Mistakes Costing You Strokes on the Golf Course

THREE REASONS YOU HIT BEHIND THE BALL

We all know that golf is the toughest game around. We’re expected to hit a 1.68” ball into a 4.25” hole in 4 strokes from 450 yards. Add in the fact that any given hole is riddled with obstacles along the way and it should be clear that this wasn’t designed to be easy.

Despite the fact that golf is difficult, it’s also a lot of fun. And it tends to be more fun the better we play. The problem most golfers have is that they do things that make it even more difficult. They probably don’t realize they make these mistakes and just chalk it up to “part of the game”. Let’s look at 3 simple things you may be doing incorrectly and how to improve them:

Tip #1:
Make Sure to Warm Up

This has happened to everyone at one point or another. In fact at the 2012 Ryder Cup Rory McIlroy lost track of time and showed up 5 minutes before his singles match (he did go on to win as he was the #1 player in the world at the time). However for the average golfer this seems to be the norm instead of the exception. 

The problem with not warming up is that it usually takes 15 full swings to get your muscles loose. That can be 5 holes worth! You could be playing over 25% of your round not warmed up. The other problem the average golfer faces is that their swing doesn’t work the same way every day. One day you may hit a draw and the next you may hit a push cut. Having some range time lets you see what kind ball flight you can expect during the round. 

Do yourself a favor and leave the house a few minutes early. Getting there at least 20 minutes early will make a big difference. Hit 15-20 balls on the range and then take 5 minutes to putt. Playing better on those early holes will build momentum and keep you engaged throughout the round.

Tip #2:
Pay More Attention to the Hole Location

If you watch golf on TV you often hear the commentators discussing the hole location, where the player is aiming, and whether they will actually hit to the hole. The reason for this is that professionals know where to miss and where not to miss their shots. The average golfer usually does not pay attention to this. The hole could be cut it the middle of a lake and they would hit directly at it. It’s not because of being “super aggressive”, it’s because their perspective is a little off. They think the quickest way from point A to B is a straight line. 

It doesn’t always work like that it golf. Think about how many times you make birdie in a round and how many times you make bogey. You’re not going to make that many more birdies, but if you could cut back on the bogeys you would see better scores. Then think about what’s an easier place to make par from: a 30 foot birdie putt, or a bunker shot or short sided chip. The next time you are approaching a green, notice the flag. If it’s hard against the right, aim 20 feet left. If there is a bunker on the front left of the green and the flag is behind it, favor the middle right of the green. You’ll start to see the number of bogeys gradually go down.

Tip #3:
Don’t be too Aggressive from Trouble

Unless you play at “Utopian National Golf Club” which is wide open, perfectly flat, and has no hazards, you will eventually have to hit shots from trouble. Even when I shoot a round under par, I’ll have 2-3 shots from the trees or a fairway bunker. And that’s a good round! Most golfer’s minds are programmed to think “the closer I can get to the green, the better I will be”. This often leads to a shot that hits the tree in front of you, goes into the trees on the other side, or results on a total mishit. When you’re trying to escape from trouble, your mindset should be “bogey is not bad; anything worse is”. Chipping the ball out to 100 yards is never a bad play. 

The upside isn’t great because the chances of saving par are low. However, if you get over aggressive and play a poor shot you could be looking at 7 or 8 very easily. Remember; “bogey isn’t bad; anything worse is”. The next time you play golf think about these 3 things. Get to the course at least 20 minutes early, pay attention to the hole locations, and get out of trouble and back into play.

Clay

Clay

SEE HOW A PRECISION PRO RANGEFINDER CAN IMPROVE YOUR GAME

MORE HELPFUL TIPS

Add Yards to Your Tee Shot 3 Easy Ways

If you asked 10 golfers what they would love to add to their game, 8 would say “add a few yards to my drive”. The other 2 (the smart ones) would ask for a better short game. These 2 guys would probably beat you, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s fun to hit the ball a long way and everyone wants to do it. There’s a good reason players like Bubba Watson and John Daly are super popular. And with the way the professional game is headed we now see many more bombers than control players. Now you probably won’t be able to crack the 300 yard mark but you can add a few yards to drive. Here are 3 things that are easy to work on and will make a difference in what club you have left into the green:
Check Your Ball Position
Ball position is huge from a distance standpoint. It affects how solid you hit the ball and also affects how the ball launches off the driver. Both of these are important in producing maximum distance. A golf ball positioned too far back in the stance it will tend to launch too low and it will be easier to hit the ball high on the clubface. A ball positioned too far forward will it easier to hit the ball low on the clubface. The optimal ball position for a driver should be the even with the outside of your left (front) shoulder. The left armpit area is the bottom of the swing and positioning the ball slightly in front of that ensures contact is made as driver starts to work up. You want to make contact slightly on the upswing with the driver. This provides the best opportunity to make solid contact and launch the ball in the air. To check your ball position use a golf club or an alignment stick and place it on the ground perpendicular to your target. Position it inside of your left foot and you’ll get a good visual of where the golf ball sits in relation to your shoulder.
Flare Your Back Foot
A good way to add swing speed is to create more body rotation on the backswing. The more you rotate the longer the swing arc becomes and more speed is created. Unfortunately most golfers lack flexibility which is a big key to rotating. A good way to make up for this is by flaring or pointing your feet out. When you flare the feet it allows for more movement in the hips. With more range of motion in the hips you will be able to turn more on the backswing. Setup with your normal stance and give your right (back) foot about a 10 degree turn away from the target. This may close your stance slightly which is OK. Now take some practice swings and focus on rotating the shoulders behind the ball. You will find with the flared foot that your hips have more room to turn and thus your shoulders will have more room to turn.
Slow Down the Backswing

