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Golf Instruction

Master the most difficult shots and learn long drive secrets with our golf instruction articles. Our online golf lessons will help you transform your game.

Body Movin'

How to use the body in the golf swing

Body Movin'Players like Charles Howell III, Rory Sabbatini, Jonathan Byrd, even the budding superstar Anthony Kim, all have something in common. Besides obviously being PGA Tour players, they’re all relatively small guys in both size and stature who manage to hit the ball with tremendous power. How do they do it? Each of these players, as well as a handful of other professionals, understands that true power and control come from swinging the golf club with a powerful core.

Hit Shots Like A Pro

Quick Tips From The Tour

Hit Shots Like A ProIt stands to reason that if you want to learn how to do something the right way, you should learn from the best. For this reason, we’ve gathered some shotmaking tips from current PGA Tour players. Pay close attention to the techniques they describe, and practice them regularly, just like they do. Soon enough, you’ll find that these Tour-proven tips will pay dividends in terms of better shots and lower scores. In addition, we offer a swing sequence of Padraig Harrington, arguably the best player in the world at the moment. Check out Padraig’s swing and strive to copy both its simplicity and consistency. You’ll be glad you did.

Understanding Sand

How the club, balls and sand should interact.

Understanding SandThe greenside bunker shot is one of the most intimidating shots for the amateur player, while at the same time being one of the easier shots for touring pros. Why? The reason is simply because professionals understand how to manage sand properly and actually use the sand to their advantage. As for amateurs? For some reason, most amateurs make matters more confusing than they ought to be.

Watch The Face

A timely fix to the dreaded slice

Watch The FaceMost players who slice only have a vague idea of why they do so. Some think it’s due to their swing path or their release, and some even blame their equipment. The angle of the clubface is an element they often overlook. However, the simple fact is that if a shot moves left to right, you can be sure the clubface is open at impact.

Train Your Aim

Understanding the railroad alignment analogy

Train Your AimIn this illustration, you can see that I’m standing in the middle of railroad tracks. Well, I’m not really standing on the tracks; I’m using the image to help aim and align myself to my target.

Lean Machine

How to lean the body effectively

Lean MachineSimply put, when you address the golf ball—and because the ball is both on the ground and in front of you—you’ll have to lean forward to reach it. To do this effectively, adjust the upper-body lean by hinging at the hip socket, not in the back or by excessively squatting.

On The Fringe

How practicing on an arc can improve your stroke

On The FringeGolfers use two kinds of putting strokes: a square-to-square stroke that swings (and stays) square to the target line and an arcing stroke that travels inside the target line on the backstroke and follow through.

Spin City

The quick and easy on all things spin.

Spin CityTo execute a wedge shot that hits, takes a hop and stops (or spins back), the first thing you need is the right kind of ball (see the sidebar) and a high-lofted wedge with sharp grooves. Next, you need a good lie from the fairway so the ball compresses against the clubface and the grooves “bite” into it and get it spinning fast.

Paths To Perfection

Understanding how different irons affect your golf swing.

Paths To PerfectionIn a perfect world, every shot in golf would be the same distance, and we’d only have to use one club the whole round. Instead, we have 14 clubs to choose from, mostly made up of irons of different lengths and lofts. Some instructors say that you should make the same swing with every iron, play the ball in the same spot and, lastly, expect the same results with each club. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not necessarily the case.

Simple Shotmaking

How To Be A Complete Player

Simple ShotmakingI was hitting balls one day with my friend and fellow teaching professional, Ron Gring, when he described a way of looking at all the key shots in golf as “the nine panes of glass.” This obviously refers to the image you see above, with a fade, straight shot and draw at low, medium and high trajectories fitting into the nine slots. 

Sweetspot: Sergio Garcia

A look at the future of major-winner's swing

Sweetspot: Sergio GarciaSergio’s left shoulder points down toward the ground and behind the ball late into the downswing. This serves two purposes: First, the steeper shoulder angle keeps the left arm close to the body and enables him to create his famous “lag.” Second, the closed position of the shoulders prevents the club from coming over the top.

