Ben Hogan said that the three most important clubs are the driver, wedge and putter. He’s right. The ability to get off the tee, get the ball in close to the pin from 100 yards and sink your putt will lower your score fast.
So, let’s look at these areas and take five strokes off you game this summer. They aren’t hard or mysterious, but do require you to flex your mental faculties as well as your physical ones. You’ll be pleased with the results.
1. Think quality over quantity when practicing. When you go to the range next, forget about how many balls you’re going to hit or how much time you’ll spend. Deep practice–where you really concentrate on experimenting, trying new things, identifying problems and fixing them–is far more beneficial than hitting a lot of balls or racking up hours. Also, varying your distances and clubs–rather than doing the same over and over–will increase your skill level much faster.
2. Develop your own pre-shot routine. For every shot, I follow a set routine to ensure I am aiming properly and to eliminate tension. First, I stand behind the ball and draw a straight line in my mind to the target. Then, I take my stance and check to make sure I’m square to the target. This is critical: How many times have you hit the ball straight as an arrow only to see it go straight into trouble? Next, I take one practice swing, maybe two to get just the right feel, then hit the ball with confidence.
3. Understand how to control the ball. The shaft, club and face moves the ball. So, knowing what controls those three elements helps us control the ball. Your hands are key. Go to the pitching green and hit shots one handed. You will soon discover that the left hand helps control the ball’s direction while the right hand controls the ball’s flight trajectory. Step back and hit 10-yard pitch shots until you can better control the ball to your target.
4. Make those three foot putts like clockwork. Two mistakes lead to missed putts: a short back swing and decelerating through the ball. Both cause the ball to pop off line. Practice bringing your putter back at least six inches and following through without slowing down. Don’t look to see where ball is going, just wait to hear that wonderful sound it makes dropping in the cup.
5. Drive for dough, not show. Flub your tee shot and, let’s face it, your morale plummets and so does your score. Take what you learned about your hands and controlling the ball. Now, go to the range and practice hitting your driver 50 yards to a specific target. Do so until you hit it nine out of ten times. Go to 100 yards, then 200 yards repeating the process. This will slow down your swing. You’ll be in control and your swing will be effortless.
Nothing happens overnight, but invest a little time and soon you’ll see results. I have much more to share with you. Sign up for a lesson with me and, together, well take even more strokes off your game. More important, I promise you’ll enjoy the game like never before. Sign up now…the first lesson is 50% off.