Players who create power gradually build that power during the swing and then have the maximum power delivered at the golf ball. You see good examples of this with players like Gary Woodland and Bubba Watson with their slower takeaways and rips through the ball. A lot of amateur golfers think in order to swing faster they need to swing quicker. This is not usually the case and can lead to problems such as poor timing and a disconnected golf swing. If you really want to hit it further, slow down the backswing. Feel the hands, arms, and club move away at a more deliberate pace. This will allow the power to build gradually throughout the swing and will lead to better tempo and connection. When you do this you will feel the golf club working up to the top of the swing and will feel the maximum velocity as the club approaches the ball. If a few extra yards would help your golf game, try these tips the next time you make it to the range. You’ll see an increase in clubhead speed and an increase in distance.

Clay Hood is a PGA Golf Professional and Co-Founder/Marketing Director for Precision Pro Golf. Clay can be reached at [email protected]/.

How to Stop Pulling Your Putts

If you want to improve your overall scores or at least shoot low scores when playing golf, you have to improve your putting game as it accounts for a significant portion of your score. On average, pro golfers will putt at least 95% of their 3-foot putts and around 50% from 8 feet away.

While you do not have to match these statistics, you should aim to get as close to this as possible. And one of the first things you will need to do is to stop pulling your putts as you cannot be a good putter if you are unable to hit the ball straight.

Pulling putts is a common problem that many golfers have to deal with, and it is where the putt misses to the right side of the hole (for right-handed golfers). This issue is often caused by golfers looking up and turning the body towards the hole as they swing through the ball. Below we look at the causes in more detail, and also provide some simple solutions.
Common Causes of Pulled Putts

While the causes of pulled putts will vary from one golfer to the other and also depends on the skills and experience of a golfer, there are some common reasons why most golfers will pull putts. And they include the following three.
#1. Incorrect Aiming

Many golfers tend to assume that the only reason why they missed a putt that they were confident of sinking is due to a bad read or bad stroke. But, there is also another likely cause that many will overlook and not even think about which is aiming incorrectly. If you do not aim at the correct place when lining up for the shot and instead aim towards the left by mistake, you are likely to pull the putt even if you do everything else right.
#2. Misreading the Green

It is very likely that the only reason you pull your putts is that you did not read the green correctly. Besides the obvious things like understanding the distances to the hole, you also need to take into account the path that the ball will take towards it. Account for everything from the slope of the green to other things like tiny bumps and even the grass size to ensure that you understand the green.
#3. Ball Watching

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when putting is to watch where or how the ball is moving. It is very tempting to want to watch as the ball moves towards the hole, but lifting your head as you move through the shot often leads to a pulled shot. Also, the need to see where the ball is heading to also causes the right shoulder to move towards the ball when on the downswing and hence increasing the likelihood of pulling the putt.
How to Stop Pulling Putts

Now that you know some of the probable causes of pulling your putts, the next and most important thing to understand the possible remedies to this common problem. Luckily, there are many things that you can do, and most are easy and will only require regular practices. Here are some of the best ways to prevent putt pulling.
#1. Keep the Head Still

Early head movement is a common cause of pulling putts because many golfers are eager to see where the ball is going. And so keeping your head still for long enough can be very helpful when dealing with pulling. Keep your head still and the eyes down through the swing until the putter comes to a stop. Avoid looking up immediately after hitting the ball because this can make you move your head sooner and hence pulling the shot.
#2. One-Handed Putting

For right-handed golfers, excessive movement of the right hand can be the cause of pulling shots. And so instead of holding your putter with both hands take off the right hand and try putting with the left hand only. Well, it will be a little hard at first but with enough practice, you should master this technique. Hitting with the left hand only teaches you to use your shoulders to move the putter, and once you master this technique you can bring back your right hand into the game. But, keep in mind the technique you learned when putting with the left hand only and apply it also when using both hands.
#3. Work on Your Mind Game

If you follow the two remedies above and practice enough you should be able to deal with the physical aspect of pulling putts, but there is still one more thing that you need to tackle to get rid of the problem. And this is the mental aspect. If you have been struggling with pulling putts for long, your confidence will take a beating. Physically, you might be doing everything right but you can still pull putts if your mental state is not right. But, there is only one solution for this which is practicing a lot because as you sink more balls you will be able to boost your confidence and develop positive feelings.
Conclusion

There is nothing fun in pulling your putts consistently and it can be very disheartening. But, like with most other common golfing issues, you can also deal with this if you are ready to put in the work and address the causes. By first understanding the causes you will be on the right path towards eliminating the problem. With our three valuable cures above and enough practice, pulling your putts should be a thing of the past within a short time.

Author Bio: While being a well-experienced golfer now, Brian Jame also works as an editor at a golf website to deliver tips and drills as well as buying guides to many other golfers. Stay tuned with https://lasergolfrangefinder.com// to keep yourself updated to the latest golf information!