Tip of the Week: “The Posture”
As an instructor I like to start off my beginner lesson’s with these simple steps to help start off with the proper posture to use for a great golf swing. If you have been playing golf for many years and have never tried these steps I suggest you do. Not only will you look like a better golfer, you will immediately feel more comfortable over the ball. Many injuries can and may occur with the improper golf posture.
Posture is the term used to describe how a golfer stands to the ball. The golfing posture can maximize balance poise and the athletic potential at address. The aim is to carry these qualities over into the swing to increase power and control.
Incorrect posture leads to loss of balance, co-ordination and control in the swing, which inevitably leads to bad shots.
Try this routine in practice to develop good posture:
- Take hold of your club and stand in a natural upright position with your back straight and your arms extended so your club is about belt buckle height and the club is pointing slightly downwards.
- Bend forward from your upper hips/lower waist keeping the back straight until the club head touches the ground. Try to keep your hip girdle neutral and not tilted.
- Try not to push your backside out – the idea that you should feel like you are sitting on a bar stool is incorrect and will lead to a weak core position.
- Flex the knees to release the tension that has developed but do not over bend them.
- Position the head so that it forms a natural extension to the spine. The chin should not be tucked into the chest.
- The weight should be on the balls of the feet and not on the heels. The arms should be hanging loosely from your shoulders and your grip should be relaxed
Give these simple steps a whirl and feel the difference. Give it some time to see and feel the results. Use a mirror to make sure things look the way they should. Always consult a CPGA professional if there is any questions or concerns you may have about the posture of the golf swing and any other issue’s you may be concerned with.
Blue Devil Golf Club
The Importance of Club Fitting
It is very common for golfers to have equipment that is inadequate for them. Clubs come in a wide variety of characteristics. With current technology, clubs can be lighter and more adjustable than ever before. They are built with light and strong graphite in the shaft, and titanium heads to lower the overall weight of the clubs. In comparison to clubs in the 70’s and 80’s, clubs today are nearly 50% lighter and can generate nearly 25% more distance. However, not all clubs are built the same.
I don’t think I would surprise anyone to say that not all people are the same. In fact we all are different in many ways. When looking at are physical attributes, we vary in height, weight, arm length, leg length, strength, flexibility, hand size, foot size and so on and so on. So it would make it extremely difficult for a golf club manufacturer to produce enough clubs with an extremely large variety of club specifications to fit everyone. So they don’t, they use statistics to group people into demographics. Men, women, seniors and juniors are the standard demographics to design clubs for. They then produce a few options for each and market them. The Problem then becomes not all of us fit perfectly into each of those demographics, and even if we do, the clubs will still need to be adjusted for our characteristics. For instance Length, Lie angle and Grip or Hand Size are three things I find vary from person to person.
Most golfers believe that getting clubs fit for them is something only golf professionals or good players need. However that is quite far from the truth. Most accomplished golfers have swings that the can be repeated vary easily without much changing. If we give them a short or longer club with a heavier weight and more flexible shaft they can make adjustments to their swing easily to make contact. Vice Versa, a new golfer does not have the same repeatable golf swing, so if you give them a golf club with characteristics that make it difficult to swing, the new golfer will have a very difficult time producing a good golf shot. New golfers need clubs that will help them, not make it harder. It is Very common when I see a new golfer for them to have clubs that actually hinder their chances of making contact than make it easier. The most common is for new golfers to receive a set of golf clubs from a relative that are old and heavy, with smaller club heads and stiff steel shafts. Everything about the golf clubs makes it more difficult to make impact.
The two most important features of a golf club when helping a golfer make proper impact are Length of the golf club and lie angle of the club head. Length of the club is important because if a golfer uses to long of a golf club they are more likely to struggle making contact in the center of the clubface, as the club gets shorter it becomes easier to control during the swing. Lie of the clubface is also very important because as the club comes into impact it is important that the clubface sits with the sole or footprint of the club flat on the ground. That way the clubface is in perfect position for impact and strikes the golf ball in the correct direction to go to its target.
Assistant Golf Professional
One of the most common problems I see in golfers is poor alignment. The absence of consistent alignment causes many swing compensations where the player is attempting to make the ball go to the target.
If the golfer is aimed left, they will attempt a swing to make the ball go back to the right and toward the target. The swing faults associated with alignment too far left are weak grip positions, open clubface positions, overly inside out swing paths, and clearing with the body early or coming out of the shot. All of these motions are out of athletic balance and will cause weak fades, slices or push shots not to mention poor contact and distance will be reduced, as it is a weaker hit. The student will be quite possibly one of the shorter hitters in the group.
