Posts Tagged ‘how to’

How To Make Toddler Golf Clubs!

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

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Today, I will show you how to make custom-fit (custom length) golf clubs for your toddler/kids.

Whether your toddler is a 12 month year old who’s 1.5 feet tall or a 3 year old 2.5 feet tall, making custom-fit golf clubs can dramatically improve chances of your child playing better golf.

The problem is that most of toddler/junior golf clubs bought off the rack at the retail stores or online are too long for these young, aspiring golfers.

If you want your child to be as good as Tiger Woods or to simply enjoy golf at an early age, it’s vital that you either cut junior golf clubs to fit their height or make toddler golf clubs from scratch as I am showing you in this blog post.

For one, most 2 year olds already possess enough muscle strength to hit a golf ball except there’s no golf clubs made for them!

By making these custom-length golf clubs, your child will be able to get a head start on golf, perhaps play better than you by the time they reach 9.

One of my friend’s daughters is trying to play golf and my friend has asked some advice so I’ve decided to make this 7-iron and driver for her.

And yes, plastic golf clubs would work too but real golf clubs would be ideal if the toddler wants to start improving his/her game from day one.

So, here it goes, this is actually my first attempt at making junior golf clubs and I haven’t done clubmaking in 10 years so I am a bit rusty.   But bear with me as I get the job done.

First, you will need some of the most basic golf clubmaking tools listed here:

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Epoxy – You can get any regular epoxy at your local hardware store.  Golfsmith and other golf clubmaking stores sell these golf epoxies but they are pretty much the same thing so you don’t need to spend extra $5 on them, just get it for cheaper at Home Depot.  I got mine for like $5 at Home Depot btw.

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Sand Paper – You will need some sand paper to prep the shaft so you can epoxy your clubhead to it.  If you have machine tools, that might work too but for the purposes of saving money too, you can just use some plain sand paper.

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Shaft Cutting Tool – You can use a fine-blade saw or a machine tool to cut your shaft.  If you don’t have them, the other best way is to get one of these golf shaft cutting tools.  I have had mine for over 10 years and they are great for cutting golf shafts plus they don’t take up much room if you live in a small apartment. ($9.99 at Golfsmith)
*Note – You can get the Chop Saw, which might be better if you are making a whole set of clubs.

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Junior Clubheads – For starters, you can probably start with any junior golf clubhead.  I went with a Snake Eyes Junior 7-iron($8.99) and a driver($17.99).  (There’s even cheaper ones too over at GolfSmith, check it out here.)

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Junior Golf Grips – Junior golf grips are slightly smaller than regular grips and you will need these.  I got the Junior Tour Velvet grips ($1.79 each) but there’s other choices as well.

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Double-sided Grip Tape – You need a double-sided grip tape so you can stick the golf grip onto the  golf shaft.  For this, I highly recommend the water-activated grip tape which requires no toxic solvents and easy to apply with plain water and a bit of soap.  Traditionally, you had to use toxic solvent plus a double-sided tape, which is faster to install but bad for our environment. (plus costs more for the solvent).

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Ferrules (optional) - For a finished look, you will want to get some ferrules.  The ferrules are different for irons($2.99 for dozen) and woods($2.49 for dozen).  But these are optional, they don’t really do anything but add to the overall “look” and do not affect the perfomance of your toddler golf clubs.

Standard sizes for iron ferrules are .370″ in diameter and wood ferrules are .335″ in diameter.  If you get special shafts you might need a custom ferrule but for most golf clubs, these sizes are standard, even for adult golf clubs.  There’s more styles of ferrules to choose from here but make a note that you get the right sized ferrules.

You might also want to consider getting a Ferrule installer if you want ferrule installation to be quicker/easier.

Total Cost

Total cost per club should be pretty cheap $20 per iron and about $30 per wood, still cheaper than buying off the racks.  Plus, the golf tools you buy can be used over and over for future clubmaking, not a bad investment at all.  I’ve also used the minimal number of tools here as I don’t like having big tools or spending too much money on them. (yet at least)

Not only are it’s a great skill to learn but as your toddler grows up, you will be able to provide them with custom shafts, which they will need if they are going to take golf to the next level.

