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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.



Faults And Fixes

Forget the myths and find your game

Faults And FixesThe perpetuation of the many myths in traditional golf instruction has led to countless injuries, inconsistent results and a world of frustration. Simply swinging the golf club in the way that the body is designed to move will lead to greater consistency and greater enjoyment for a significantly longer time.

Total Driving

Sean O'Hair's coach helps you hit it long (and down the middle) every time

Total DrivingIn early March, one of my students, Sean O’Hair, put on a master class in Total Driving at the PODS Championship. (The Tour computes Total Driving by “totaling a player’s rank in both driving distance and driving accuracy.”) For the week, Sean finished T15 in driving accuracy and 8th in driving distance, averaging 282.6 yards. Sean won that week—his second Tour victory—and earned a trip to the Masters. I couldn’t have been more proud.

Pitching Mechanics

Better pitching is a matter of perfecting your address positions

Pitching MechanicsPlaying well from within 100 yards is a must if you want to score well. Just look at the best players in the world. They all miss the fairway sometimes, but from within 100 yards, there isn’t a player out there who doesn’t expect to knock it close from “a hundie” and in. This is golf’s scoring zone, where the difference between a long birdie putt and a short tap-in can be made up by hitting the right kinds of shots.

Through The Gates

Putting really shouldn't be any more complicated than this

Through The GatesIn my many years of teaching, I’ve read, heard, seen and been told a number of putting tips that, I feel, only serve to overcomplicate what should be a simple motion. I think putting is just rolling the ball, so I like to keep things simple. Here, I’m practicing a drill that helps me keep the ball on the right path. All I do is place two golf balls about six inches apart, and a foot in front of my ball, and then make a stroke.

Plane Pains

Get your swing back on plane in a hurry

Plane PainsTalking about your swing plane is one thing, but seeing it on video is a whole lot better. Here at the TOUR Academy, we make an effort to film golfers from face on and down the target line so they can see for themselves whether  their swing is on plane or not. The benefits my students get from seeing their swing plane on camera has greatly helped them improve.

Knock It!

Practice makes perfect with this simple drill

Knock It!Here’s another easy tip to apply the next time you’re on the putting green. Simply place a golf ball about six inches behind your ball and make a stroke. If you miss the ball (swinging either above it or to the side), then your backswing path is offline or too steep. Take a look at the illustration, and you’ll see that I actually knock the second ball as my putter swings back.

Downswing Differences

How to hit draws and fades by making simple adjustments to the downswing

Downswing DifferencesThe hardest shot in golf is the one that flies in a straight line. It’s so difficult that even the best players in the world rarely try to hit it, mainly since this shot requires the utmost in timing and precision. Draws and fades are a lot easier to repeat, however, considering each has varying degrees from which one can produce a good result. Some fades and draws are more pronounced than others, but with the proper mechanics, any type of fade or draw can work to your benefit and can be much more repeatable than a shot that flies straight.

1 And 2

Swing with a tempo like the pros and you'll learn to make solid contact every time

1 And 2

The main difference between good iron play and poor iron play is quality of contact. Everyone that plays golf knows the difference. We all can hear the difference and we certainly can feel the difference. And while we all know that striking the ball with a descending blow is a must, most of us just can’t get it done consistently. 

Drive It A Mile

Add distance with long drive secrets, featuring Sean "The Beast" Fister, 5-time winner Jason Zuback and 11 more of the world's longest hitters

Drive It A Mile

One element I found all long hitters have in common is that they swing around a central axis. It’s okay to move a bit off the ball in the backswing, but if you want to transfer the maximum amount of power into the ball, you can’t sway too far back or forward. Also, you must get your right side all the way through the shot. Notice how my right shoulder and hip are shooting toward the target. This is a must!

Spotlight: Charles Howell III

Find out what Charles Howell III thinks about iron play and his new Bridgestone irons

Spotlight: Charles Howell IIIArguably one of the best American-born players in his 20s on the PGA Tour, Augusta native Charles Howell III had a great year in 2007. His second win came at the famed Riviera CC—a victory that kick-started his best year as far as PGA Tour earnings are concerned, having amassed more than $2.8 million on the golf course. For ’08, Howell’s game looks even better, thanks to a newfound confidence in his swing, putting and, most of all, in his new golf clubs.

Putting Problems

The top 5 mistakes you should avoid in your putting game

Putting ProblemsIf you look at any great player, he or she has a routine for every shot. And when it comes to putting, better players know that sticking to a routine is necessary for making consistent strokes. Now, what kind of routine should you have? That’s up to you. Just try and incorporate what I’m doing here, which is looking at the putt from behind the ball, about halfway down the putting line and one more look from behind the hole. This helps to get a clear picture of the slope and speed. All that’s left here is for me to make a couple practice strokes and hit the ball. Just remember, this is my routine because it happens to work well for me.

