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Its all in the hips

Every player is looking for a way to hit the ball straighter and longer.  There are many different gadgets and techniques to help ball control and distance.  You can go and spend money on any of these items and you may or may not achieve anything from them.  You can spend a lot of money on gadgets that you have no idea if they even work.  I have an easy way that won’t cost you a dime to gain distance and hit the ball more consistently. 

You will never hit the ball consistently long and straight if you slide or sway your hips significantly toward the target on the downswing.

In the best swings, the forward shifting or shuttling of the knees that initiates the downswing causes the hips to move laterally before they begin unwinding, or "clearing." But that lateral motion is always slight compared to the hip rotation that quickly follows it.

The simplest way I know to achieve the correct balance of lateral and rotational hip motion is to not allow your left hip to get ahead of your left foot at any point in the downswing or follow-through. In other words, the body action is mostly "around," not forward, through the strike.

If you find these moves difficult to achieve, focus on keeping your head behind the ball until the shot is well on its way. This will encourage you to turn, rather than slide your body through for solid, powerful contact.

So go to the driving range and give this a whirl.  If you are having issues trying to grasp the concept, feel free to approach your local CPGA Professional for some guidance.  You should notice a great difference in the distance and control of most shots. 

Just remember you want to have a turning motion and not a sliding motion of your hips while at the impact position of the golf swing.  The concept seems very simple but may take a little more practice than one thinks.  It never hurts to take a lesson from a certified professional to reassure you are doing what is needed to produce the best results you are capable of producing.

Try it our at http://www.gleneaglesgolf.com

Jaron Higgens
CPGA Assistant Pro
Blue Devil Golf Club

Learn to Bring your Range Game to the 1st Tee

Golfers of all ages and abilities have trouble connecting their practice to the golf course. This is mostly due the type of practice they are doing. There are lots of people who think they are great players on the practice range but feel like they can’t take it to the golf course. They main reason for it, is the nature of their practice.

Walking up and down the range on a regular basis, I see numerous golfers hitting ball after ball onto our range with no real purpose to their shots. I rarely see a player go through a full routine before hitting their shots, and almost never see any players asses their shots after they hit them. It is very important to your on course golf game that you try and mimic conditions on the driving range to that you can expect to find on the golf course. They are a few ways to help take your range skills to the course.

One of the best ways to take your game to the course is a routine. A routine is simply a series of steps you go through before you take your shot. For golfers at the highest level, a routine is something they can fall back on when the pressure of competition gets to be high. A typical routine will include a step for shot selection, a pre-shot practice, and then execution.

Something to consider for your next practice session, is a time to asses or evaluate your shots on the range on an individual shot to shot basis. It is important for learning and retention to try and limit bad golf shots and repeat our good golf shots. Using a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being poor and 10 being excellent, assign a score to your shots after you hit them. Scoring your shots allows you to put more emphasis on each individual shot and to avoid hitting an excessive amount of useless unrepeatable strokes that give you little to no feedback of what happened. If you can learn to assess each shot, you can learn to teach yourself to repeat the good shots.

My last suggestion for improving your ability to take your practice game to the course, is to actually bring the course to your practice game. What I mean, is to visualize and go through a complete mock round of golf on the driving range. Start by visualizing a hole. No think about its length and shape. Think through what club you want to use off the tee and Hit a tee shot. Based on how the tee shot went, visualise your approach and pick a range target that would be at a similar distance. Hit the approach shot, and evaluate your success. If you hit it close, go to the putting green and hit a putt from the distance you think your putt would have been from. Continue to do this for a course your familiar with, or one you are expecting to play in the near future.  Play each hole as if you were out on the golf course, and be honest with your results and self assessment. It’s a great way to work out some of the issues you may have with your on course golf game.

Ultimately, whichever practice regime you decide to try keep in mind we are trying to mimic our on course experience to our practice experience, that way when we practice we can see the results on course and on our scorecards.

Book at tee time at http://www.gleneaglesgolf.com to try this out!

Eliminate the 3 Putt with a Better Putting Routine

Eliminate the 3 Putt with a Better Putting Routine The area everyone can always get better at is putting. It is the area of the game that is practiced the least and has the largest affect on the final score. Putting itself is a difficult game to master. As one of the most important areas of scoring we need to focus more in getting the ball into the hole. Statistics show that the best putters in the world make less than 10% of their putts from greater than 20ft. However, those very same putters only three putt once in every 54 holes they play. Their Ability to avoid 3 putts is remarkable, especially in comparison to the average golfer who three putts on average of 6 times per round. So what can we do to correct this problem? My best advice, and the advice I give to a lot of my students is to utilize a feature of their body which is their primary resource for gauging distance. Their Eyes. The human eye is a remarkable tool for not only gauging distance, but also informing the body of how hard or soft to strike an object to get it where you want it to go. For Instance, when a top level hockey player wants to make a pass to a team mate, he simply looks at his team mate and passes him the puck. He doesn’t go through a thought process, he simply looks and reacts. If you watch a number of the top golfers in the world, including Brandt Snedeker, his routine for putting is to look at the hole and make several quick practice strokes while maintaining eye contact with the hole. He then simply steps into the ball, looks at the hole, looks back and strikes. He does it very quickly, and it works extremely well for him because he is reacting. Putting practice is very important to lowering scores. When I help students I always spend more time by building in a routine that helps them react to their target, than I do to fix a technique error. If you are looking to lower your scores, I recommend you try this the next time you are out at a golf course and have time to practice some putting. Start by placing a few golf balls approximately 25 feet from a hole. Then stand off to the side of your fist ball, and look only at your target. While maintaining eye contact with your target, take a couple of practice swings. You should try and feel how hard the putter head is swinging, and visualize how far the ball will roll and on what line. Ideally you should take 2 – 4 practice strokes until you think you have the perfect speed, then step into the ball, take one last look at the hole and putt. You should keep the time between your last practice stroke and putt to less than 8 seconds. That way when you hit the putt the putting stroke will be the same as the practice stroke. The next time you watch a PGA player on TV putting, don’t watch their technique, look at their eyes and where their eyes are during their practice strokes. The best in the world become fixated with the hole and almost will the ball in with their focus on the hole. If it works for them, it’ll work for you. http://www.gleneaglesgolf.com Cam Latimer, PGA of Canada Assistant Golf Professional HeatherGlen Golf Course