How to Find the Right Length for Fitting the Golf Shaft

Before making the golf clubs, you will want to find out exactly the length your toddler needs to hit the ball optimally.

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Measure out how long your golf club should be by setting the shaft on your toddler child.  Then, make a mark with a permanent marker.  As a rough guide, try to get about 50 degrees from the ground to the child’s hands.  Where their hands end  on the shaft should be where you should mark the golf club.

Don’t worry if you do it the wrong first time, you can always cut the shaft and put a new grip if you make it too long.

Just don’t make it too short, then you will have to install a new shaft so…

How to Cut the Golf Shaft

Obviously, if you have a power tool or get the Chop Saw, you can easily cut the shaft but if you get the shaft cutting tool, you can  follow these directions.

Simply set the shaft to the shaft cutting tool in the middle groove then adjust the knob so it fits tightly.

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Rotate the shaft once  and tighten the knob a 1/4 of a turn, then keep repeating until the shaft if cut.

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You should get a nicely cut shaft like here:
And save the leftover shaft for later as it can be used as a ferrule installation tool.

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Video 1 of shaft cutting:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

How to Install the Ferrule (Optional)

If you’ve decided to install the ferrules, there’s some extra steps to do, otherwise you can skip this step.

*Note – If you bought the Ferrule Installer, follow directions for that, it should be MUCH easier/faster.  I am just showing you my hack without spending extra $10.

First, fit your clubhead to the tip of your shaft snuggly.  Then make a mark with a permanent marker where your clubhead ends on the shaft.  This will be where the ferrule must stop.

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Next, apply some oil or WD40 to the tip of the shaft so you can easily slide your ferrule in.

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Next, put the ferrule on the tip of the shaft.  If it get stuck just bang it softly couple times until the ferrule goes in.

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You should get to this point where the ferrule is about here.  If the ferrule is stuck, don’t worry, we will use the leftover shaft piece from earlier to bang it down a bit.

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Using the leftover shaft piece (you can also cut it even shorter so it’s easier to use), then place it on the ferrule.

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Use a hammer to bang the ferrule down the shaft.  Don’t hammer too hard, just a little tap at a time.

If you go too far down and it gets stuck for good, you might want to try bang it down the opposite way but use something plastic to wedge it on the other side 45 degrees.  (Watch my wood installation video as I get it down too far.)

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Don’t try to get it all the way to your mark btw, you can get it almost there, then fit your clubhead and start banging the clubhead until it pushed the ferrule in place.

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How to Install/Epoxy the Clubhead to the Shaft!

Next, once you are done getting the ferrule in place, let’s prep up the shaft for installing the clubhead.

Take a small piece of sand paper and sand  the shaft until it’s nicely “sanded”.  Of course, if you have a sand belt and machine tools, use that too.

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The shaft tip is now ready for epoxying the clubhead on:

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Next, squeeze out some epoxy and mix it with a toothpick.

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Once mixed, apply the epoxy mix to the tip of the shaft.

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Now slide the clubhead down the tip of the shaft and you should be done, make sure to wipe off any excess epoxy with a cloth.  Don’t use paper towel as it will get stuck on the club and make an ugly mess.

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Depending on the epoxy you got, it might take couple minutes before the epoxy settles.  You can carefully install the grip right away or wait couple minutes to make sure the clubhead doesn’t move.

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Video of Ferrule Installation:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

How to Install the Golf Grip!

Yey, you are almost done and installing golf grip is one of the easiest jobs so this might also be helpful if you have old golf grips and you want to install new grips.

First, you willl want to measure out and mark where you want to stick the double-sided grip tape on the shaft.

Take the end of the shaft and place the junior golf grip side-by-side.  Mark with a permanent marker where the grip ends on the shaft.

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Put the grip tape on the shaft and take off the unsticky sticker thingee.
*Note – You can also do double or triple layers of the grip tape if you’ve cut the shaft a LOT or you simply want a larger grip.

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Next, get the golf grip and cover the hole at the butt end of the grip with a ball marker or a golf tee like this:

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Then put a small bit of soap, I used regular handwashing dish soap here.

