Posts Tagged ‘driving-range’

How to Practice at the Driving Range!

Friday, November 6th, 2009

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Here’s a video I shot today of me hitting a 6-iron knockdown shot to a target about 165 yards out.

From just a look, it might look like I am not doing much but if you look carefully, here’s what’s going through my mind on each shot.

Before each shot, I take 1-2 practice swings visualizing how I will hit the ball, even the trajectory of my ball.

Once I am ready, I will take a look at my target.

Then, I will make an imaginary line from target to my ball and pick a spot about 2 feet out from the ball, that’s where I will align the clubface.

After aligning the clubface, I will take my stance parallel to my target line.  (You will see I am aligned perfectly parallel to the yellow target on each shot.)

Then I align all of my body parts such as shoulders and hips again “parallel” to my target line.

Then I take a waggle.

After hovering my clubhead over the ball (or taking just enough weight off it) I will start the swing with my whole body.

Once I reach the top, I will start the downswing with my hips then follow through with my whole body.

One thing I am not doing today I realized after taping is that I am not using my lower body through the shot, my right foot should stay to the ground more after impact.

Well, this shows how many things you should be focusing on before you even hit a practice shot, I am just telling you. :)

Btw, my cheap tripod fell off during the middle of the video, I didn’t realize until end of the practice, sorry.

How to Swing Better by Not Being Perfect!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Sometimes, perfection can be the root of all evil things in a golf swing.  A lot of times when I was playing competitively on a daily basis, I would try to perfect my golf swing by banging 10 buckets of balls.  I would have probably done better if I just relaxed more and focused more on my short game and putting.

Golf is a game that requires great mental focus, it’s a not a game where the best golf swing mechanics win tournaments.  Rather, golfers with ability to turn the golf course into their friend wins as evidenced by Y.E. Yang’s win over Tiger last weekend.

That said, I hit balls for the first time in about 3 months yesterday and boy, I hit the ball really, really good.

Here’s something I tried to do yesterday:

  • I tried to not be perfect, simply relax my hands and let my body do the work.
  • My swing though consisted of “keep it smooth” like Fred Couples.
  • Worked on specific shots that would help me on the golf course like fading the ball (which is my strength) and odd shots that could get me out of trouble.

In all, yesterday’s practice at the driving range might have helped me whole lot more than me simply banging a lot of balls mindlessly one after another.

The key to great golf is keeping your golf swing consistent.   The only way an average golfer who rarely practices to keep their golf swing consistent is to keep their swing thoughts simple.

Golf has so many parts to master but unless you are a professional golfer with all the time in the world, you are not going to master it.

Forget “fixing” your swing and try simply “scoring” with your current golf swing.  Whatever your bad shots are, a nasty hook or banana slice, you can still “score” well by adjusting to your weaknesses and using them as strengths.

I’ve seen it a gazillion times where a golfer with a really weird swing will win over a golfer who has a perfect swing.  Most of the time, the golfer with a really weird swing has an incredible short game and a knack for putting since he/she is hitting the ball all over the place.  The golfer with perfect swing usually never performs under pressure because he/she simply does not know how to deal with trouble under pressure.

Anyways, I will be heading over to the course more often before this summer ends and looks like they got the tent set up at Harding Park for the President’s Cup 2009 this year. (I have an incredible view of the 12th hole at Harding Park from my 12th floor apartment!)

Golf DIY – How To Mentally Play Well and Score Well by Practicing Mentally!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Anyone who has played golf for at least a year would realize that golf is 90% mental and 10% skill.

This is so more true as you get to a higher level such as scratch golf or pro golf.

The truth is, most PGA Tour players today can hit the ball as good as the guy next to him.

The real difference between top players who win tournaments and the guy who finishes last in a PGA Tour tournament may be blamed purely on mental state of the player.

I have mentioned in many of my previous tournament analysis that the player who is tougher nearing down the last 3 holes of the tournament usually wins the golf tournament.

That is completely true, most golf tournaments are decided on the last 3 holes.

For example, even the 2009 U.S. Open came down to the last 3 holes where Lucas Glover made a birdie on the 16th hole and parred out the rest while everyone else had at least 1 bogey. I am sure it could have been different if Ricky Barnes, Phil Mickelson, or David Duval birdied couple of those last holes.

Or even take a look at the miraculous win by Tiger Woods at 2008 U.S. Open, where Tiger had to birdie the last hole to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate. Tiger dumps his drive in the rough, then procceeds to hit his 2nd shot to the rough, and barely makes it to the green. But Tiger’s mental toughness has helped him make that 10 footer downhiller under intense moments of pressure, not just his skill or luck.

