Chalk Golf For Kids

I am not sure if you all knew this or not, but I also help out with the First Tee of Greater Charleston. It is a great program to support the growing of the game of golf in our youth! If you have any questions about the program please let me know and I would love to discuss it further with you. But they reached out to me to see if I would post some videos to help support kids still being a part of the game at home!

So, I grabbed some of our neighbors kids (still social distancing) and we came up with Chalk Golf.  No special equipment needed; just chalk, a rock, paper, and a pen! We did 9 holes around our sidewalk. Every hole had different shapes, sizes, and all sorts of obstacles. Seriously, you can be as creative as you want. Plus, the fun part is you can play like the rules of golf or make up your own. Just need a place to start and a place to finish! Check out the video for the full course my neighborhood did!! They are out there practicing even more to have a tournament tomorrow!!!

Stay at Home Short Game Practice

We don’t have to quit practice even if we are at home. This just means that we have to find creative ways to practice! I grabbed some stuff around the house and created a little short game practice in my back yard. It is not a super huge back yard but the way I can manage this is with different kinds of golf balls and my wedges.

1. Whiffle Balls: Great Pitching practice with all my wedges. The ball doesn’t go real far but I can take big swings and the ball produces the great loft for pitching

2. Foam Balls: Foam balls are great for Pitching farther and a little bit of chipping to see the ball roll a little. Plus the ball is a little denser so it feels more like a golf ball at contact.

3. Golf Balls: These are great for chipping practice to see the ball roll through the grass and also work a little bit on pitching with my Lob Wedge and even my Sand Wedge. Takes some control but with practice it isn’t too dangerous!

Now that I have my golf balls and clubs, I set up different areas to hit. I definitely wanted a towel so I could roll onto it when chipping. I picked a bucket to pitch in. Then I picked the swimming pool to chip and pitch into with an extra bonus garbage can for the very middle. Also, I could use the swimming pool as a pretend lake to hit over to any of my targets!!! Yes, it is time to get creative and have some fun.

Let your kids play too. My kid loves it too. We actually made our targets have points and we add them all up at the end to see who wins.  I am still winning but the more we are on the “Stay at Home” I can see him catching me soon!

Sweeping can Improve your Golf Game

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this crazy time! My family and I are going to keep the tips coming from our house here on James Island, SC.

Spring has sprung and we are stuck to our house so why not start cleaning. Using a broom can definitely help your golf game. The bottom of the broom is similar to a clubface. When you sweep: the goal is get all the dust into the dust pan. If your broom head twists, turns, or even swings towards the sky to fast you will be sweeping for a long time because you are missing your dust pan. This is similar in your golf swing. When you take the golf club and practice swinging you don’t want your clubface to twist, turn, or swing towards the sky because the ball won’t be hit properly. So keep sweeping properly, it can help your golf game and your house is clean too!

Putter Stroke Practice

Yes, we are going to use a box to help improve our putter stroke! This drill is going to help the putter stay straight back and straight through the stroke. The box has walls to stop you from making bad moves with your wrists. I prefer a golf club box because the putters fit right in without having to do too much cutting. I used two paper clips with tabs on them to help guide the length of my stroke. Last,  I cut a hole at one end of the box so that the golf ball can go through the box. Check out the video to see it in action!

This is a great practice for home, office, or you can even take it with you to the course. Also, if you have kids or grandkids, I am sure they would love to help you decorate it! Don’t forget to check out the chalk line blog to continue your great putter practice.

Kiawah Women’s Golf Getaway

We just ended our successful 2020 dual Women’s Golf Getaway! I can’t tell you how much fun it was to teach all these women from all over the country. This weekend not only includes golf instruction but also brings women golfers from all over the world together on one beautiful island to learn how to improve her golf game.

The Tommy Cuthbert Golf Learning Center on Kiawah Island hosted two back to back Women’s Golf Getaways. It starts with a cocktail meet and greet at the Sanctuary Hotel the first night. The woman mingle with each other, introduce each other, and some might find out someone lives in her hometown!

The next two days are filled with amazing instruction on and off the course. The students preregistered to what group they would like to be in: Beginner or Intermediate. The first day of  includes putting, chipping, and pitching. The second day includes video analysis of your swing, full swing technique, short game review, and Callaway Consultation.  Our instruction is given by 8 instructors to make it a 5:1 student to teach ratio. This way we can give individualized attention to all of our students. After both mornings of instruction lunch is provided at Turtle Points restaurant Tomasso’s to relax and rejuvenate! On course instruction is next with your very own personal instructor per foursome. On the course we can go over course management, transfer your personalized instruction to the course, and even have a little competition! After the 9 holes you may continue to play the back 9 or come over to the Learning Center to have “Happy Hour” with your friends and instructors.

The last night is our Awards Dinner held back at the Sanctuary. This is where we finalize the weekend with awards, an amazing slide show, and time to socialize with your friends and your new friends you have met.

I can’t tell you all how amazing this weekend is for me and all the students. I guess you will have to experience it yourselves one day. We do host this event in February every year…..I believe this last one was our 14th year. I can’t wait till next year.

Determining Pitching Yardages

Following my last post of different wedges in your bag, I now would like to discuss how you can put these wedges into play. The drawing above includes my 4 wedges in my bag: Pitching Wedge (PW), Gap Wedge (GW), Sand Wedge (SW), and Lob Wedge (LW) and the specific lofts of the clubs from the manufacturer. As you notice each wedge is around 4 degrees difference therefore my wedges will be around 10-15 yards difference between the clubs. I then proceeded to write at the top of each circle approximately the average distance each club goes in my bag. I like to round to nearest tenth for my purposes but you can figure out what you specifically like to do on your own.

