Posts Tagged ‘how to’

How to Putt Better with a Pendulum Swing!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Putting at its simplest form is a pendulum. You probably know what a pendulum is, that thing on top of your piano that goes back at forth at perfect tempo.

But how do you putt like that? The human body isn’t made like a pendulum, there are actually moving parts such as your head, shoulders, arms, and hands.

Well, today I’ve found a great way to help everyone who reads this humble little golf blog to putt better.

If you’ve putted with a belly-putter or a long putter, you probably notice that it’s fairly like a pendulum, your putter swinging from a center point, your belly or your chest.

But how do you re-create that pendulum swing without a belly-putter or long putter on a regular 36-inch putter?

I know some pros use their “imaginary” point on their chest as the center point. But believe me, there’s lots of things that can go wrong plus that’s not gonna work for the weekend warrior.

Instead use your left elbow (for right-handed golfers) as the center point. I did this today on the putting green today and started sinking like every putt!

Your left elbow is a great center point for your putting stroke as it eliminates the rest of your body. I don’t care how you putt but next time you putt, try using your left elbow as the point that your putting revolves around.

One more tip, a putting stroke should naturally open and close on its own plane. Yes, a putting stroke has a “plane” just like a full swing, the more consistent you can keep this, the truer you can roll the golf ball.

Now try this natural open and closing action while keeping your left elbow as the pivot point, then you’ve got some great consistency.

Well, that’s my secrets, thanks for listening.

How to Develop Golf Poker Face!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

For those of you who have played golf for at least several years, you probably know when someone mentions “poker face” on the golf course. In fact, this is actually one of the most important key factors to playing high-level golf.

Golf is a sport where your emotions can easily get in the way and you can ruin your round literally by laughing your a** off to the 18th green.

Do you remember the last time you made a birdie, then got so excited that you thought about shooting under par, breaking 80/90, then double-bogeyed the next hole? Or maybe worse?

That’s exactly what I am talking about, you can let your emotions run your thoughts on the golf course.

Or how about the last time you made a triple bogey on a hole then follow it with 3 more triples?

Whether you have a good hole or bad hole, it’s imperative that you learn to control emotions. Imagine those monks (even if you are not buddhist and I am not) meditating, that’s how your mind should be if you want to play your best golf.

Meditating on the golf course, are you crazy?

Well I didn’t say literally but your brain should always be near an even, steady state. Never let a good shot or bad shot make yourself think too far ahead.

It’s about “detaching” your emotions from yourself on the golf course, not adding to it. And no, if you are one of those club-throwing freaks, you’ve got a long way to go. I would suggest playing some golf videos games first to improve your angry behavior. And trust me, it took me around 10 years to get my anger under control, 10 YEARS! I was very young though when I started golf but many of you start golf more mature so use your maturity when you are on the golf course.

So, how do you train your mind to meditate on the golf course and separate your emotions from your golf shots?

Simple, you need to practice it right. Next time you are on the range, on the practice green, or playing another round of golf, practice “poker face”. This means even if you just hit a 250-yard 3-wood second shot on a par 5 to 2 feet or you just shanked your drive OB on the first hole, try your best to show no emotion, DETACH all emotion from your golf shot.

Or if you are on the driving range, don’t get mad because you can’t fix your 50 yard hook or don’t get so excited that you hit 3 shots in a row that hit the target.

I challenge you to a 100% emotionless practice or a round. The thing is, we are all humans and there’s no way you are going to play perfect at 100%. Even best players in the world probably get near 95% at best.

But the more you can do this poker face thing, the better you will be able to handle situations on the golf course and your golf scores will eventually lower as a result.

Try it out and let me know how well you do, poker face drill.

Advanced Swing Thoughts!

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Do you know one secret that helps you become better at golf?

It’s definitely not hitting a ton of golf balls at the range although it does help if you do practice.

The key is to really become better at golf everyday, perhaps you are hitting some chip shots at the practice green or working on short 50-yard pitch shots all day long at the range.

Anyways, I hope you all are trying to get better at golf, as I have been. It’s about beating your own self, your own skills on a daily basis.

Here’s some advanced swing thoughts that help me hit the ball like really good today and last whole week.

First, practice a lot of 50-80 yard pitch shots and challenge yourself if you can hit these short pitch shots perfect. I practice these most often as they serve as core fundamentals for your golf shots, swing, and more.

If you can find a good swing that can hit good pitch shots, you will inevitably end up hitting great full shots and great drives.

And here’s the real secret sauce that I’ve been using:

The backswing is composed of your whole body working together.

Your downswing on longer shots should be more or less “effortless” or automatic if you will. The full swing on a driver is so big that you shouldn’t have to think. I like to think of my lower body’s transition and turning through on the longer shots, that’s about it. There’s no way you can manipulate the longer shots with your hand.