So, how to get this mental toughness?

Well, first you need to be in that state of pressure, if you have nothing to go for, there’s no pressure.

You can easily practice this type of pressure while you practice on the driving range or play a round at your favorite golf course.

What me and my pro golfer friends like to do is actually bet money and play a skins game during the course of the round. This “pressure”, even if it’s a dollar a hole, will make you focus more on “playing” the game and also let you “practice” pressure golf.

When I am at the driving range, I like to play games with myself. I will challenge myself to hit 10 of 10 shots to within 100 yards. (You can also read about developing your bread-and-butter shot by signing up for my newsletter in the free E-book I provide.)

Another way to engage yourself in pressure golf at the driving range is to actually play a round of golf in your mind.

That’s right, I will imagine my favorite golf course and actually hit my drives, approach shots, and pitch shots. I make it so real that I actually go through my whole pre-shot routine, which is a must if you want to play great golf. (I will also do a blog post soon on how to develop and maintain a pre-shot routinne later this week.)

A lot of people don’t like to gamble on the golf course but gambling with your friends is actually one of the best ways to improve your game and practice “pressure” golf.

You don’t have to bet a lot of money, even pennies will do, just so long as there’s something on the line, mainly which boils down to your confidence, not really money itself.

So again, make sure you play for some money (or even house duties) the next time you play golf with your friends and family.

One of my favorite things to do was play skins game with all the seniors at my local club and take all their money, even with handicaps given for them. Now, that was a lot of fun because the seniors enjoyed playing with good young golfers like me, even if that was losing couple bucks every time.

Next time you go out on the range, don’t just mindlessly bang golf balls after another, practice “playing” on the practice range.

I hope these golf tips help you play better the next time you try to let your friends pay for your dinner and I will have to get back to getting my golf game up to par so I can try out for the PGA Tour next year.

Happy golfin’~

P.S. One of the keys to playing well under pressure is to simply enjoy golf and have fun. Can you remember how many times you played good and had fun?

Oops, another golfing secret spilled…

How to Divide Up Your Practice Time!

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

One of the major mistakes that golfers make is how they spend their time practicing golf.

If you are one of those people who bang 2-3 buckets per day but have been lazy to hit putts on the putting green, watch out, someone’s gonna take your money.

Here’s a simple guideline on how you should divide up your practice time:

50% – Mix of iron and woods.  These are mostly full shots.

50% – Shortgame consisting of putting, chipping, and chipping.

If you don’t have access to a putting green, you can still do short game on the driving range.  Take your sand or lob wedge and hit to different “short” targets around 30 to 75 yards.  Believe me, this will do wonders for your pitching game.

How to Practice with Less Balls at the Driving Range!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Today, let me give you a couple tips that will save you money at the driving range, all the while getting a better practice session every time you go out there.

Here’s a couple rules I used to “live” by when I used to play mini-tour events:

1. For every practice shot, make sure you do 2-3 practice swings.  That’s right, practice makes perfect, not simply banging balls.

2. For every practice shot, before the shot, imagine and visualize how the golf ball will react after you hit the ball.

3. For every practice shot, before the shot, imagine and visualize how you will swing.  Visualize yourself swinging that ball perfectly in rhythm and balance.

Believe me, mind does some awesome stuff for golf.

4. For every practice shot, line-up your shot before hitting the ball from behind the ball like a real shot.

Why would you practice as if it “wasn’t” real?  Every shot I practice is the same as the shot I hit under pressure.

This type of mentality helps your conscious to stay the “same” even when playing for real money.  On the other hand, banging a lot of balls perfect does the opposite to you when you play because you are simply not that perfect, not even Tiger.

5. For every practice shot, imagine a real green, bunkers, and fairways.  You should always have a target on your practice shot and it’s even better if you can imagine hitting a certain shot for EVERY practice shot.

6. For every practice shot, hit a different club.  You don’t hit the same club over and over again on the golf course, why would you make it that easy for yourself on the driving range?

Basically, all these tips make you spend most of your time getting ready for your golf shot, just like a real golf shot on the golf course.

Now, if you can’t even hit your pitching wedge past 50 yards, this might not be a good advice for you.  But if you have broken 80 or 90 already and you want to get better mentally, this is how you gotta practice.

Maybe not all the time but most of time, you will reap the benefits of hitting every practice shot after you are mentally and physically ready for it.