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Fill the grip with warm water and shake it so you get soapy mix.

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Now, pour that water over the double-sided grip tape you applied to your shaft.

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Put the grip on the shaft now, noting that the logo(or whatever mark you want on the grip) is aligned with the leading edge of the clubface. (or parallel to it)

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Once the grip is all the way in, you can pull the ball marker (or golf tee) out, you should hear a nice “swoosh”!

You can also adjust the grip once it’s on the shaft, you have approximately 30 minutes before the soap water starts drying off so make your adjustments here.

After everything is done, set the golf clubs against a wall for at least 12 hours before testing it out on the course.

If you are in a hurry, you could go out to the range in couple hours but probably best idea to let the epoxy cure enough and the grip to dry off completely.

Video of how to install the golf grip:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

You should get something like these two clubs:

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Congrats!  After making a couple of these clubs, it shoudn’t take you longer than 5 minutes to make a golf club.

As you can see, golf club making is relatively easy and you can save a lot of money too in the process.

Even if you don’t use this guide, I am sure you have friends who are avid golfers and perhaps you can tell  your friends about it.  Thanks!

Here’s more videos for reference:

How to Install a Toddler’s Golf Club – Wood Driver:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

How to Practice at the Driving Range!

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

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 Break Bad Spells(Holes) During a Round!

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

You probably can remember at least a dozen times when you or a pro golfer on TV is playing incredibly well until one hole, he/she starts melting down, making bogeys, doubles, and worse.

This bogey-train is a bad spell put on you by exception of no one except yourself.  What I mean is that this “bad” break, is really all in your head when you start messing up one hole,  then following with another and another and so on.

These bad spells are probably one of the leading causes of high golf scores including the pros.

For one, you need to be able to control your emotions, not just physically but inward, within yourself.  In other words, you need to learn how to not beat yourself on the golf course as the only thing standing between great golf and bad golf isn’t your nearest competitor but just your tiny, weeny brain.

Okay, j/k, perhaps your brain is big but that doesn’t mean you have learned how to control your emotions.

The emotional control I am talking about is the one that is near “normal” state, not too happy and not too sad (or angry).

These demons in your brain are the ones you will need to beat if you have a bad hole.

A simple way Jack Nicklaus used to do (as said in one of his books) is to focus sharply on the next shot after hitting a bad shot instead of dwelling on it.  This works pretty well and I have additional tips for breaking your bad spells.  That is to really be nonchalant or “don’t care” whether you hit it great of bad on all your shots.   Freddy Couples does this well, you should watch him play golf next time on the golf course.  I don’t think Tiger does as well on this andi think he could actually play even better if he could control his emotions better.

Whateever you do, if you get a bogey or worse on a hole, make sure you make par or better on the next hole.  It’s about breaking your bad patterns in golf.  You will always have some bad holes in golf, even if you shoot 66, but you will have to learn to spring back from those on the hole right after to maximize your scoring abilities and limit the effects of psychological negativity.

Another tip is to take a deep breath after a bad hole, then really “visualize” what you need to do to create a miracle comeback hole.  A lot of times, these simple visualizations will do more than expected.  I have done things like triple-bogeying the 15th hole then I imagined myself birding out 16, 17, and the 18th hole which I promptly did and ended up 2nd for a tournament I’ve played in.

You see, your mind is everything in golf and lots of other sports.  You will see that when you can control your mind and emtions better, you will play better golf.

How to Learn and Master the Hip Slide and Turn!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Last time I mentioned how you must start your downswing with your lower body in order to hit the golf ball from the inside out.

Well, one of the ways to mastering your downswing with a lower body start is to master the “hip slide” and turn.

First, watch this video as Ben Hogan himself shows you how to do this:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Let me re-cap what Hogan is trying to teach you here.

Try doing this as an exercise for mastering the hip slide and turn.

First, get to the top of the backswing like Hogan is doing here:

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Then from there, initiate your downswing by turning and sliding your hips towards the target and the rest of your body such as shoulders and arms, should simply follow the action of your lower body.  Really “feel” the pulling of the upper body by the lower body when you do this.  And also try to do it in a “smooth” and fluid motion, jerkiness won’t help at all.