On the other hand, shorts iron shots and pitch shots require some finesse with your hands and arms, you will have to learn to hit various different shots on the short ones especially.

That’s about it but this could help you if you are trying to get better.

How to Make Your Own Putting Green in the Backyard!

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

For those of you with a bit of gardening skills, you might want to consider making your own putting green in the backyard.  I am not talking about those fake ones (I don’t like astroturf putting too much) but growing your own putting grass seeds.

First, you will need to find a relatively flat area in your backyard.

Second, plan out how big your backyard will be.

Third, you will need to determine what kind of putting green grass you will use.  For most cool-to-warm climates, you might want to go with bentgrass.   For people in Texas and southern states, you can try bermuda.

You can get some really high-quality bentgrass on Amazon here.

Fourth, you need to get that area in your backyard ready for seeding.  You can get the soil loosened first then get rid all weeds/debris.  Once that’s done, simply put the seeds all over the soil, then top it off with a thin layer of sand.

Keep the area moist at all times by watering 2-3 times daily.

After few weeks, you should have a new green, start mowing when it’s around 2-3 inches then you can mow it shorter for putting.

Also, you can aerate/replicate the green to other parts of your yard by using the ProPlugger, I find this the best tool out there for Do-It-Yourselfers.

If the putting green area isn’t drained well, perhaps water overfills, you might want to add a layer of gravel under the green.

Here’s another resource for building your own putting green.

 

 

How to Exercise Right to Increase Your Driving Distance!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Every golfer in this world wants to hit their drives farther (not straighter but farther), and believe me, I’ve been doing exercises to improve my driving distance for the last 20+ years.

So, what are the best exercises to increase your driving distance?

I wish I had my own workout room and take a bunch of photos (which I will in the near future) but for now, let me just tell you which areas of your body you need to strengthen to increase your driving distance.

1. Forearms & Wrists – You want to strengthen your forearms and wrists because it will help you control the ball better out of the rough and also help you control the ball better. Look at every long hitter in golf history and you will see most of them have popeye-like forearms. You can get one of those wrist exercisers you can carry with you. (I used to carry this very wrist exerciser everywhere with me when I was in high school and college so I can work out my forearms and wrists while I am studying.) There’s also many ball hand exercisers too so your options are limitless when it comes to exercising your forearms and wrists on your off-time from golf. Forearms & wrists don’t necessarily add a lot of distance to your drives directly but because your strengthened forearms and wrists will better help you control the golf club, your drives will be hit more squarely in the sweetspot and result in longer drives.

2. Rotator-Cuffs – These are the crucial muscles in your golf swing, the rotate cuffs are basically the muscles under your shoulders that allow you to “rotate” in a golf swing. You need to strengthen your rotator cuffs as much as possible as they play a major role in a golf swing (and tennis too). Having strong rotator cuffs can also help you with lots of things such as lessen strain on your back, be able to rotate your shoulders faster (therefore hit the ball longer), and are basis for a golf swing.

3. Legs – A lot of people like to go to the gym and work only on their upper body and really, the legs are the muscles in golf that give you more balance, stability, and utmost, power. It doesn’t matter what kind of leg exercises you do really but make sure you work out your legs often and make sure they are strong, you will get more yards.

4. Abdominals – Believe it or not, working out your abdominals can be very healthy for your golf swing, your back, and also hit the ball longer. The golf swing is driven by the power of your core, which is your abdominals. And since abdominals play a big factor in your back aches, I highly recommend you do work out your abdominals often and make them as strong as possible. And yes, there “are” exceptions but having strong abdominal muscles can only help you in golf.

Overall, any exercise is good for golf in my opinion, just make sure you also do lots of stretching to stay flexible because that is also another key to adding MPH to your drives.

One more thing (this is an advice my chiropractor gave me), you might want to swing the opposite way often. For example, if you are right-handed, do some left-handed swings every once in awhile. Because of how human body is structured, if you hit lots of golf balls, your spine tends to get a bit awry, this is inevitable fact of golf, your spine will twist and turn the wrong way if you keep swingin’ only one way. To counter-set that, just swing the other way too. This is really for preventing back injuries but believe me, I’ve had more back injuries (due to golf) than anyone else I know. Having a good back and knowing good exercises to prevent back pain is also another key to your golfing career going longer.

How to Hit Long Sand Shots and Put a Lot of Spin On It!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

One of the easiest shots in golf  for pros and scratch golfers is a sand shot inside 30 yards.

One of the hardest shots in golf for anyone is a long sand shot more than 30 yards.

Why?  Because with the sand wedge, you can only hit it so far from the beach.  Since you are opening the clubface near 30 degrees open, after about 30 yards, you are doing to have a hard time just getting the golf ball to the green.

So, how to hit this long sand shot?