Using this method, I usually do 500 practice swing with just 100 practice balls and my practice’s quality goes UP, way high.  And this shows on the golf course if I shoot couple under.

Driver DIY – How to Add 30 Yards to Your Game in 30 Days!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Well, as a pro golfer who knows all the ins and outs of playing, practicing, and scoring golf, we all WANT to hit the ball very far.

I am not going to be teaching you any golf swing techniques here but I am going to teach you couple tricks that can potentially add 30 yards to your drives in just 30 days.

1. Get a weighted golf club and swing it daily in your home slowly about 20-30 times.

Now you don’t have to buy this weighted golf club.  What I do is take bunch of pennies (like 200 of them) and duct tape them to one of your old golf clubs.  That will get you about 5-10 pounds of weight depending on the number of pennies you attach.

Swing the golf club very very slowly.  This is about building the golf muscles, not hitting the ball.  Try to really feel that your abdomen is controlling the whole swing during this exercise.

2. For every practice session at the driving range, take your driver and hit 10 balls as HARD as you can.

You need to learn to control your swing when you swing hard and fast, the only way to do that is to swing as hard as you can.  Now I said just 10 balls, don’t do it for all your shots, that will ruin your swing and rhythm.

3. Do the above steps 1 and 2 at least 3-5 times a week for a month.

I bet you’ve added another 30 yards to your driver.

I didn’t include working out or lifting-weights here but that helps too so long as you are working on the correct muscles.  I find that chest lifting exercises help but let me get into that later, I have a specific golf workout routine that I have been using for about 14 years and that’s been helping me hit the ball 320+ yards consistently.  Stay tuned folks.

How to Teach Your Baby to Be Better Than Tiger Woods!

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Well, I’ve decided to start a series of online blog golf lessons for teaching your baby to be better than Tiger Woods.

Of course, if you are a parent and you want your child to be on the PGA/LPGA tour someday, these are the lessons you will need to read.

The first thing you need to do is get your baby to get familiar with the golf grip, golf ball, and the golf club as soon as possible.

  • Age 1-3 months – Swing a golf club in front of your baby at least couple times a week.  “Monkey see, Monkey do.”  You can start as early as soon as your kid is born.  Tiger didn’t really start until he was 18 month old, you can get your kid a better chance by starting earlier than Tiger.
  • Age 3-6 months – Make a plastic-toy grip for your 3-6 month old baby to play with.  The earlier that your baby gets familiar with a golf grip, the quicker he/she will be able to control the club when he/she grows up.  You can order a junior grip from Golfsmith and pick up a plastic PVC pipe that will fit the grip at Home Depot.
  • Age 9-12 months – Take your 9-12 month baby to the driving range.  You can get one of these  Walking Wings to help her/him stand while you help her/him hit a real golf ball with your arms controlling the club while baby has her/his hands on the grip.  Also the putting green is great for babies to walk on while learning to putt.

Also, skip the plastic golf toys, they are too “plastic” and it’s probably better to get your baby learning with the “real” stuff ASAP.  Heck, you can make your own cut-down custom clubs by ordering parts from Golfsmith.

Am I being realistic here?

Yes, this is how you can get your baby to learn to hit a golf club before she/he learns how to feed himself/herself with a spoon.  If your baby learns to swing the golf club as something 2nd nature to him/her, he/she’s going to be ahead of 99.9% of population by the time he/she plays junior golf tournaments.

Trust me, I am a pro golfer, you need to get your baby started EARLY!  I started when I was 9 years old and I can see that I too could have played a lot better if I started when I was 1 month old.

DIY – How to Make a Golf Ball Pool Table!

Sunday, August 31st, 2008
DIY - How to Make a Golf Ball Pool Table!

DIY - How to Make a Golf Ball Pool Table!

If you are a golf fanatic like me, you will not only go to the driving range daily, you will need to build yourself one of these cool Golf Ball Pool Tables which is basically a Pool Table with Golf Balls instead of the standard-size Pool balls.

It’s basically just a table-top pool table that uses golf balls. It’s actually quite fun and makes for a nice, quiet, drinking game. Plus, it stores as easily as a card table.

via instructables

HOWTO Practice with 1 golf ball

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

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Here’s HOWTO practice with 1 golf ball.

Really, you will need to get a 60 degree lob wedge, put weight on your heels, hit about 1/8 inch behind the ball, then you will need to really keep steady and make a nice smooth shot with super light hands and also keep your finish short so you can get your right hand out to catch the ball.