50 Ways To Lower Your Score
Use our top tips, equipment advice, Tour examples and a few new training aids to play your best golf
17. Gear Effects: Add Forgiveness, Not Height
Tom Wishon, Founder, Tom Wishon Golf Technology
Every golfer could use a little forgiveness, but if you shop the latest game-improvement iron models, you’ll find most promise forgiveness, but with a low center of gravity. The low CG positioning is what helps launch the ball high. But what if you need forgiveness, not height? Clubmaking 101 tells us that shot forgiveness in an iron is controlled by the clubhead’s weight distribution all around the CG. Therefore, it can definitely be independent of simply placing more weight low in the clubhead to lower the CG. If you need help on off-center hits, but desire a lower ballflight, look for cavity-back designs with reduced sole widths. With reduced mass in the sole, weight is automatically distributed to the heel and toe areas (adding forgiveness) and away from the bottom of the head, which raises the CG and prevents high shots. Of course, if you need forgiveness and extra help getting the ball into the air, a wide cavity design with a large sole width should do the trick.
18. 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 selecting 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. Instead, simply keep your hands low in the finish (compare the two photos at left), and the trajectory of your shots will be low as well.
19. Give Your Spine The Forearm
Making sure you’re on-plane at the top of the swing is a surefire way to guarantee solid ballstriking and increased accuracy. Notice in the photo below how my right forearm is parallel to my spine, my left wrist is flat and my level elbows and arms form a tight triangle. These are indications that I’ve rotated my shoulders into the backswing rather than simply lifted up my arms.
20. Use Your Body For Power
Every good golfer knows that power comes from the body, not the arms. To learn to power the club with your body instead of your arms and hands, put the club behind the ball at address, with your body in a dead-stop position. Without taking a backswing, try to drag the ball into the air. If you’re a player who uses his or her hands to control the club, you’ll probably struggle at first. However, you’ll quickly find that once you start moving the club with your body, you’ll begin to get the ball in the air more consistently. Practicing this drill regularly will teach you how to use your body for the pivot, instead of your arms. Remember, the proper sequence of movement should be body first, then arms, then the club.
Ten Tips For Perfect Putting
21. Straight Back And Through
If you prefer this type of stroke, move the putter by swinging your arms parallel to the target line with little wrist action. Furthermore, play the ball forward in the stance, with the feet slightly open and close together, and your weight leaning left. The handle of the putter should stay perpendicular to the ground during the stroke, with the right palm facing the target in the finish.
22. Get An Alternative Grip
These types of grips, like the saw or the claw, are becoming more popular due to the success of Tour players like Chris DiMarco, Tim Herron and Mark O’Meara. These alternative methods minimize the involvement of the right hand during the stroke, allowing the bigger muscles in the body to control the club. This technique can completely eliminate the yips, and makes the stroke noticeably smoother. Only minor adjustments to the right-hand grip are needed to use these methods.
23. Pro Files Arc Players
The arc putting stroke, used by many Tour pros (including Jay Haas) creates a natural, free-flowing motion. To execute this stroke properly, the forearms must rotate with the face of the putter opening and closing relative to the target. This move creates the desired inside-square-inside arc. This stroke is most effective with the ball played in the center of the stance, with the feet and shoulders square and the body weight evenly distributed. The grip end of the club should be pointing at the naval throughout.
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