Likewise, if the student is aimed right, they will have just the opposite problems with their swing. The swing faults associated with alignment too far right are closed clubface positions, strong grip positions, outside to in swing paths, and staying on their back foot letting their arms pass their body faster than what is recommended. The product of these out of balance swing faults will be pulled shots, hooked shots, topping the ball or hitting the ground first before the ball, and yes, the dreaded shank. This person is likely to be a long hitter with short to mid irons, but can struggle with long irons, some fairway clubs and Driver.
One basic rule is to aim the bodylines parallel to their intended target line. A club or alignment tool like a bare shaft or stick works well to remind the student. The bodylines for a right-handed player have to be slightly left of the intended target or parallel left of the intended target line. The opposite is true for left handed players.
A good way to help picking a target and ensuring proper alignment is find your intended line and follow it back to 5 feet from your ball and find a tee, divot, or anything that will make lining up easier.
Some students need to perfect the alignment process with lessons and practice. Still others have the knowledge and practice, yet continue to struggle with this fundamental. For the all levels of players, the design of the club can make the difference between consistent and inconsistent alignment. Have your irons lie angle, head design, shaft weight and flex, and driver loft checked by our staff to determined if the design is matched to your best alignment and swing.
Everyone loses strokes on the green; the lack of practice is the main reason for the struggles on the green. There is a definite need for people to spend more time on the putting green working on the proper stroke. Being able to control the distance and the line in which the balls roll is very important in having a consistent putting stroke.
We all miss putts because of two reasons, either we judged the speed of the putt incorrectly or the path on which the putter traveled was incorrect. Now, face angle makes a difference but we are assuming the face is square to the target line at impact.
This way of practice is efficient because it will help you breakdown where exactly the fault is in your putting stroke.
Next time you are out on the putting green focus on working on the speed and path of each putt you hit. The first and most important thing to remember when working on this is to keep the practice session focused around one hole of the putting green. When you hit numerous putts to the same location it will give you a better feel for the break around that particular hole. Once you know for certain where the break is you will then be able to focus on striking the putt with the same speed and path each time. Pick one angle on the hole from which to putt, the ideal location would consist of a small amount of break. This will force you to make sure each putt you hit started on the proper line with the proper speed. If you make three or four in a row and then miss one you will be able to determine if the issue was speed or path. Make sure to change the angle and distance of your putts throughout your session but stay on the same hole location. Try this out and see if the hard work turns into better results on the greens.
“Click” in next week for the next tip to help improve your golf game. Hope this simple practice for putting will help you feel the line and speed off of your putter face.
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If you have a bad grip, you want to have a bad swing, because you need to make compensations to a golf swing due to the poor grip. When building a golf swing, no other part of the swing is as important as the grip. There is no one grip for everyone, but rather three variations on how to hold the golf club.
The first is the baseball or ten finger grip, where all five fingers of each hand are on the handle. This grip is very common for people with smaller hands, including juniors and ladies. It is a particularly easy grip to teach brand new students, but is not ideal for players who have stronger hands or swings.
The next grip is the overlapping grip, where the little finger sits in the depression between the forefinger and middle finger of the top hand. This grip is common among better or more experienced golfers.
The third and final variation of the golf grip is the interlocking grip. With the forefinger of the top hand interlocked between the little and ring finger of the bottom hand.
The latter two grips are the more popular of the grips among top golfer and amateur golfers alike. There are two important factors to a good grip. First is that the top hand thumb not be on top of the golf club but rather slightly to the trailing side of the golf club. This will help place the right hand in the correct spot, as well as put the thumb in a good position to help control the club at the top of the swing.
The second major factor for every golf grip is that the hands must be together. They should feel like they are melted or welded together so that one hand doesn’t over work and dominate the club during the golf swing.
The last factors to mention about grip, is grip pressure and grip size. Ideally grip pressure should be pretty light, but if you are the sort of golfer who burns through a lot of gloves it could be because the grip is moving in your hand during the swing. If the club is moving in your hand during your swing, try a firmer golf grip. Your grip size can also play into how you grip your club. If you have larger hands, you may be required to build up your grip or buy a larger grip. Hands are pretty unique to each of us, so it is important that you buy a grip that you can wrap your fingers around completely. You don’t want your fingers to be overwrapped around the handle and you don’t want the handle to be too large to hold onto.
For further information on grip please read Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons. try our your new grip at http://www.gleneaglesgolf.com
Cameron Latimer, PGA of Canada
Assistant Golf Professional
HeatherGlen Golf Course