target.

No matter what I tried, my swing just felt out of it and literally hooked or sliced my sand wedge 15-30 yards CONSISTENTLY!

But no worries, this has happened to me more than I can remember and it does happen to even the best golfers in the world.

After doing that for about 30 minutes, I finally realized what I was doing wrong, my shoulder alignment was off (it was way open) and my elbows were open too.

These two things had radical effect on my backswing as I couldn’t “feel” my usual, correct backswing, or at least the swing I was comfortable with.

As soon as I consciously started aligning my shoulders square to the target and making sure my right elbow is a bit bent, I started hitting the golf ball miraculously well.

In golf, these small mistakes can be costly, especially if you are playing on the golf course.

One more note about your elbow alignment.  If your elbows are aligned square and parallel to your target line, your right elbow should be bent a bit naturally.  Otherwise, your elbows are a bit open and this can cause havoc, make you hit hooks and slices but never straight.

So, just another reminder that in golf, basics is everything.  Like I said yesterday, alignment is where it happens.

I remember countless days of practicing on the range, except I was aligned way right.  Now, I did this for months and by the time I realized I had been aiming 30 yards right of  target, I had developed this swing that pulls the ball in order to correct it.

When that happens, it takes me just as long to correct it.

Nowadays, I make sure to put a club down when I practice, at least in the beginning so I know I am aimed correctly.

It’s nearly impossible to develop a good, consistent swing if you don’t aim first.  It’s like shooting a gun but you aim 30 yards left of your target then try to move your hands 30 yards right, right before shooting it.

Anyways, if you ever fall into a blackhole like I did where you cannot find your swing, go back to the basics, start with alignment, mostly like that is the reason.

Alignment and Body Swing Ready at Address!

Monday, May 17th, 2010

So, I will be honest.

I played 3 rounds this year, first time playing golf in 2 years.  (I hit a lot of balls here and there but never played much, maybe 1 round a year)

The first time out, I played a pretty tough course (6900 yard from blues, 72.5 slope rating) in my flip flops!  Yes, I shot 85 in my flip flops but my foot hurt bad real bad.

Second time out the next week, I broke 80 by shooting a 79.   It was an easy course though but still, I am slowly coming back.

Last saturday I shot another 79, 1-over 37 on front and 6-over 42 on the back.  I hit like every fairway, hit the driver great but missed like 75% of my  approach shots from the fairway.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I haven’t worn golf shoes on the course yet, I wore my “slippery-on-the-grass” skateboard sneakers the last two times I shot 79s.  So next time I want to see what I shoot with golf shoes on.  (I did this on purpose to improve my balance and indeed, my balance has been improving well, I will have a blog post about that too.)

Worst of all, my short game was good on the front nine (where I had kick-in givemes) but on the back nine, I left myself like 5-footers all the time and I missed like ALL of them.

Anyways, I have yet to break par this year but I am pretty satisfied with where my game is going.  It shouldn’t be too long though so long as I keep playing.

One of the players that I played with the other day, on the 18th hole, hit it dead straight but his aim was toward the trees on the right.  Of course, he hit the trees.

I told him he hit the ball super straight but he was aimed like 40-yards right of the fairway.

A lot of times in golf, alignment and aim is everything.

If you are even aligned 10-yards slightly left or right, that can make  your natural instincts take over and try to manipulate the club so your golf ball goes toward the target.

Now, if this manipulations works well, you are fine but a lot of times, you will get bunch of duck hooks or banana slices in these situations. (Or, you hit it dead straight towards where you are aimed.)

If you want to be a great player, you might want to think about putting a club down between your ball and stance “parallel” to your target when you practice.

I know, it’s cumbersome but this simple act of alignment and aim can make you hit 14 out of 14 fairways or 0 out of 14 fairways.

The other day I hit 13 out of 14 fairways, that’s after I fixed my alignment and aim.

If you ever get a chance to watch the PGA tour guys practice on the tee, you will notice that a lot of them will put a club down during practice.   It’s not really a secret but yes, it’s like cheating in golf.    You should always put a club down parallel to your golf ball if you have never done it before.  I bet you, you are either aiming way left or right of your target.

Alignment is like 90% of making the golf ball where you want it to go.

On another note, during today’s practice, I realized another cool image (swing thought) that helped me make a more consistent swing.

That is to really “feel” your whole body being “together” at address before you start that swing.   What this does is gets you ready for the actual swing and by the time you start swinging, you move everything together, your hands, arms, shoulders, and belly in sync.

Anyways, my next goal is to break 75 next weekend.   Don’t shoot me for  that.  Even for me, after a 2 year layoff from golf play, it takes me about 5-6 rounds before I can break par again.

But I am getting there, I feel like I want to really push myself hard so I can make the PGA Tour next couple years.  First I will have to shoot up some lower numbers though like 65, 66, and whatnot.

Wish me luck!  And oh yeah, you can always find me practicing at Cypress Golf course in Colma or San Bruno range if you are in the bay area.

