Recently, I compared several golf magazines that featured the most effective golf tips and drills from articles written by teachers held in high regard by the pros—Dave Peltz, David Ledbetter, and Jim McLean, to name some. I then developed a list of what I considered the 10 best golf tips of the bunch, based on how well I‘ve seen them work over the years. Below are the top five golf tips on my list. Each targets the full swing each will help you break 80 consistently and chop strokes off your golf handicap.
1. Stay Connected In Your Swing
Great ballstrikers all have one thing in common—a totally connected swing. It’s a trait we seldom see from students in our golf lessons. To generate a connected swing you must distribute your weight equally over both feet and on the inside of your feet and legs and must coil your upper body—hands, arms, shoulders, and torso—against the brace or set of your legs. To ingrain this feeling take a shag bag full of balls or a weight ball, take your address position, go back with your arms while cradling the bag, and then mimic throwing the bag to a spot about 15 feet way.
2. Develop The Right Sequence
To make solid contact with an iron, you must initiate the downswing with the right combination of lateral and rotary motion. This means getting your body to work in the correct sequence—a stumbling block for many players with high golf handicaps. If your sequence is off you’ll not only mis-hit the ball, you’ll also short-circuit power.
We use the Step In Drill in our golf instruction sessions to create in our students the physical sensation that accompanies the proper sequence of motion in a golf swing, Here’s the drill: Address the ball with your feet spread apart, draw your front foot all the way back to your back foot, swing the club to the top of your swing without losing your balance, and then stride forward slowly and smoothly. Keep your torso relaxed so your hands and arms stay close to your body as you come down.
3. Release The Club Properly
We often see players in our golf instruction sessions with problems releasing the club. This short-circuits power. Recapture this power by learning to release the club properly and by using your legs correctly. The Throw The Ball drill develops the feel of a proper release and the correct legwork. The farther and higher you throw the ball, the farther and higher your shots will go. Here’s the drill:
Hold a club in your left hand with the clubface up and touching the ground, as you would if you were in your address position. With a ball in your right hand, swing back to the top of your backswing, then come forward and throw the ball under your left arm. Try to through the ball as high as you can. Try to remember this feeling when hitting balls.
4. Keep Your Knuckles Down
Ever wonder why a PGA pro can hit his 7-iron 180 yards and players with high golf handicaps can only hit a 7-iron 150 years? The biggest reason is that the PGA pro changes the loft of his 7-iron to that of a 5-iron. A proven way to take loft off an iron is to keep your wrist bowed through impact. The means the knuckles of your left hand are pointing down as you come into the ball, putting you in the perfect position to deliver a descending blow to the ball. Work on this at the range.
5. Trail The Club With Your Hands
Players with problems escaping greenside bunkers often fail to take advantage of a sand wedge’s unique design. We see this flaw a lot in our golf instruction sessions. Sand wedges all have flanged soles. A flanged sole keeps the club from digging into the sand too deeply—but only if your hands lead the club through impact. This takes loft off the club, reduces the depth of the flange, and minimizes the bounce or “rudder effect” of the club.
One way to create the feel of your hands trailing the club is to practice hitting balls only with your right hand. When you practice this way, your hands must trail the club for you to make contact. This is the feeling you want when hitting a bunker shot. Ingrain that feeling and you’ll escape most bunkers with ease.
These golf tips and drills are effective when practice diligently. They can really impact your game. If you’re serious about shaving strokes from your golf handicap, incorporate these golf tips in your swing. They’ll be a big difference once you’ve mastered them.