Now for some math! In order to figure out the rest you take the full swing yardage (at the top of each circle and start dividing. Again, I like to pitch using 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4. These best suit my swing. But you can also determine 1/3, 2/3, etc.

For instance my Pitching Wedge:

Full Swing: 100yds

3/4: What is 3/4 of 100 = 75

1/2: What is 1/2 of 100 = 50

1/4: What is 1/4 of 100 = 25

I do this for all my wedges. Now I have a chart of all the distances my wedges can go. After this chart is complete, I can go out on the range, using my range finder and find different distances. Once I choose my distances I can look at my chart and start hitting various pitch shots to each distance.

Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Sand Wedge, Lob Wedge OH MY!

How many wedges should you have in your bag? Why do you have so many wedges? Why don’t you have so many wedges? What do all these wedges do? Do I need another wedge for Christmas? These are the questions I am going to answer!

Most people start with two wedges: a Pitching Wedge and a Sand Wedge. Let’s talk about these first. A Pitching Wedge has a average loft of 46 degrees and a Sand Wedge has an average loft of 56 degrees. These means that the Sand Wedge will go higher and land with less roll than a Pitching Wedge because theRe is more loft. Therefore the Pitching Wedge will go a little lower and a have a little more roll. A lot of golfers would be fine with just having these two wedges.

But when it comes to pitching and or bunker play you will want to add another wedge. There are two more options.

A wedge that has higher loft such as a Lob Wedge. A Lob Wedge’s average loft is 60 degrees. This means it will go higher than a Sand Wedge and have very little roll when it lands because it is traveling higher. This club is very useful out of the bunker or used for pitching when having to stop the ball on the green faster.

The last club to add is called a Gap Wedge. This club is actually a club that fills your “gap” between a PW and a SW. There is Usually a 10 degree gap between these clubs and for some golfers it is too big of a gap. Most golfers prefer to have 4-5 degrees difference in their clubs. Therefore you buy a Gap Wedge to fit in between such as a 50 or 52 degree Wedge. Let’s say your PW goes 100 yards and your SW goes 80 yards. That is a 20 yard gap and to trying to reach 90 yards might be a little harder so you add a Gap Wedge to help. Check out my Determining Loft blog to see what Gap Wedge would fit for you.

*Check out Yardage Control Blog and Determining Loft of Club Blog for more information to help! Plus next blog Pitching Yardages to continue our Gap Wedge conversation!

Using the Golf Ball to Improve Your Putting

People think that using a line on your ball to help align your putts is “cheating.” In my opinion, I don’t know why you wouldn’t use a line to help aim your putts. It is easy, defined, and can only help you putt better.

I posted a picture to show you different ways to put a line on your golf ball. You may use different colors: such as a red or orange if you have a hard time seeing the line from a distance. There are also gadgets you can buy to help draw the perfect line if you need assistance. Also, check out the ball you use or look for a different ball that actually has a line on the golf ball. I think it is great that the top golf balls such as Titleist, Callaway, and Bridgestone actually put arrows or lines on their golf balls to assist you.

Now, you actually have to use this line. Remember you need to put your ballmarker down first in order to pick your golf ball up and put your line towards your target (check out the video I attached to see how to do to this). Once your ballmarker is in place, put your line towards your “target”. “Target” meaning where you want the ball to roll. If you are playing the ball to break to the left, you will place the ball aiming towards the right of the hole. This ensures you are not aiming at the hole and guiding the ball when you putt. Also, it helps define your aim and mentally commit to your putt. Do this on every single putt to make a good consistent routine!

Have fun drawing the lines and making it your own! Practice this routine on every putt and it will not effect your pace of play!

Better Contact Every Time

When we swing a golf club we need to use our shoulders. We have two shoulders: your front shoulder that is closest to the target and your back shoulder which is farther from the target. When our front arm is straight at setup and through contact our contact can be more consistent. If it bends it has a chance of swinging up or around the golf ball creating inconsistent contact.

A golfer needs to initiate the straight front arm at setup to ensure proper position of the clubface. Feeling like the front shoulder, down the arm, through the club is all a straight line. If your front arm is not straight our club will not have a good chance of connecting properly with the golf ball.

Next we need to maintain the front arm staying straight through the golf shot. This is extending your front arm sweeping through contact. If the back arm pushes the front arm through impact, the clubface will move around making contact harder to occur.

Check out my video for a visual explanation. Look forward to blogging about this more in the future!

Ball Position for Full Swing

When we use various golf clubs to play golf we have to change where our ball placement is in our stance. I am no math genius but there is some math equation that says when you use a longer club the ball placement must move forward to allow for the length of the club to come back to hit the ball in the center of the club face.

How we know how to place the ball is by starting with our shortest clubs in our bag: our wedges. Our wedges are played in the center of our stance. This position puts our wedge in the correct position for proper loft. From here  we can go to the direct opposite length, the longest club which is our Driver. Our driver is placed off of our front big toe. Again this puts the Driver in the correct loft position to be hit properly. As for the rest of the clubs, they are placed in the middle of those two positions depending on the length. Such as a hybrid: it is longer than a PW but shorter than a driver.

Proper setup is so important to help hit your ball properly. Please watch the video to help  assist you further.