Posts Tagged ‘stan utley’

Golf DIY – How to Hit the Sand Shot!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

sandshot

(image credit)

For most beginners, the sand shot might be the hardest trouble shot to overcome.  As a pro golfer who has hit thousands of these little sand shots under tournament pressure, let me just point out a couple things that will guarantee that you hit the ball out of the sand.

1. First, you need to see the sand as sand, not a sand “trap” or any of that negative stuff.  Golf starts in your brain, the more positive you look at your troubles, the better you will play.

2. Before you hit ANY sand shots, please “dig” your feet into the sand about 1/4″ by wiggling your feet.  If you do not make use of this wiggling (and it’s lega), you are not taking advantage of all the Golf Rules has to offer.  WIGGLE your feet until they are pretty darn stable.

3. Keep your weight near your heels.  That’s right, you want all your weight nearer to your heels so you will hit the sand with the “heel” of your club, not the “toe”.  Hitting the sand with the “heel” of the club allows your sand wedge to make use of the maximum bounce allowed and swiftly go through the sand.

A lot of people don’t know this but I am here to tell you this is the ultimate secret I learned from Stan Utley, one of the best short game players/teachers in the world.

4. Keep the ball about 2-3 inches front of center of your address, sorta like a pitching wedge.  You want your ball to be about opposite your left heart. (if you are right-handed)

5. Open your stance and clubface about 30 degrees each.

6. 50-50 weight balance will do most of the time, try to keep your weight evenly distributed in both feet.

7. Now you are ready, hover your clubhead about 2-3 inches behind the ball.

8. On your backswing, make sure to cock your wrists as fully as possible.  Cocking allows you to get a steep angle on the ball and get it out easy.

9. Hit about 2-3 inches behind the ball, into the sand, and most importantly, FOLLOW-THROUGH past your waist.

Now, that’s a lot of information but if you follow my directions, you will become a sand shot pro in no time.

Another note, you can control the distance of the ball travel with the amount of your follow-through.

During the whole swing, try to keep your body movement to the minimum (including the head) and use mostly wrists.  There’s no need to try anything fancy, simple does it.

I didn’t have time to shoot a video but next time, I will show it to you. :)

How to Putt Like a Pro!

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Today, I will explain couple basics about how to putt like a pro.  Trust me, I have read more books about putting than most people will ever in their life and I have spent $2000 on a lesson with Stan Utley, one of the best putters on Tour.

So here’s how to putt like a pro:

1. You need to learn to sink a lot of short putts within 3-10 feet range.  To do this, think of the short putts as the “short game” of putting.  That’s right, these short putts are the most important and count as much as a 350 yard drive.  If you can’t sink ‘em, go home.  If you can, you might become a pro.

2. Soft hands, hands like noodles, gentle grip, or whatever you want to call it but make sure you are holding the putter very very lightly while you putt.

3. Learn to lag putt real good from 20, 50, 100 feet.  Lag putts are great for absorbing the speed of the greens.  The more you can lag, the better putter you will be overall.

4. Putt for money.  Next time you are with a buddy, play an 18-hole putting match, one dollar per hole.  Without putting pressure on your putting, you never know how it’s going to be in a real tournament situation.

Heck, most of the time I play with my buddies, we are betting like $20 per putt or hole.  Pressure games make you better.

5. Develop a consistent putting stroke that rolls the ball true.  Whether you are putting a 20 footer or a 100 footer, your ball should roll very true from the start to finish.  If your ball bumps up in the beginning or at the end, you might want to work on your putting stroke so you putts roll true.

When your putts roll true, you will notice that your putts roll a lot smoother and also get less effected by any breaks in the putt.  Probably the biggest difference between an average golfer and the pro golfer is how true the pro golfer “rolls” the golf ball while the average golfer doesn’t even understand that putting can be so complicated.

Well, that’s it for today, I might need to go hit some balls.  :)

As Ben Hogan said, “Everyday you don’t practice is another day longer it will take you to become a good golfer”.

Practice, practice, and practice while playing pressure games in your head.  That’s right, you should be putting for the U.S. Open win on every practice putt.  (Damn, I let anther worst kept secret out…)