Another thought, try to really imagine your club coming from the inside-out angle, this will help you to promote an inside-out swing, something we want in an ideal golf swing.

Now, after you get to the point where your clubhead reaches about the hip level, you can start releasing your upper body and the club somewhat towards the right of your target.

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After you try this in slow motion couple times, go ahead and try hitting a golf ball in full speed.  Now, this is the most important part of mastering the hip turn and the slide, learn how to “time” your upper body release just like when you throw a baseball pitch.  With proper timing of your release after the hip turn and slide, you will be able to hit the ball accurately towards your target.

Another good exercise is to try different timings such as try releasing your upper body a bit early for right-to-left shots (draws) and a bit late for left-to-right shots (fade).

FYI, Ben Hogan used to release a bit late so he can hit slight fades as his nemesis was hitting bad hooks earlier in his career.

You can also vary how “far” your slide your hips forward to control the flight.  A word of caution when you do this, you need to still keep your body in balance and the easiest way to do this is to keep your upper body “up” while” you swing.

How to Change Your Golf Swing On the Golf Course!

Monday, October 26th, 2009

One of the most tragedies you will face in golf is when you try to “change” your golf swing on the golf course because you are mishitting shots left and right.

I know this blog post is labeled, “How to change your golf swing on the golf course”, but that is actually the LAST thing you will ever want to do.

The best way to actually change your golf swing without changing it (really) is to SLOW DOWN your backswing.

That’s right, 99% of amateurs swing too fast when playing on the real golf course because it’s human nature.

The next time you hook or slice your drive OB, I want you to take a deep breath.  Then, without changing your swing, simply slow down your backswing about one pace.

When you slow down your backswing, you essentially swing down your whole swing.

Part of mysteries in golf is that your heart beat simply beats faster when playing real golf.  Hence, without you knowing, you subconsciously swing a tad faster than you did at the driving range. (when you hit those perfect shots)

If you hit 3 shots in a row really bad even after slowing down your swing, I would say even then do not try to change your swing on the golf course.  Instead, play that error whether it’s a 50 yard slice or hook.  (As I did outline in my free E-book by the way, highly recommended for those of you who haven’t.)

Remember, when you slow down your body, your heart beat slows down too.  Other than that, try to slow down everything else you do including walking.

Breathing deep 4 counts in and 4 counts out also helps, something a lot of the tour guys actually do including Paul Azinger. (who mentioned this was one of his most breaking techniques to make it to the PGA Tour in his book Zinger.  By the way, Paul Azinger is one of my all-time golfing heroes, he’s also probably the Tour’s only golfer with super-closed clubface at the top, everyone said that wouldn’t stand under pressure.  Paul Azinger won enough PGA Tour events to prove otherwise.)

How to Practice Putting!

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Practice makes perfect in golf and so is putting, probably the most important part of the game.  Whether you hit a 350 yard drive or 2 feet putt, they are counted the same.

If you can putt, you can turn a round that could be a bad 75 into an incredible 65.  Or even a bad 95 into 85.

Putting does not simply depend on luck although sometimes you can get lucky and hole putts even if you miss hit it or misread it.

But for all purposes of playing better golf, you will need to practice putting.

Now, to play better golf, you need to also learn “how” to practice putting.

A lot of amateurs just throw a bunch of balls on the putting green and start hitting putts but you can do so much of that.  It might improve your “feel” on the putting green but that’s not the best way to practice.

Let me tell you how I get ready for pro tournaments.

I do actually throw about 3 balls on the putting green and start putting away.  But I do that to get a “feel” for the green.  Once you have practiced enough of that, you need to really focus on pressure putting.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to take just one golf ball and play a 9-hole round of putting game with yourself at the end of those “random” putting practices.

For example, today at the end of putting practice, I played (with myself) a 9-hole round of putting game where par is 2 for each hole.  You can pick random distances like 5, 20, or even 100 feet putts.  The goal is to score, of course, under par.  Luckily, today I came on top and scored 2 under for my imaginary competition.