There’s two ways, you can either open your sand wedge less and try hitting the shot but that’s not always the best way because the less you open your sand wedge, the less bounce you effectively use on your wedge.

Without bounce, the sand shot becomes more risky.

A better way to hit the longer sand shots is with a longer club such as your pitching wedge or even 9-iron.

For a 50-yard sand wedge shot perhaps from a fairway bunker (that’s relatively close to the green), you can hit a pitching wedge, almost exactly like your sand shots with the sand wedge.

Here’s the cool part though, because you are effectively hitting the golf ball harder with the longer club, you can put a LOT of spin on the golf ball.

Not that many people know or even attempt to hit this long bunker shot but when you pull it off and your ball one hop and stops next to the hole, you will see everyone’s jaws drop as you take their money.

You still have to hit the long sand shot correctly, perhaps a bit less margin of error than shorter sand shots.  This inevitable because the pitching wedge has less bounce.

When hitting these longer sand shots, you need to aim a bit more left than you think because the pitching wedge causes more left-to-right spin than on short sand shots.

Also, make sure you make a “shallow” and “thin” scoop of sand.  The sand should look 5-6 inches long but very thin.  This is same concept as a regular short sand shot but in a short sand shot, you can still get the golf ball on the green with a slighter fatter action whereas the longer sand shots, you don’t have that margin or error.

Now, if you are at a longer distance, let’s say 80 yards in the fairway bunker, you can try a 9-iron.

If you are at longer than that, my advice is to actually try to hit the ball clean while keeping your head up throughout the shot.  Once it gets to that distance, it’s better to hit a half-swing/full-swing shot and in my opinion, those are much easier than something between 30-100 yards.

 

How to Hit the One Hop and Stop, Low Trajectory/High Spinning Wedge Shot!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

You probably seen on TV golf pros hitting that one hop and stopping wedge shot.

This is probably one of the most useful shots from 100 yards in because it’s a “one hop” and “stop”.

I know you’ve seen other high-spinning wedge shots that land then roll back 20 feet.  I am not talking about those.  Actually those shots are much harder to control and would only be useful in situations you actually have to roll it back.

For most situations from 100 yards in, you will benefit more from one hope stop, then a shot that lands and rolls back into the water.

So, how do you hit this shot?

First, you need a “clean” wedge with no dirt or grass between its grooves.  If you don’t clean your golf clubs, I highly suggest you to do it starting from now on or at least clean your wedges as it will help you put more spin on the ball and hit the one hop and stop shot.

If you don’t have a clean wedge with dirt or grass in its grooves, that pretty much gives you no chance at this shot because clean grooves mean backspin on the ball.

Third, you need a relatively soft ball.  If you use long-distance balls, you are probably not gonna one stop and hop it by any means.  You might be able to do it in perfect conditions but if you want to hit the one hop and stop shot on consistent basis, switch to a softer ball as this will help your overall shortgame too.

I primarily use Titleist Pro V1X, that’s been my favorite golf ball for like the last 10 years or since it came out.

When you have a clean wedge and a soft ball, you are ready to rock!

The one hop and stop shot is nothing but actually a clean half-swing shot.  To hit this, you need to do a half-swing instead of a full swing and try to hit the golf ball really clean.

When you do a half-swing on a wedge, you will get a lower trajectory and won’t spin out of control (and spin 20 feet back) but will simply one hop and stop.

There are of course more advanced ways to hit this shot but in reality, anyone can hit this shot with a clean wedge, soft ball, and a half swing provided the ball is hit squarely on the center of the clubface.

If you want to get a bit lower trajectory, you can play around by putting the golf ball slightly back in your stance (but I don’t recommend beyond center) and getting your weight over to the left on your downswing, which feels almost like you are coming over the top.

Also, you don’t hit this shot HARD, you want soft hands and a lazy rhythm.  It’s a “feel” shot, if you force it, your ball will shoot up in the air and you won’t get the same stop and hop effect.

Remember, you need to hit the golf ball super-crisp and super-clean, a nice “thin” divot is a sign of that, no big divots please.  Big divots mean you struck down on the ball too much and what happens is that the dirt  and grass will get between the ball and your wedge grooves, killing your chances of putting lots of backspin on the golf ball.

You can hit this shot with pretty much any wedges (sand, lob, pitching), I prefer my sand wedge the best).

Remember, practice makes perfect.  You will want to practice this shot with a clean wedge and also clean, soft balls.  And yes, try to have a wet towel with you so you can clean your grooves every couple shots.

All these little things do matter when hitting the hop and stop shot.

The hop and stop shot is a great weapon to have in your golf bag because you can use it on a good day or a day with 30MPH+ winds.  Since it will travel at a lower trajectory, your wedge shot isn’t affected by the wind as much, meaning more wedges shots closer to the hole.

