Happy New Year! Along with the new year comes people making resolutions for 2019. Maybe even a resolution to improve your golf game by practicing more! That’s great! But we have to remember good practice is not about how many hours you put in on the range, or how many golf balls you hit, or even playing 5 days a week on the golf course. These things are great and might make you feel better, but this is not the way to gaurantee improving your golf game.
Here are a couple tips to improve your practice.
1. Only take two or three clubs to the driving range. Don’t get stuck hitting the same favorite clubs all the time. Rotate them every time you go.
2. Don’t keep track of how long you have been at the range. Pick a goal: how many up and downs till you can leave, how many fairways you can hit with your driver out of 5 balls, hit the green 3 consecutive times with your 7 iron.
3. If you practice 30 minutes on the driving range, go to the practice green and spend the same amount of time.
4. ALWAYS HAVE A TARGET ON THE DRIVING RANGE. It doesn’t always have to be a green with a flag, but maybe a hill, a hole, hit in between two trees, or pretend the green is a pond and you have to hit over the pond. Be creative, try to make it like the course with boundaries and obstacles!
5. 10 minutes is better than nothing. Grab a wedge and putter. Try to make 3 up and downs from 3 different places and leave. Next time just take a 7 iron and work on controlling your distance at a target. Sometimes one small goal will improve your game more than trying to do 5 goals all in one session.
These are just a couple good pointers. Let me know if they help!
So, it is happening. With the help of my awesome cohort in crime, Avery, Abby Welch Golf is expanding its social media to all four: Facebook, Youtube Channel, Instagram, and LinkedIn. In the next two weeks instead of blogging, I will be updating my past blogs with videos posted on my Youtube Channel, Abby Welch Golf. This way not only can you read about the tip, but a video will supplied as well. Not only is this happening but I will also be posting Instagram shots to show you my journey as an instructor! I really hope this improves my reach to help everyone and their golf game. I would love to hear any suggestions on topics, media ideas, and comments anytime! Enjoy!
Abby Welch Golf Instagram
Abby Welch Golf Facebook
Abby Welch Youtube Channel
Abby Welch Golf LinkedIn
First I want to apologize for the long break, between a busy summer and Hurricane Florence, life just got busy. A little shout out to everyone in North Carolina, wishing you all sunny skies and fast recovery.
But I am back in business and ready to get back to my blog!
When we first walk up to the practice tee we are so excited to play the golf course. We think warming up is taking our driver and take big swings to get our body loose. Unfortunately, this is basically like walking into a gym and picking up a 50lb barbel and just beginning to lift. You wouldn’t do that to warm up in the gym, so you shouldn’t warm up first with a driver on the practice tee.
First, you should stretch your body out. Arm circles, toe touches, side lunges, etc. Once you have adequately stretched, place a stick/ club on the ground to get your proper alignment. Please make sure you are aiming at a target before you begin to warm up. I can not stress this enough. Then we are ready to grab a club – the PW! It is one of the shortest clubs and we can start with small swings. These small swings are going to be a chip shot! Take about 10 swings just using your shoulders, watching the club face move back and forth without it twisting and turning. When we feel good, then go to a pitch shot (basically a half swing). This adds your hips into the swing. Nice half swing shots making sure you are finishing at your target with your hips finishing all the way. About 10-15 of these swings. Then work yourself into a full swing. Now that you have stretched your body properly, you are ready to swing the club all the way back and through freely without pain or tightness. After these go to an iron, a couple full swings, then a hybrid or a fairway wood. And lastly the driver! Maybe even visualize an imaginary fairway while you hit these driver shots, preferably visualize the first hole if you have played the course before.
What this will do is prime your brain to play, and help with first tee jitters as well. This is not a time to try and fix your swing and worry about technique or mechanics. This time on the practice tee is only for warming up your body and swing. The time to worry about mechanics has passed, the time for action has come. Once you feel sufficiently warmed up, head to the practice putting green and roll a few putts to get a feel for the greens. After that, you are ready to head out to the first tee and smash that first drive down the fairway!
Chalk Line Drill to Improve Putting Stroke
I tried my best to take a good picture so you could see the blue chalk line. This is my favorite drill for checking your putting stroke. First go to a home improvement store/ hardware store to purchase one. Buy the one with the lighter color so the line isn’t so bold. You want the line to be faint so you don’t rely on it totally. The chalk line will not harm the grass.
This drill is for is meant for a straight putt…practice first with a ball and then make the chalk line. Then you are all set. Take your putter back on the line and follow through on the line. If you aren’t staying on the line practice making sure you are using your shoulders to putt and not your hands/wrists. Also, note, this line is also helpful to identify your alignment. Feet should be parallel to chalk line. (Check alignment for more info)
One of the easiest ways to understand your own putting stroke is by holding your finish when you are done. If you look at the picture above, Avery (yes he is a lefty), has held his finish after his putting stroke. He can now check to see if his stroke finished well. Yes – he did! His putter has finished at his target. Now he can look at the ball and make sure his ball is rolling at his target.
**Remember, make sure your putter is finishing at your target. If you are intending to play break, your putter should finish at your target to let the ball break into the hole and not at the hole!
Just by holding your finish, anyone can check to make sure their putter is going in the correct direction. If it is not, then you might want to take out your chalk line and practice swinging back and forth.
(see next post for chalk line drill)
In a past blog, I discussed how to properly aim your club and body to the target. Now it is time to add a component in your setup to help ensure you are aimed correctly every time. In the picture above, I have centered the camera behind the ball aiming at the red flag – which is my target. I circled a divot in front of my ball in red. This is what I am using as my intermediate target. Intermediate to me means halfway between my ball and my target, which is why I actually like to name it a “close” target. The closer it is to my ball the easier it is for me to aim. On the golf course you can pick anything: divots, grass, leaves (just make sure it doesn’t blow away!)
How to use this target: Now that I have this target I can stand beside my ball and aim my club at the divot (close target). This is a lot easier for me to see if my clubface is aligned then trying to look all the way out to the flag. Next I will try to draw an imaginary line from the divot to my ball and align my feet parallel to this imaginary line. Lastly, after this I turn my head a little bit and the flag should be right there if I did this appropriately. This takes some practice but this allows me to see my alignment much easier than having to look out towards the flag all the time.
If you do this with your irons, you need to do this with your woods, short game, putting etc. Basically it should be part of your pre shot routine for all shots: tee to green. The more you use a “close” target, the better you will become at aiming. As a result you will hit more shots closer to your target!
We all want more power in our golf swings. I am going to tell you it is not by overswinging your club in your back swing and breaking down your wrists or front arm. Actually you will get more power from your swing if at the top of your backswing you are engaging your front shoulder by not breaking down your front arm and wrist……this actually might be a smaller swing but more powerful.
If you look at the picture, I have taken two PVC pipes and made a 90 degree angle. I swing back and made sure that the opposite end of the PVC pipe does not hit any part of me. If the PVC pipe hits me, I am breaking down either my wrists or my left arm at the top of my swing. Therefore this will disconnect my power source from my shoulders and hips and my downswing will be broken.
The best part of this drill is it can be done anywhere at anytime. If you practice enough with the PVC pipe the feel should transition to a better backswing with a golf club.