Every time you practice putts, I want you to start playing these mini-games to put pressure on yourself.  Keep score of your mini-games and over the long run, you should be improving, perhaps even 1-putting every hole. (although very hard to do)

These simple putting practice tips will go a long way to help your golf game.  Whether you are a weekend warrior or aspiring junior golfer, playing games on the putting green will allow you to perform on the golf course too.

Of course, if you happen to be with friends, make sure you bet some money and play games together. (and take their money DUH!)

How to Develop a Pre-Shot Routine!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

One of the single most important aspects of being able to play good golf is that you have a developed pre-shot routine that’s consistent.  Whether you are hitting a driver, iron, or even putting, you need to develop a consistent pre-shot routine so you can put your swing/putts on automatic pilot.

Why?

Golf is a game where your ultimate enemy is distraction or “bad” thoughts while making a stroke, by having a solid pre-shot routine, you will eliminate most of those distractions while making each shot almost second-nature or automatic.

If you look at the top golfers in this world, virtually every one of them have developed a pre-shot routine that’s consistent down to the amount of time.  For example, you might notice that Tiger Woods takes 40 seconds to hit a golf tee shot from teeing up the ball to actually hitting the shot, it will never vary by more than couple seconds in the same round.

I’ve seen great players over in Asia while I played there for couple months long time ago, they didn’t have any pre-shot routine.  When I showed them, they thought I had a “personality” like all the American players.  LMAO, I think they were focusing too much on golf technique, not on the mental side of it.

Anyways, those players I met probably will never reach their full potential because they have never developed a “sound” pre-shot routine.

Before I tell you how to develop a good pre-shot routine, let’s take a quick look at Tiger’s.

For about the last couple years, Tiger’s pre-shot routine hasn’t changed except his number of waggles have been reduced to mostly one.  (But waggles, you can keep doing until you feel comfortable with the shot, the point of waggles.  And yes, Sergio Garcia does way too many.)

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(Left: Tiger Woods on Tee at 2007 Masters, Right: Tiger Woods on Tee at 2009 Masters)

1) First, Tiger tees up.

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2) Then he backs away about 5 feet behind the ball then does “exactly” TWO practice swings.   This number can vary on the individual but I think 1 to 2 practice swings is the best.  I do just 1 practice swing usually unless it’s a special shot.

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3) Then he gets right behind the ball lining himself (his eyes) on the imaginary line created by the target and the ball.  He then picks out a spot about 2-3 feet in front of the ball where he can align his golf club to it.  This is something virtually every pro does, lining up from the behind.  Jack Nicklaus is probably the most famous for starting to do this but this is the best way to align your tee shots and longer shots, your eyes simply work best from behind the ball.

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4) Tiger then steps up to the ball, gets comfortable, takes a look at the target, then does 1-3 waggles.  In 2007, he did 3 waggles.  In 2009 now, I believe he’s only doing 1 waggle.  Also don’t forget that when Tiger lines up to the ball, he sets his clubhead first then sets his stance.  This might be hard to notice as he does it very subtle but that’s what he’s doing.

5) After 2 waggles, he turns on the automatic pilot and BAM, on goes his muscle memory executing his swing that he has been practicing for countless hours.

You can also see the video here:

2007:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

2009:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

As you can see in Tiger’s pre-shot routine, it’s very important that you develop on consistent and sound pre-shot routine.

A pre-shot routine doesn’t have to be like Tiger’s at all but you must include couple key points:

