Pocket Tips : A portable summary of 12 key lessons – golf tips – Brief Article

Set your putting alignment


Pay more attention to your practice strokes, and you’ll make more putts. On my putts, once I’ve determined the break, I make my practice strokes a few inches inside the ball, lining up parallel to my intended line with my feet, hips and shoulders. Now, I can simply move straight into the ball with the same body orientation without adjusting. (From page 38.)

Increase your accuracy with less forearm rotation


Notice on my backswing (far left) how the white piece of tape on my forearm has rotated only slightly in relation to my body. That’s because I keep my arms in front of my body with a wide, arcing backswing. On the through-swing (left), my left forearm still hasn’t rotated much. That means the club has stayed square through impact. (From page 48.)

Hold the line on chips


Poor chippers have two main faults: a bad setup and a wristy downstroke. To hit better chips, start with 70 percent of your weight on your front foot and the ball even with your left heel. Instead of trying to lift the ball with the club, keep in mind a straight line from the left arm and wrist through the shaft. Hold that line through the shot and you’ll hit the ball crisply. (From page 77.)

Hit the inside of the ball


The perfect swing path keeps the shaft pointing at the target line. Visualizing this is much easier when you have a big target, like a beach ball. With a wedge, practice hitting the inside half of the ball. You can even make a divot, just as with a regular swing. Good contact will make the ball pop into the air and fly straight. (From page 200.)

My pre-round routine


I have a pretty regular routine I follow before every tournament round. It’s designed to help me relax and get ready to play. I’ll hit a few wedges to start–working my way up from half-swings to full shots. Then, I’ll move to the 8- or 9-iron and do the same thing. Once I get up to the to the driver, I’ll hit some more half-wedges for feel. I’m warming up, not making swing changes. (From page 53.)

Toss sand underhanded


One way to groove a feel for the move you need to make on a sand shot is to grab a handful of sand and take your regular stance. Make a smooth underhand toss and throw the sand out of the bunker with your palm facing skyward, body pivoting forward. This drill helps get all of the parts working smoothly and in order. (From page 78.)

Stay squarer on short putts


On short putts, the tendency is to immediately move to take the ball out of the hole, even before you complete the stroke. The shoulders open and the blade doesn’t stay square. Relax and go through your regular preputt routine from start to finish, and you’ll make a lot more short ones. (From page 80.)

Draw a line in the sand


This is a great drill to cure releasing the club too early. Draw a line in the sand of a fairway bunker about two inches behind your left heel. With full swings, try to make divots on the target side of the line. Be sure the divot aims directly at the target. Your club-ball contact should improve dramatically. (From page 201.)

Don’t get it close–make it


For a good player, a chip from a good lie just off the green should always have a chance to go in. Practice your setup and aim by placing a club down on the fringe on a line between you and the hole. Practice flying your chips just over the club, right on line. Finish with your club directly over the target line. (From page 203.)

Work it out on the range


One way to erase negative thoughts after a round is to spend 20 or 30 minutes at the range right after you’ve played, practicing the shots that hurt you the most that day. I do this with all the tour players I teach. Hit some bad 4-irons out there? Get some good ones in on the range. This kind of short post-round session is especially helpful if you don’t get many chances to practice. (From page 82.)

Check your face angle


Sometimes it’s hard to see what the clubface does during the swing. Use a hockey stick’s large blade to help. Swing from hip high to hip high. Check your hands. If your left is in good position at impact–the back flat and facing the target–the blade should be square too. (From 197.)

COPYRIGHT 2000 New York Times Company Magazine Group, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

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