4=8

Four shots that will save you eight strokes

4=8I call it The New Math, but you can think of it as a simple way to cut strokes from your scorecard quickly and easily.  As an instructor, I like to teach my students the basic premise that by adding to their technical repertoire and eliminating incorrect moves, they can effectively lower their handicaps. In other words, I believe that a good instructor subtracts as much, if not more, than they add. By eliminating inefficient and wasted motion and streamlining your technique, you’ll be making a giant first step toward improving your swing and your scores.

On-Path Pitching

A 10-foot piece of string is all you need to get your pitching on target.

One of the keys to accurate pitching is getting the clubhead moving consistently down the target line. A great way to practice this is to take a 10-foot piece of string and stretch it out directly on the target line of a pitch shot. 

Ready, Set, Swing

Six ways to improve your game without ever swinging the club

Ready, Set, SwingGolf, at its core, is a game that can be learned and practiced without ever swinging a club. By learning what we call the fundamentals (mind-set, grip, posture, ball position and aim/alignment), you’ll train your body and mind so they’re in all the right positions before you swing the club.

Top 50 Tips

Check out these top 50 tips from one of our best pros.

Top 50 TipsA good backswing creates torque and is achieved by rotating the body away from the ground using the feet as an anchor. Except for unusually flexible players, the knees, hips, core, back and shoulders should all be used to create torque. Once you get the feel of creating leverage against the ground, your power will increase significantly.

Editors Tips #2

Not to be outdone, Golf Tips Associate Editor Charlie Schroeder lets you in on a few of his favorites

Editors Tips #1

Golf Tips Senior Editor Ryan Noll shares his favorite tips with you

Impact: Driver Vs. Iron

Learn The Differences For Solid Contact

Impact: Driver Vs. IronThere’s at least one basic certainty in golf and that is that good, solid contact produces quality shots. Every player, even those who compete on the PGA Tour, knows this and strives to perfect the moment of impact. Unfortunately, many recreational golfers don’t make high-quality contact as often as they should, in part because they simply don’t know the key elements necessary to do so.

Short Game CPR

How To Resuscitate Your Short Game With Three Simple Tips

Short Game CPR

When someone refers to “saving your score” on a particular hole, it typically requires a chip, pitch or bunker shot to get the ball up and down. These three shots can have the biggest impact on your score when learned and executed properly, since you can only do so much to make up strokes from the tee box or on the green.

Keep It Stable!

Why solid putting demands a stable base.

Keep It Stable!If you want to become a better putter, you have to learn to stabilize the lower body as much as possible. All great putters have a rock-steady lower half and swing the putter from above the waist. Now, deciding whether you’re a hands-driven putter or a shoulder-driven putter (or both!) is a matter of personal style, but one thing is for sure: No matter how you choose to swing with the upper body, the lower body must stay as still as possible.

10 Best Swing Tips Ever!

10 Best Swing Tips Ever!

Keep Your Hands Low - Limiting the height of the followthrough will effectively reduce the height of your shots. The lower the hands, the lower the ballflight. Moving the ball back in your stance or choosing a stronger club and trying to swing easy are other ways to accomplish the same thing, but they’re less reliable and more difficult to execute.

When To Slice It 3/24/08

When To Slice It 3/24/08

Sweep Before You Reap

Sweep Before You Reap

How you make a practice swing when chipping from off the green is especially critical. First of all, you’re not just trying to calculate how far you need to hit the ball, you’re also trying to determine how high the ball should fly and how much roll you want it to have. Also, a practice stroke helps you to assess the lie, which can range from having a ball that’s sunken down in the rough to one sitting high on the collar. All these variables come into play when making a practice swing, which is why I think it’s critical that every golfer learn my “rehearsal” technique before hitting a chip or pitch shot.

Short Putts

Short PuttsThe three simple keys to consistently sinking short putts are: making contact with the center of the putterface, making contact with a square putterface that’s on-line to the target and accelerating the clubhead through impact. If you learn to do these three things, your short putting, and overall putting, will improve quickly and should stay solid for good.

Going Low

Jam Your Back Foot

Going Low

In the last issue of Golf Tips, I showed you how to use the edge of a wall to help improve your chipping. This month, I’m going to show you how a simple household item, such as a doorjamb, can help you hit the ball farther.

 
 
 
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