Reading Greens from a Distance

Reading greens from a distance The pace of play in a round of golf has become an issue at many facilities. People are taking way too much time when preparing for a shot or even executing a shot. We see it on television all the time and feel it necessary to take as much time as we want to play a shot. A round of golf should never take more than 4 hours and 20 minutes; most rounds of golf should be played in 4 hours or less. This issue is starting to be dealt with at the higher level of golf, such as the Alberta Golf Association, the CPGA, the USGA and all sanctioned events across North America. This being said, I have a tip that will help you be able to read greens better and help you pick up the pace of play during a round of golf. Reading greens is hard for many players of the game. I have a great way to help you learn the slopes of a putting green and help you prepare for your putt. Most of the slopes on greens can be read from a distance. After hitting your approach shot into a green, while you are walking or while driving, it is much easier to see the slopes and contours of the green from 30 yards away. Make sure your looking where the water would run off if was raining out. All greens are built to allow water to flow off when there are torrential down poor’s. Being able to recognize these contours and slopes before even walking on the green will help you better understand the direction your putt should feed. As you keep getting closer make sure to really pay attention to the slopes as the breaks will start to be less defined as you approach a green. Now that you have already studied the green while you were approaching it, you will spend way less time trying to make a read from on the green; which in return will help your pace of play out tremendously. Most of the time lost on the golf course is once you get to a green, people take way too long to read a putt and figure out the slope of the green. This simple tip will not only help speed up the pace of play, it will allow you to get a better understanding of the slopes of a green. It is also a great way to help you stay focused on the next shot and hopefully make you a better putter. I hope this simple tip will help you better read greens, but most of all help you save time while playing a round of golf. Please feel free to pass this on to your friends, as everyone needs simple tips to help improve the pace of play on a golf course. http://www.gleneaglesgolf.com Jaron Higgens Associate Professional, Blue Devil Golf Club

Tuck Your Elbow for Staighter Shots

While not all golf instructors agree on exactly how your trail elbow should move during your swing, most agree that a tucked the rear elbow will help you hit a draw. The key to keeping that elbow tucked is something called connection, and the key to staying connected is a good shoulder turn – or "coil," as it is sometimes called. Legendary golfer Ben Hogan recommended a drill that teaches how a tucked elbow feels; it can be easily "stretched" to teach a full swing. Step 1 Assume you’re ready position discussed last week position; begin the swing by turning your shoulders into your backswing until your hands are about waist high. Your elbows shouldn't bend and you shouldn't lift your hands; the forward tilt of your spine will cause your hands to move slightly upward on a plane. This movement is called a one-piece takeaway and most professional golfers make it to start their swings. Step 2 Starting at the waist-high backswing position, swing the club down through the ball position to a waist-high finish (a half-swing). Again, your arms should remain in roughly the same position they were at address. This means both triceps remain lightly against your chest throughout this half-swing, which keeps your trail elbow near your side. Step 3 Stretch this short "takeaway swing" by letting your trail elbow bend on the backswing; this bend will automatically cause your wrists to cock. You should be able to lengthen this swing until your lead arm is nearly parallel to the ground without losing the connection between your tricep and chest. Your hands will be just below shoulder level. Step 4 Swing the club from your shoulder-high backswing position to a shoulder-high finish position. Your trail elbow remains bent until your hands drop below waist level. At that point it straightens and remains straight for the rest of your swing; your lead elbow will bend as you reach your shoulder-high finish. This mirrors your backswing, just as you did with the shorter swing. Again, both triceps will remain connected to your chest throughout this three-quarter swing. Step 5 Practice swinging the club back and forth between these new positions. Step 6 Let your trail elbow move away from your side slightly at the top of your backswing position; this will increase your elbow bend slightly and your tricep will move slightly away from your chest. You don't want to move your elbow much; your hands should move no higher than your ear. Step 7 Start your downswing by dropping your tricep back into its connected position against your chest. Your elbow is now tucked and still bent, allowing your hands to drop down without making your wrists uncock early. Step 8 Keep both triceps lightly connected to your chest as you continue your downswing. When your hands drop below waist level, your right elbow – still tucked because your tricep is connected – straightens, causing your wrists to uncock as the clubhead reaches the ball position. Step 9 Swing to your finish position. Let your lead elbow bend as your lead tricep "disconnects," so that your hands move to an ear-high finish. Because your trail tricep remains lightly connected against your chest, your trail elbow will remain straight during your followthrough. Tips • A one-piece takeaway helps put your arms on the correct plane early in your swing. It also helps you eliminate an over-the-top swing, which is caused because your arms get too far under the plane on your backswing. try your new swing at http://www.gleneaglesgolf.com

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