Practice more, play less.
We all love to play golf but don’t you want to have a better golf game? I have cut my playing down quite a bit over the last few years and have made it a point not to pass a practice green. My body doesn’t allow me to hit as many golf balls as I did when I was younger but there is no excuse to not practice chipping and putting.
Play at least two new courses in 2016.
Playing your home course with your buddies is fine and can give you bragging rights. Venture out of your comfort zone to play more challenging tracks where you don’t know every break in the greens. This will give you a more accurate assessment of your short game.
Play with different people. We all have a group of friends we play most of our golf with but try inviting a new face or two to join you. You can learn so much about people on a golf course and those four hours can allow you to find common interests and even help you in your job.
Be kind and considerate to your playing partners.
Everyone wants to shoot low scores but on days when things might not be going your way, encourage and congratulate your playing partners. Remember everyone is out there to enjoy themselves and relax. A few kind words can go along way to improving your mood and theirs.
Make a plan to improve and stick to it.
If you’re a 14 handicap and have always wanted to be a single digit, do something about it. Assess each aspect of your game from driving to putting and give yourself a realistic grade. Then make a plan on how you can lower your scores. Take a couple of golf lessons and ask your professional what drills and practice routines would be best for you.
Make sure your clubs are right for you.
Properly fit golf clubs can make a big difference in your game. length and lie angle are important but shaft, shaft flex and grip size can really make a difference in the direction the ball is flying. I played standard length and standard lie irons for a long time, but when I had my clubs extended and bent a couple degrees upright, I didn’t have to fight the ball going right. Get refit every couple of years by a PGA professional to make sure things haven’t changed.
These are my ideas for 2016, what do you have planned to make your game even better?
10. Increase your enjoyment Who doesn’t like to have success on the golf course, whether that’s making a par or birdie or just making one good putt? 9. Lower score Whether you play competitively or just for fun, lowering your score is just as satisfying. 8. Build confidence! Working out the kinks in your swing on the golf course can lead to a tedious round of golf. Work with an instructor on the driving range to create repeatable mechanics. Nothing’s worse than not knowing where the ball might go when you hit it. 7. Beat your buddies Competition among friends can be fun, especially when you have a chance to win! 6. Sacrifice fewer balls to the water gods No need to stand in front of a water hazard wondering what club to hit or whether the ball will go sideways. You can face that water hazard with confidence. 5. You’re just plain sick of hitting it to the right You’ve tried everything and asked everyone about how to fix that slice. Now let a certified golf instructor tell you just how to fix it… and it’ll only take an hour. 4. Win your $2 nassau 3. Throw the “new clubs will lower my score” excuse out the window While good clubs are a great asset to the game, solid repeatable fundamentals are just, if not more, important. Invest in your swing first then complement it with some great clubs. 2. Learn and accept, there’s no magic to golf Like any activity, to do it well one needs to learn and practice to become better. Just showing up never made anyone a better golfer. Invest a small amount of time for the greatest satisfaction.
And the number one reason to take a golf lesson? 1. Because it is easier to do anything with a little help.
You don’t have time to learn all the intricacies of putting, chipping, full swing and golf course management on your own. Self help videos and YouTube tutorials can’t give personal feedback. Like exercise, you really want to commit to it and get better but there are so many excuses not to and not enough time to research it yourself… It’s so much easier when you have someone to guide you. A professional who knows exactly how to fix the problem and can work with you one on one.
Develop a practice routine. You don’t have to hit a thousand golf balls. A quality practice session is far better than quantity. Rather than just swinging at the ball, pay attention to your grip, posture and alignment before pulling the trigger. These are the key components in the golf swing. When they’re right, the rhythm will be perfect.
Arrive early!| Most golfers arrive at 8:57 for their 9am tee time. Getting to the course 30 minutes early allows for a relaxing check-in and warm-up before heading to the tee. Even if you can’t hit full swing golf balls for lack of a range, stretching, putting and chipping will help you develop the feel you need for your round.
Practice more than you play. I realize golf is for fun and if your sole enjoyment is just having fun than just go out and play. But if playing good golf would be MORE fun, plan some practice time. If you are already playing two to three times a week, play one and practice one instead. Playing a nine-hole round generally takes three hours with drive time. A good practice session takes a little over an hour. You have the time, just take it.
Be more efficient with your time.
You already know that practice takes less time than playing, but how can you reduce the amount of time it takes to play? Go to the golf course during down times when there aren’t as many golfers there. Golf courses are amazing early in the morning. Try a 6:30am or 7:00am tee time even for nine holes. Also, things get very quiet after 1 in the afternoon. So stay away from 8am – 12pm and your rounds will be quicker and more enjoyable.
Make it a family affair. Try introducing golf to the family. Even if your spouse or kids haven’t played before, try taking them to a range first and then maybe to an executive course. Play a scramble or captain & crew and enjoy a relaxed evening outdoors, together, with no electronics. Make par for the hole something attainable like a 6 instead of 4 or tee off from the 100 yard marker. Go over some basic etiquette and explain how long one should spend on each hole. Keep things moving and create some laughs while building family bonds.
And lastly, take a lesson.
Playing GOOD golf is so much more fun than playing bad golf, so do something about it. Take a refresher course or golf lesson and let a PGA professional help you out. Most of us can’t just go learn something on our own without the help of a teacher or coach. So many of my students tell me they wish they would have come to see me long ago. So let me help you. Contact John Rose and we’ll bring the fun back to golf.