  • Have a “key” point that strikes your brain as “starting” your pre-shot routine. This could be as simple as teeing up your ball or even touch your cap slightly.  This mental key will go a long ways to making your pre-shot routine virtually “automatic” every time you do it.
  • Practice swings – It’s a good idea to take 1 or 2 practice swings, they don’t have to be full swings (why waste your energy?) but small miniture swings of the real swing that can make you comfortable and confident.  Of course, some pros don’t even to a single practice swing.  This is fine too if it works for you.
  • Alignment – Aligning your golf ball to the target is very important.  The best way for long shots is to do it from the behind and pick out a spot (such as a leaf) 2-3 feet in front of your ball.  But if you have keen eyes and you can do it while standing next to the ball, by all means go ahead.
  • Setting up to the ball – I usually begin with my feet close together, then align my golf clubhead to my spot, then open my stance parallel to my target line.  Of course, this can vary depending on how you like it but make sure you do the same thing every time.
  • Waggle – The waggle is perhaps another important key aspect of your swing, think of it as your “feel” for the shot.  Of course, you don’t need to waggle if you don’t want to but try to develop something similar to that such as moving your lower body subtly from left to right or anything that can take some tension off your hands and body.  Think of waggle as your last “pre-swing” before the real thing.
  • Hitting to ball – What Jack Nicklaus used to do is actually “hover” his golf clubhead slightly above ground so the weight is never set down fully to the ground. (or take some weight off without the clubhead actually being airborne)  This is actually what a lot of pros do now too.  I think it’s a good idea because you never start from a completely static position.  Jack Nicklaus did this on all his shots including his putts.  I believe Tiger does this too.  By the way, for Drivers and woods, this hovering actually might be airborne right next to the ball.

In all, I am sure you can develop a sound pre-shot routine by following my guidelines stated here.  Try to practice your pre-shot routine on the driving range, not on every ball but mix it up like every 10 balls.  Even better, play an imaginary golf course on the driving range and go through your pre-shot routine on every shot while playing that golf course.

Well, gotta go now, I need to get some practice myself.  :)

Remember, a sound and consistent pre-shot routine is essential winning a skins game or even the U.S. Open.

Swing Tip – How To Start the Downswing with Your Lower Body!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Today I hit the ball fairly, radically rad and great.  I’ve probably never hit the ball so crisp.  Another point is that now I can actually control the trajectory of my golf ball better.

To be able to do all those, you will need to learn how to start your downswing with your lower body.  This is one of the crucial golf swing movements you will need to learn if you want to hit the ball super crisp.

What is “super crisp”?

That’s when you smack that golf ball right in the sweetspot of your golf club and you can “feel” the solidarity of your hit.  It feels so good, I can probably say it’s better than sex.

Besides that, you ball flight won’t be affected as much by wind or anything for that matter and for people watching this super crisp hit from the side, you will certainly hear a nice “swoosh” sound as the golf ball takes off straight to its apex and looks as if it drops straight down, lifelessly.

Sounds like something you want to learn?

Well, I’ve got the secret for you, you need to be able to hit the golf ball from the inside-out and to do that, really, you need to learn how to start the downswing with your lower body as Ben Hogan said about a thousand times in his book Five Lessons (very good book by the way, most of my golfing theory comes straight from that book.)

How to “feel” your lower body starting the downswing?

To feel your lower body starting the downswing, here’s a simple exercise I actually do.

First, swing your golf club to the top slowly.  After you reach the top of the backswing, pause slightly.  Then, start the downswing by rotating your lower body(and also a bit of weight transfer to the left foot), specifically the hips to your left and let your shoulder, arms, and hands follow that rotation, all in that order with the lower body always leading the downswing.

I know it sounds slightly confusing but go grab a golf club and try it.

Now, keep rotating those hips and the rest of your upper body *SLOWLY* until you reach the point where your golf clubhead is about waist height.  Your hands and the golf club should form a 90 degree angle, this is called “LAG”.  If not, make sure there’s 90 degree angle.  This should happen naturally if you lead your downswing with your hips.  If you didn’t, ultimately you won’t have the “LAG” and that means you broke something in the process.  Do this until you can get it right.

Now when your golf clubhead is at about waist height, you no longer need to lead the downswing with the hips because it will probably impossible as your upper body starts catching up near impact.  At this point try to feel that “ALL” of your lower body (hips) AND the upper body and turning simultaneously together and SWINGING OUT towards the right field. (Like I told you here on swinging the golf club inside-out.)

When you do this right, you should feel some kind of “torque” on the golf club as you downswing.  This is caused by your lower body starting/leading the downswing.

Do all the above steps until you can get all the parts I outlined right and you get a good feel for it.  Start with a slow swing then steadily increase the speed of your golf swing.

Keep practicing until you can record in your muscle memory.

