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Elementary tips and do-it-yourself teaching aids for keeping your swing in shape during the off-season

The Swing
Ordinary household items can also be used to develop better rotation and balance, two of the more influential factors of contact and ballflight.

Take a bucket and place it on the ground, approximately six feet down your intended target line. Stand parallel to the target line and place a 5-iron against your upper chest with crossed arms. The clubhead should be to the right of you (for right-handed players, opposite for lefties). With the club in place, tilt from your hips into your posture-ready position. Now, rotate your shoulders to the point where they’re 90 degrees to your spine, with your back facing the target.

PuttingWhen attempting this, imagine the clubhead flying off the shaft and landing in the bucket. This will promote the proper tilting of the right shoulder (a down-and-under motion) as well as the correct hip rotation and balance. As you progress with this exercise, move the bucket farther and farther down the target line to emphasize a more complete finish.

You can perfect your putting stroke with two Styrofoam cups and a wooden dowel, shaft or string.

When it comes to putting, it’s important to aim the putter correctly, with the clubface perpendicular to the target line. And it’s equally important to take the putter straight back and straight through. My Styrofoam cup training aid will encourage the proper execution of both. Take the wooden dowel and insert it into each of the Styrofoam cups approximately a half-inch from the bottom (use scissors to puncture the holes for the wooden dowel). A piece of string that’s taped to the bottom of the cups will also do the trick. Now, flip the cups over so that the dowel or string is above the ground. The dowel will act as an elevated target line and should be approximately four to five inches above the ground. Simply practice your stroke underneath the dowel, using it to align your putterface square to the target line while keeping the putterhead low to the ground and moving straight along the target line. Practice this drill and you’ll soon develop a solid and dependable putting stroke.

Although it’s tempting to hit chips indoors, all it takes is one broken lamp to realize that golf is an outdoor activity. Nevertheless, you can improve your chipping technique within the friendly confines of your own living room with the help of a wooden dowel or broken golf shaft.


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