Purchasing a custom fit set of irons is one the most important club investments you can make. It will affect whether you play your best golf.
Length and Lie Angle Having the correct combination of length and lie angle will allow a golfer to hit the ball closer to the center of the club, the “sweet spot.” An incorrect combination will allow the the toe or heel of the club to dig into the ground. When this happens, the club face ends up closed or open on impact. The ball goes right or left off target.
Shaft Flex and Material Shaft material and flex are generally determined by a golfers club head speed. The faster the speed the heavier and stiffer the shaft. Shafts come are made of steel or graphite:
Graphite shafts are lighter and more flexible. They absorb shock throughout the body, particularly the joints. This material is generally recommended for seniors, women, and those with injuries or pain.
Steel shafts are heavier and stiffer. These shafts are best for stronger players. A stiff shaft tightens dispersion meaning more shots will be on target.
Flex, in a golf club allows the club to kick the ball. When flex is not matched to the golfers club head speed two things happen.
The length of the shot is reduced by limiting the ability of the club to kick the ball
A slice. The path of the ball will end up going towards the dominant hand due to an inability to release the club.
There are about 5 main categories of flex:
Men’s extra stiff
Grip Size Proper grip size affects control and release of the golf club. A grip that is too small allows the hands to wrap around the club too far. Increasing the twisting on impact. A grip that is too large inhibits the hinging or releasing of the club.
A good set of properly fit irons can last for as long as you like to play. Some people like to switch irons every five years. The best way to get the most from your iron investment is to have a pro help fit you in the right clubs.
Which putter is right for you? Putting is responsible for 40-50% of your score in golf, choosing the right one is critical.
When deciding on a putter, there are a number of factors to consider. Probably the most important, is finding the correct length. More than half of the students I teach have a putter that is too long. When in proper setup, your eyes should be directly over the center of the ball or slightly inside. The correct position over the ball allows for a stroke that is straight back, then straight through along the target line. When a putter is too long or the golfer is not in proper position, the putting stroke becomes an arc, pushing the ball to the right or left off target.
A second factor is choosing whether to have an insert and what type in your putter. Putters range from:
No Insert where the ball comes off the face fastest and hardest
Milled Face which is a little softer touch
Insert which is softer yet
Insertwith Grooves the softest feel
An insert softens the feel of the putt giving a golfer better distance control. How soft a putter you choose is dependent on your stroke and the type of greens you typically play.
The last option is head design. Do you like more of a mallet type or are you more comfortable with a traditional style? Each of these designs has a different type of “toe hang”.
What is toe hang and why does it matter?
To demonstrate toe hang, with arms out in front of you, let the putter rest on your fingers without gripping.
Face balanced: Putter will sit with the putter head parallel to the ground. This putter will have a large mallet head and is best for golfers whose putting stoke is straight back – straight through.
Semi toe hang: Putter will sit at a 45 degree angle to the ground. This is best for a golfer whose putting stroke is a slight arc. 80% of golfers sit in this category. This is a traditional style head and helps correct the arc in the putting stroke.
Full toe hang: Putter will point straight down at the ground perpendicular to the ground. Best for the golfer whose putting stoke is a fuller arc. This is also a traditional style head and is best for people who have a hard time getting their eyes over the ball due to flexibility challenges, injury or improper set up.
All this seem too confusing and you still aren’t sure which putter to purchase? Seek out a PGA golf professional who can observe your stroke and advise what’s best for you. Contact John Rose
Golf equipment is an investment in satisfaction, let me help you make an informed choice. Your ROI will be a lovely day on the golf course. Who could ask for more?
When you are in the market for a new driver, there are a number of things to take into account. Loft, grip size, length, shaft material and flexibility are all factors to consider. Loft affects launch angle which affects the overall distance for any driver.
Loft In 2014, most manufacturers offer adjustable loft club heads. The consumer can dial in the desired loft setting while testing out the club. A good starting point is 10-1/2 degrees and can be set higher or lower depending on ball flight.
The grip size on a driver can reduce or inhibit a golfer’s ability to release the club. Most right-handed players miss to the right and having a grip that is too large can increase that miss. Pick a grip where the ring finger can just brush the fatty thumb pad of the palm. Other factors to consider are arthritis or any loss of feeling in the fingers.
The length of your driver is also important. Although a longer driver will allow you to generate more club head speed, it also reduces your control. Finding the best combination is done by trying different length drivers and using impact tape to record where you are connecting with the ball. The goal is to have each mark on the impact tape in the center of the club head. If marks are varied, a shorter length is probably recommended.
Golf Club Shaft
The shaft of the driver is the most important part. It is the motor that drives the mechanism. Almost every driver has a graphite shaft but can be upgraded with custom equipment. A custom shaft can run up to $500. Golf shafts have numerous variables including weight, flex and kick point. Those variables are matched to a player based on club head speed. A stronger faster swing will need a stiffer heavier shaft to maintain control over the ball. While a golfer with a slower club head speed needs a more flexible and lighter shaft with a lower kick point to help get the ball in the air. Finding the right combination of loft, length, grip and shaft will greatly increase any golfers distance and accuracy. Greater distance + greater control= much more satisfaction.
Work with a Professional
A trained and certified professional can help fit you to the right club. Contact John Rose Golf for expert club fitting and golf instruction.