August 18 /08
Click on any of the following Newsletter topics or just scroll down the page:
Mid-Season Mental Game -- 3 Simple Keys to Playing Well
Hit Less Club on a Dogleg -- Accuracy gets you closer to the hole
Shorten Your Swing & Slow Down at the Top -- Better Ball Striking
Tiger's Virtues --Why is he so good?
Angle of Attack -- Maximize your distance off the tee
Mid-Season Mental Game -- 3 Simple Keys
There are many mental golf resources out there, from books to ebooks to CDs & DVDs as well as audio. Take a look at this page for some very good ones that I recommend. As the first topic of this newsletter, however, I'd just like to share with you some of the simple things I focus on when playing golf that I think benefits my game. It comes down to 3 simple keys when playing any shot:
1. the only important shot is the next one
2. always play a shot that gives you the best odds of taking the fewest number of strokes
3. every round is unique; focus on the lowest score for the given day
I'll expand on these keys.
1. It took me many years of playing golf to realize what this statement really meant. When I was a teen, my golf coach tried to get me to understand to no avail. In essence, the statement means stay in the present. Don't concern yourself with something that has happened in the past (such as a previous bad hole or shot that got you mad) or may happen in the future (like what pulling off the shot will mean to your score). Just focus on making the shot the best you can.
2. You've sprayed your tee shot into the woods and find your ball. Hitting the green in regulation is now unlikely unless you pull off a great low slice through a 10 foot gap in the trees, which you've done in the past. Unfortunately, attempting such low percentage shots more often leads to doubles, triples and others. Remember, it's only one hole. You need to play the best odds shot to minimize your score. Just chip the ball out onto the fairway and play for a bogey with an outside chance at par. And, won't you feel great if you do save par.
I often play a number of mini games during my round such how many up and downs I get or how many fairways I can hit. It helps keep me focused. So, instead of being disappointed that I hit a poor iron left of the green, I refocus my energy on getting up and down.
3. You've probably never repeated the exact same scoring sequence in a round. If you have, even though each hole yielded the same score as before, you would not have played individual holes the same way as before. In each round, you'll have your periods of bad shots or bad holes, sometimes early in the round, sometimes late, sometimes in the middle. Don't get down if you have a bad start. Don't get mad if you triple the 17th on the verge of your career low round.
Just remain focused on KEY #2 and minimize the number of shots taken from wherever you happen to find yourself. Remember, this is a game where your score is much more a reflection of the quality of your misses as opposed to the quality of your "great" shots.
If you focus on these THREE KEYS alone, you'll find you'll have fewer BIG holes, your average score will drop and you'll feel more content with your game.
Hit Less Club on a Dogleg
Driver is often the wrong club to hit on a dogleg. Because the hole bends, how far you're left after your Drive depends on direction as well as distance.
As an example, consider a 370 yard dogleg left Par 4 (see diagram below). If you're like most golfers, you tend to hit a fade or slice with your Driver, so a dogleg left is the most challenging shape of hole.
A 220 yard tee shot up the middle will get you to the 150 yard mark. Let's say that is your average Driver distance except you typically slice it 20-30 yards. In order to hit the ball onto the fairway, you need to aim at the left hand rough as indicated by the dashed line in the diagram. A well hit drive would follow the path labelled, D. There is major risk aiming at the left rough. If you pull or hook your drive instead, you'll be in the rough/trees.
Consider using a 3 or 5 wood instead. Because of the added loft and shorter shaft, it's likely that you hit these clubs straighter off the tee. So, you can aim up the middle of the fairway which leaves you room for error left and right. If you hit your Driver 220 with a slice, then you'll probably hit your 3-wood 210 or so, but much straighter. You might have an extra 10 yards or so into the green but you're much more likely to be on the short grass, so you'll hit a better approach shot.
For myself, I have much more control of my 3 wood and can actually draw it so I can aim up the middle of the fairway and draw the ball even closer to the hole. If I hit my Driver, I could also hit through the fairway into the rough while my 3 wood will keep me short of that trouble.
Remember that your goal should be to hit a shot which gives you the best chance of scoring the lowest score on that hole (KEY #2).
Shorten Your Swing & Slow Down at the Top
There's a common misconception that the longer your swing, the farther you'll hit the ball. Often, the opposite is the case. What's more likely is that the longer your swing, the less accurate you'll be.
How far you hit the ball depends mainly on your clubhead speed. Look at many of the great players today. They have shorter swings, rarely getting the club back so far that it's parallel to the ground at the top of the backswing.
When I'm struggling with my ball striking, the first thing I'll do is try to shorten up my backswing, sometimes thinking I'm making a 3/4 swing. This keeps my arms and hands closer to my body throughout my swing. I'll also focus on being slow at the top of the backswing, even pausing for a time, and allowing my hands to fall for the first bit of the downswing. This transition point is one of the most crucial points of the golf swing.
A longer backswing and a quick transition time usually means the hands and arms are leading the downswing. Leading with the hands usually pulls the club off plane and one loses some of the wrist cock angle, and thus clubhead speed.
I usually use a count of ONE ... TWO .....A....A....N.....N....D....D .. THREE where ONE is the first part of the backswing, TWO is the latter part of the backswing, AND is the transition point at the top and the beginning of the downswing, and THREE is the hitting area.
Hope this helps you get your ball striking back on track.
And, if you want further instruction on making the transition from backswing to downswing, read and listen to Tracey Reed's great explanation on the importance of balance. Click HERE. During the interview, Tracy made it clear that one of the fundamental concepts of a powerful, natural swing is staying in balance through the swing - and more specifically starting in balance.
here to order Dave's Pelz's Short Game Bible, OR get it at your local bookstore. BUT, whatever you do, GET IT !! Your game will love you for it.
Trying to find answers on my website? Here's how.
1. Go to my Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. There's a link to it on my pages from the left hand menu near the top of the page, just below the Search icon. It's called "FAQs." You then click on the graphic icon and you'll be taken to my database page. For your convenience, here it is:
I've answered hundreds of questions over the past 6 years and have created a fairly large database. You can search it out. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, submit a question and I'll answer it.
2. On all of my web pages, there is a search feature in the top left section, right underneath my LOGO. Just place your search keywords in the search box, select "This Site" below it, and then press "Search." What will come up is a Google search of the pages on my site with relevance. You can also search the entire internet by selecting "Web" instead.
Go to my main page now: Home or just check the top left menu of this page.
3. Also, directly under the Google Search area, you'll find a pop down menu called "Your Topic." Select the topic of interest and press "Go."
I would suggest you bookmark my main page and/or your specific areas of interest so that you can find them easily in the future. On each page at the very top, there is a link you can click on:
"Click here to add this page to your favourites"
Hope you find all you're looking for.
You can learn more from NEW Titleist Pro-V1 by clicking HERE.
A list of resources that have been used to produce
this newsletter can be found on my web site here.
Hope I provided some useful ways for you to
become better prepared for you best golf season
Privacy Statement: We will not
use your mailing address for bulk mailings (spam). We
will send information you have requested only.
Furthermore, the frequency we will deliver the
information will be small (about one email message per
month). We will not pass your email address to third
parties under any circumstances.
you are interested in receiving a newsletter dedicated
to the ideas of this site, use the form below to