Now, don’t think about anything and just hit the golf ball normally.  Your muscle memory should “automatically” start your downswing with your lower body.  If your body doesn’t keep practicing in slow motion after each ball hit on the driving range until you “get” it.

Once you master this method of starting your downswing with your lower body, you should be able to hit the ball straighter, further, and also be able to control the ball better.

The greatest part about swinging like this is that once you master it, you can hit the ball as hard as you want AND your ball will go even straighter/longer.

Of course, this is something I learned from Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons.  He doesn’t outline every step but I have added some exercises that can help you feel what he’s trying to teach in his book.

After I started doing this instinctively through practice, I began to realize how much better I can fade/draw the ball while I could also control the trajectory better.

There, I just told you the secret to hitting that golf ball like a pro, now go practice.

Btw, my golfing career is coming along now, I am hitting the ball better than ever, my putting is superb with my new method of using mostly hands.  (I will have a blog post on how to putt like a pro soon.)

Good luck on improving your swing and don’t give up after 100 swing, try at least 10,000 more swings. :)

benhogan

(Image Credit) – Click to Enlarge – Watch carefully how Ben Hogan leads his downswing with his lower body and look at that big LAG he’s generating!

Golf Tips – How to Swing That Golf Ball From Inside Out!

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Oops, I have been sorta out of golf world last couple months.  Btw, I have a pretty good view of the 3rd hole of the President’s Cup from my 12th floor apartment which is nice.  I’ve noticed that everyone pretty much follows Tiger.  Any groups before and after Tiger had noticeably less people following.

Onto golf tips for today…

In golf, one of the best ways to swing a golf club is to swing from the inside out.  This also means that you will strike the inside half of the ball, not the outside.

Why do you need to swing inside out?

You can still score good if you swing outside-in but that’s not the most efficient way of hitting a golf ball.  The way our human bodies are created and the angle at which we hit the golf ball, you will hit the golf ball straighter and farther if you “swing” from inside-out.

Also, another benefit from swinging inside-out is that you will be able to control the ball better whether you want to hit a fade or draw.  Naturally, you will be able to hit a slight draw with added distance and a fade if you open the clubface a bit.

Who swings inside out?

Practically all top pro golfers in the world swing inside out including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, or practically 99% of PGA Tour pros.   Of course, you never want to exaggerate this action either, which will cause you to hit the golf ball to the right.  Or in golfing terms, block it out to the right.   (For example, Greg Norman used to hit too much inside-out, causing wild blocks under pressure.)

When someone (such as a Tour pro) swings inside out, you can tell by both of his/her arms stretching fully (or fully extended) about a foot after impact.  This usually guarantees that you swung inside-out.

How to Swing Inside Out

To swing the golf club inside-out, you will really need to focus on swinging about 20-50 yards right of your target.

And yes, this will go completely against your natural instincts, which is try to swing towards the target.  By the way, even when you swing towards the target, you are in essence swinging a bit inside-out, just so you know.  But what I am preaching here is that you actually want to swing 20-50 yards right of your actual target to really achieve a “true” inside-out swing.  Now, there’s a range of about 20-50 yards since every club would be slightly different.  For example, hitting a sand wedge, 50 yards right of your target would suffice.  Likewise, 50 yards right of your target would work for something like a 3-wood.

If you are already a chronic slicer, you will have to work much harder, probably even change your backswing to swing inside-out.  If you do suffer from banana slices, do not worry as I will tell you how to fix that too.

For chronic slicers to swing inside out, (and those of you who simply cannot swing inside out) you will want to focus on getting your backswing on the “inside”, around your body more.  Most likely, you might be trying to swing “too vertical”.  Remember, golf requires you to swing “diagonally” and “around” your body.

There are some pros like Jim Furyk who literally “defies” law of physics with a super vertical backswing but heck, that’s Jim Furyk, there’s not many people in this world who can swing like him.

*Note  – If you have been playing golf more than 10 years with your super-vertical backswing, you might actually be okay to keep that so long as you swing inside-out on the downswing. (that’s something for veterans)

On the other hand, if you swing flat (around your body) and you are hitting that banana slice, you are probably just not swinging inside-out when you hit the golf ball.  Again, you will want to focus on hitting slightly right of your target.