P.S. One more tip, how to really force yourself to hit great driver shots, use a hundred dollar bill as a tee.

Smart Ball Marker!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

For hundreds of years, professional and amateur golfers alike have been using a coin to mark their balls.  Now, here’s a new, innovative Smart Ball Marker from Titleist developement team that will help you align the ball better while also preserving the location of the ball much better.

Great concept and I am sure a bunch of pros are using this already on tour.

SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Scotty Cameron was excited. Actually, he was more than excited. He was pumped up, his enthusiasm bubbling over as he was proudly displaying his latest innovation.

It’s called the Scotty Cameron Ball Tool and it’s basically the next generation in ball markers. It’s a simple flat, square piece of metal with a small semi-circular indention cut into one side where the golf ball goes. Stamped on the marker right next to the indention is a series of alignment markers that allows the player to line up his putt even after he marks his ball.

Cameron got the idea earlier this year after he became aggravated watching professional golfers spend so much time going back and forth between the ball and the hole to make sure their balls were aimed properly at the cup.

via pgatour

DIY – How To Putt Like a Pro!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
DIY - How To Putt Like a Pro!

DIY - How To Putt Like a Pro!

Putting is probably the most part of golf as it can break you or make you regardless of how you hit the ball.

A 2-inch putt is worth as much as a 350-yard drive off the tee.  That is why every pro on the PGA Tour can putt really really really good.

Today, I will tell you some simply tips on how to get that ball in the bottom of the cup.

Here’s the tips for today:

1. Alignment, alignment, alignment.  You need to align your putt before you do anything else.

How to align the putter?

Align the putter so that it hits the top of the apex of the putt.

As you can see in my horrible photoshop screenshot, the green line represents the overall break of the putt.

Now, the apex is where the putt start breaking and you need to start your ball there.

2. After aligning “parallel” to your putt, you need to “feel” the speed and rhythm of the putt.  Do not ground your club behind the ball yet.  You need to “feel” and judge the exact speed of the putt.

How to do this?

Really feel that your right hand is doing all the work in the putting and feel the right hand “rolling” the ball.

You need to find the right speed where the golf ball will stop maybe 3-5 inches past the hole.

Of course, this will depend on your putt.  If you have a really fast downhill putt, you want to think of stopping the ball right at the cup.

3. Once you get the feel for the distance and speed of the putt, simply step up to the ball and hit it.  Since you’ve already “aligned” yourself, don’t hesistate too much and repeat your “feel” from the practice stroke.

If you do this, I guarantee you will hole a lot more putts.

Remember, putting is 90% feel and 10% technique.  If your feel is good, you might get away with really bad technique.

Junger Woods Swing Analysis

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Well, while analyzing swings of the great pro golfers, I got the desire today to go out to the range for the first time in weeks.

I hit the ball great and here’s why.

As you can see in the address, the shoulders  are parallel to my target line and my clubface is about 8 degrees open to hit a power fade. (My video camera is a little off…)

My stance is closed, which is a natural habit I get into but I should really open up more.

At 1/2 way point, My club is in perfect plane from the ball through the middle of my right shoulder socket. This is the the plane Tiger Woods follow and me three.

At top of my swing, the butt end of my club shows that I am still in plane. I also have a very good triangle going, which is good. The only bad part about this backswing is that I just finished working out before hitting balls so my muscles are too tight. Tightness is not good for golf but oh well…

On the downswing, I dip my head a little, which is my bad habit and I am also slightly inside of the plane. (probably because of my slightly closed stance)

At impact, I hit the 3 wood perfect. It makes thing really big “ping” sound.

My shoulders are about parallel to my target line.

My clubface is actually open and I am trying to hit a power fade here.

My followthrough is slightly flat. Meaning I came over the ball a little. This is partly due to my slightly closed stance.

I might block the ball 1 out of 10 balls or pull it because of the closed stance.

If I opened my stance, most of my problems would probably be solved.

Oh well, next time I get to go hit balls, I will probably have “other” problems but yes alignment is probably the most important. You have wrong alignment at the beginning of your swing and you can have all kinds of problems.

Overall, I hit the ball great today. I feel like I can try out for the PGA Tour the way I hit the balls today.

Well, even with the closed stance and my bad swing habits, I hit a lot of good shots at my target. Well, good scores are about good short game mostly anyways.

What is my long term goal?

Well, it has always been to play pro golf. Now, I make money online to feed my family and make a living. Once I can get that going faster, I might have more time to practice and eventually start playing in some mini-tour events again.

Will it happen?

Of course, my dreams never die. That’s probably why I made this blog. Once I can build up my blogging business to about $20K per month, I should be able to spend more time golfing and of course, blogging more often on here too.

Here’s a video of the 3 wood power fade I hit just perfectly about 270 yards:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Don’t blame me if my swing sucks right now, I go to the range about once a month.