Forward Press 7/8/08

A steady body during your putting stroke is a must. To accomplish this, place 60% of your weight on your forward foot.

Weight It Out

What you need to know about weight shift

Weight It Out

The words “weight shift” can cause a lot of confusion. For starters, a weight shift isn’t something that you should forcibly do; rather, during the swing, your body weight should shift naturally as you make a proper turn. Any manipulation of weight from side to side is a mistake.

Lag For Power

The secret move for more power

Lag For PowerCasting the club from the top of the swing (arms straightening prematurely) is one of the most common power leaks for the amateur player. This move results from a downswing that’s initiated by the muscles in the arms and upper body, and makes it almost impossible to store energy during the downswing. 

Tips From The Tour

Improve your game by learning from the pros

Tips From The TourThe best players in the world are as proficient as they are for very good reasons. Not only do they possess an incredibly high level of talent and athletic ability, but they also have sound fundamentals and outstanding overall technique. If you’re going to learn from anyone, these are the guys you want to study.

Short Game Games

Lower your scores by making practice fun

Short Game Games

One of the absolute basics of good scoring is solid putting from short to medium range. If you’re confident from these distances, it will take pressure off all your other short-game shots and make you a better lag putter as well.

Oomph Shots

Faced with a tough shot? Here's what to do.

Oomph Shots

By now, you’ve probably seen footage of Tiger Woods snapping his 4-iron against a tree in the 2007 Masters. If you haven’t, it happened on the 11th hole when he found his ball at the base of a tree. Tiger had three choices: hit it backward or backhanded (two choices that would have probably led to a bogey) or advance it down the fairway. Of course, Tiger chose the latter, but to pull it off, he had to sacrifice his 4-iron.

Pitch Right!

How to improve your chipping in two minutes' time

Pitch Right!

If you want to control your shots more effectively around the greens, the best thing you can do is set up with a narrow stance and always remember to keep the shaft leaning toward the target. Since it’s a chip shot, you don’t have to worry about releasing the club; instead, you want to hold the face square to ensure optimal directional control. This setup position also helps to avoid flubbed chipped shots—one of the most embarrassing and avoidable shots in golf.

Heads Up!

Heads Up!If you’ve been told the key to better ballstriking is to keep your head down, odds are you’re a golfer who puts a slice on the ball. Also, you’re a victim of bad advice, since keeping your head down can cause a variety of swing (and back) problems. Keeping your head down on your backswing actually will cause your head to get in the way and restrict your body turn. This means your arms and upper body will lift upward instead of around, and you’ll swing with an upright, outside-in swing path.

True Lies and Divots 6/30/08

Ball land in a divot? Don?t worry, Kevin Scheller will help you get it out and on the green.

True Lies and Divots 6/30/08

Stay Stacked 6/23/08

Keeping your upper body relatively balanced over your lower body is critical for creating power

Stay Stacked 6/23/08

Face Off 6/16/08

To keep your putterface square, your hands must complement one another

Face Off 6/16/08

Adjust the Back Foot 6/9/08

To find the right ball position don?t move the ball, move your back foot

Adjust the Back Foot 6/9/08

Finish Factors

Look to the finish to end sliced shots

Finish Factors

One of the best indicators of a good golf swing is the finish. If there’s balance when the swing is over, it means there was probably balance during the swing. Often, players who slice do so because they don’t finish correctly. See the photo of the finish below?

Sweetspot: Luke Donald

Get your irons in check by observing one of the best ballstrikers in golf

Sweetspot: Luke DonaldSince his early days playing  for England on two Walker Cup teams and making noise as an NCAA star at Northwestern, Luke Donald has had PGA Tour success in his sights. Having already cracked the top-60 in career earnings with more than $12 million to his credit, you’d have to say he’s right on track.

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