As Harvey Penick says in his book Little Red Book, “Swing to the right field.”   Sorta like baseball, you want to swing towards the right field.

For left-handers, that’s opposite what I’ve said here.  (Everything opposite for left-handers.)

How to Check if you are swinging Inside Out

It’s very easy to check if you are swinging inside out, you don’t even need a camera.  (Actually, it’s harder to tell with a camera)

Make sure you have a wet towel in hand.

First, clean your clubs with a golf cleaning tool and your wet towel.  Make sure to completely dry your golf club face, otherwise the golf ball will not leave an imprint after you hit the ball.

Second, hit the ball.

Third, check your clubface.  If the golf ball leaves an imprint on the inside part of your clubface (near the hosel), then you have most likely hit the ball from inside-out.  If the imprint is on the outside of the clubface (near the toe), then you have most likely hit the ball from outside-in.

I probably do this like everytime I practice, that is to check my clubface to see where I am hitting the ball.  (You can also check out this little golf LED gadget I made that you make for like 5 bucks.  Here’s another golf gadget that can help you tell swing plane too.)

Advanced Players: You can even keep checking to see how “consistently” you hit the ball by checking the regularity of your ball imprints on the clubface.  For example, if you looked at Vijay Singh’s golf clubs, you will find that his “sweetspot” probably has worn out on the exact pin-point spot.

Another tip I can give you to hit the ball inside-out is to keep your head down during the downswing and “behind” the ball.  This will ensure that you hit the ball from inside-out.

For advanced players, you can also try to keep your spine angle consistent through the downswing, which will also help you hit the ball more accurately and from the inside out.

Well, those are the tips I gave you on hitting the ball inside-out.  As always, don’t over do it.  But most of you probably will have trouble doing it so…

P.S. I am starting to get my golf game around, as always.  I am hitting the ball super consistently, one of those secrets (even though I hit like 100 balls a month now) is that I swing inside-out.  Also, I don’t really clutter my mind with too many thoughts.   What’s probably more important than swinging inside out is to “adapt” your golf swing so you can hit consistent shots whether that’s a fade or a draw.  Why am I telling you how to hit the ball from inside out?  Well, if you do have time to waste and you want to get better in the long term, you will probably want to learn how to do that.  If you are just a weekend warrior and you never want to get better, ignore everything I said here, just keep playin’)

Happy golfin’~

Golf Tip – How To Eat Right While Playing Golf!

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

This is sorta important what, “what you eat, what you become.”

It’s true.  In golf, you need to eat right while playing golf because it’s going to seriously affect how well you play, especially when under the gun such as tournament pressure or even skins game.

First of all, do NOT eat a full meal right before you tee off.   That will most likely cause you to be a little bloated and will certainly take couple holes before your stomach digests all the food.  By then, you probably have lost couple strokes you could have saved by not eating so much.

On the bright side, you can eat a lot of healthy snacks while playing golf such as banana or any type of “fruits” that contain natural sugar.  Try to stay away from coffee or anything with too much sugar as you can get “high” off the caffeine and sugar.

Watch the best pro golfers play on TV, rarely do you see them eating a snickers bar but they will be eating a lot of bananas.

I’ve probably read 10 golf books already on tournament golf nutrition and they all pretty much say the same things, eat lots of fruit that will keep your mental state level.

Now these are advices for people who want to score better on the golf course, if you do not care about playing your best,  you can ignore my advice.

What about the meal the night before a big tournament?

I have gone through many of these myself, I try to stick with high-carb meals as they can help you the next day.

My favorite meal is actually spaghetti, eating a lot of spaghetti the night before can surely help you the next day to keep going longer.

Lastly, don’t forget to drink LOTS of water while playing golf, especially if it’s a sunny day.

I have personally experienced “cramps” during a the high school state tournament before, that was simply due to not drinking enough water and eating bananas.  Bananas can help prevent cramps on a hot day because they contain potassium.  Take my advice and make sure to pack your golf bag with enough water and bananas for your next important golf tournament.