Wake Up Your Game!
Sometimes golf just isn’t fair. Professional baseball has Spring Training. The NFL and NBA have training camps and a handful of preseason scrimmages. But golf? Well, it’s up to each and every professional to get their game on track on their own and show up ready to compete at the highest level. There’s no organized stretching sessions (Can you see Tim Herron or Phil Mickelson showing up?), no group mental conditioning, no preseason practice tournaments. Professionals are left to prepare by themselves.
What’s this have to do with you? Like professionals, we’re on our own when it comes to getting ready to play our best, only we have to pay for it. There are no free practice nines, no free range balls. You get what you pay for, making it important that you play your best to get your money’s worth. So, let’s look at few quick ways to help you get your game back on track.
#1 Get Mentally and Physically Ready
Too often, I see students come rearing to play golf by bashing golf balls on the range, expecting to “find” their swing and work their way back to top form. Truth is, it doesn’t work that way. After a layoff, you want to stretch, strengthen and take care of your body. Start by stretching key areas, such as your back, arms, shoulders and upper legs. Make an effort to stretch every other day.
Second, one of the best ways to develop a smooth tempo, rhythm and feel is to start taking practice swings without a ball. Go outside, put a tee in the ground and make a few swings just as you would with a ball. By removing the ball, the body will swing freer and the mind won’t be so fixated on immediate results.
#2 Remember: P.G.A.
Think: Posture, Grip and Aim
It can help to think of your favorite PGA pro, but that’s not what’s meant by “Remember: P.G.A.” I mean, “Think: Posture, Grip and Aim”—the three most important factors to the golf swing. First, check to see if your spine is straight and your shoulders are directly over your feet (see left photo). Then, check your grip using a mirror. Your hands should look exactly like mine, with the back of the glove showing and the fold of your lower thumb and index finger pointing at your back shoulder. Finally, the body should aim parallel to the target, which then allows the clubface to aim at the target. To sharpen your aim, try using an intermediate target to get your clubface on track. It makes alignment a lot easier.
#3 Fast Fixers
Hitting good shots requires a lot of things to go right. Poor shots on the other hand, can be due to one fault.
If you head onto the golf course and the ball is going any which way but straight, odds are the clubface isn’t square at impact. No matter what swing path you have, if the clubface is open at impact, the ball will veer right. If it’s closed, the ball will hook. But fixing the clubface isn’t always a matter of simply adjusting the clubface at address or swinging in a new direction. Often, it’s a matter of poor posture, grip and aim that causes the clubface to be too open or closed at impact. Finally, if you’re hitting shots that fly straight left or straight right, you might have a square clubface but an incorrect path.