April 23, 2012
My main focus this off season was to reshape and sharpen my fundamentals and my short game. They were both the clear cut weaknesses in my game and I worked to put a plan in place to fix them both. You can go back and read my step by step progress here, but I wanted to share one short game drill that I have found fantastic for getting rid of the dreaded hand flip.
As I worked on my chipping I found that occasionally my old habits would return and I would flip my hands sending the ball thin over the green or fat right in front of me. The drill that Mike Thornburg (@thornypga) gave me that helped me truly feel my hands leading in front of the club head without flipping the club head through impact was to take a golf ball and place it in between my right index finger and the shaft of the club.
From here I would hit chip shots keeping my right hand pressure focused on the golf ball. It has helped me get rid of the “flip” feeling and it has produced more consistent and cleaner contact in my short game. If you have trouble hitting short game shots consistent and are frustrated, like me, give this drill a shot. You will be surprised how it helps your short game confidence.
April 21, 2011
As I continue to work towards my goal of reaching a single digit handicap, I have been a sponge for all things golf knowledge. I read golf books, watch videos and listen to pretty much any tip anyone is willing to give me. Everyone has his or her own idea of how to hit the ball better. It seems like there are millions of methods and gimmicks out there that ensure better struck golf shots, but we all know that most are garbage or only work for that individual and not all generic golfers. If there was truly a full proof golf tip out there we would all be scratch golfers.
I have been working primarily on my putting and chipping recently, which are areas that have plagued my scores for the past two seasons. After struggling for my first few rounds I started to only focus on one thing. KEEP MY EYE ON THE BALL. It is amazing how simple this one tip is and how often I forget to do it. I am always so concerned with where the ball is going to end up that I pull my head up on putts and chips. This tends to lead to fat or thinned chips and pushed or pulled putts
I find it fascinating how difficult it is to keep my eye on the ball on these shorter shots. I don’t have as much of an issue with this when hitting irons or driving the ball. I think it stems from an in depth past of poorly hit shots. It is clear that when I step up to those “scary” shots I am anticipating another bad shot instead of focusing on the proper way to hit the shot. By forcing myself to focus on nothing but the golf ball I have seen tremendous improvement in my shots around the green. I have a much better sense of where the ball is hitting the club on putts and chips because I am actually watching the ball and taking in that information instead of just swinging and hoping.
Watching the ball is the first thing you learn in pretty much any sport and yet I find myself having to force myself to focus on it. It is sad but true. It makes a world of difference when you trust you swing and focus on that small impact zone when the club hits the ball instead of all the negative thoughts that can creep into your head. Shots are crisper, cleaner and far more accurate. Mentally, it has been a relief to fall back on this as a key to hitting better shots. I now know that if I just focus on the ball my worst shots will be far better than they used to be. It all boils down to confidence and this one simple focus point has made all the difference for me personally.
Try it out and get back to the basics!