Anyways, enough rambling, I hope these tips help you, just remember the most important 4 things: Clean grooves, clean “soft” balls, easy half-swing, and perfect contact with the ball.

You don’t have to do anything special to make the golf ball spin, just do the basics right.  THAT, is the secret.

Happy golfin’

How to Hit the Ball 365 Yards!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Today, I was able to max out my drives at the driving range, never before have I hit it longer.

It’s a good thing though, I ain’t like one of those fake golf pros trying to sell you some e-book on how to hit the ball long, it’s all free on my blog because I like to give my secrets out.

But no, when I used to be a full-time pro-golfer, you never share your secrets, it’s a very competitive golf world out there.

So, here’s how I maximized my driving distance additional 40 yards (up from 325 yards):

Today, I was having some trouble on my downswing, I kept hooking my ball because my hands were getting a bit active.

Well, trying to fix it, I tried to really start my downswing early just before finishing my backswing.  What that does is create “torque” while also creating additional “lag” and making your your clubface doesn’t close early.

But I face another problem, whenever I tried to do that, I would not finish my backswing all the way like I should and my hands would go all over the place, resulting in inconsistent shots.

I am more used to a relaxing backswing, then hitting through the ball.

While experimenting, I found that I could do my same old relaxed backswing and hit the golf ball with more lag and more power.

So, that is the secret to my additional 40 or so yards I gained.  That is, to really hold your upper body at the top of your backswing for a split-second.  It “feels” like you are pausing the top of your backswing while your lower body start the downswing.  When you keep practicing this movement, what happens is that your body “naturally” learns to start the downswing with the lower body.  Sorta like what Ben Hogan used to preach all the time but here’s the difference:  Hogan told you that you start the downswing with the lower body and the upper body follows.  THAT, is really hard to do in real life.  It’s the same thing but a better way to think of it is to hold your upper body for a split-second so you give your lower body a chance to lead and start the downswing.  It works, believe me.

Never in my life I though I could do that but I did today.  And you know what, that creates so much torque but under control, I hit the ball damn straight, 365 yards, which is the distance to the fence where I practice and I hit it multiple times.

Besides that, I hit the golf ball perfectly on the sweetspot, meaning straighter, longer shots.

I even tried using this method on my irons and works great.

So, how do “you” practice method?

Next time you are on the range, I want you to feel like you are resisting your upper body from moving for like a split second during the beginning of your downswing. (And also turn your hips to the left.)

When you do this correctly, you will feel incredible amount of torque generated by the resistance of your upper body and your lower body.  Then after that split second, you just let it go and voila!  You’ve got extra 40 yards and straighter drives.

Anyways, this is something I found out today and you won’t even see it in GolfDigest (my favorite golf magazine btw) so don’t tell anyone, just keep it to yourself so you can outdrive your friends all day long and take their money.

How to Get Extra 10-20 Yards on Your Drives!

Monday, April 11th, 2011

So, today I figured out how to get extra 10-20 yards on my drives.  This isn’t for everyone who’s already doing it or I figure most of you aren’t scratch golfers or pro-golfers.

Anyways, it’s very simple, you need to make sure to turn your shoulders all the way during your backswing.

Make sure your left shoulder (for right handed-golfers) is moving at all times during your backswing.   This just means that you are using your whole body to swing and you will get that extra 10-20 yards on your drives because you are using your left shoulder as you really should.

Honestly when I hit the ball really long I used to do this and forgot it lately but today I realized that I wasn’t doing it and found that it does indeed help with your distance AND accuracy.

A simple way to practice is to just “mentally” monitor your left shoulder while you swing back, make sure it’s in control and it’s moving somewhat.  When you do that, you will be swinging more or less correctly and 10-20 extra added to your drives.

And I have seen about 9 of out 10 people who don’t use their left shoulder in their backswing, seriously including myself.

Butch Harmon used to say, “What do you when a doctor gives you a prescription?”  You don’t stand around so you can take another 30 minutes of his time, you just go get your prescription so it fixes your golf swing.

How to “Really Really” Lag Your Golf Club!

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

One of the “secrets” behind being able to hit the ball long or just simply accurate lies behind the fact how “really really” well you can lag your golf club right before impact.

Why is this?

Because when you correctly “lag” your clubface right before impact, two things happen.

First, you can only strike the golf ball perfectly square behind the golf ball.

Second, you take advantage of the distance your extra “lag” gives you.

In other words, distance and accuracy go together. When you hit long, you are accurate. When you are accurate, you hit it long.

Sadly in golf, there’s nothing in-between, you can either hit it long and straight or be short and miserable.

So, “how to really really” lag your golf club?

Just take some extra time from the top of your backswing to the point where you are right before hitting the ball. The longer you can make this section of your golf swing, the more accurate and longer your golf balls will go.

Enjoy~