My Favorite Tips And Drills

Quick tips and easy drills to finish the year with your best golf

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As you do this, try to actually lift the ball with a mid- to high-lofted iron and fling the ball up and away toward the target. Don’t feel as though your direction and how far the ball goes matters; rather, practice making a fuller extension of the arms at impact, while at the same time, rotating your hips open through the swing.

Once you do this drill a few times, you’ll ingrain a better impact position and start hitting better shots. Just remember, this isn’t a drill to get you to hold the clubface square through the shot. It’s about the arms extending while they and your body are rotating. In the photo to the left, I’ve hit a solid golf shot with a perfectly square face, but what the photo doesn’t show is that I’m also in the process of closing that clubface through impact as my body rotates through the shot.

ONE-HANDED BUNKER DRILL
Hitting crisp bunker shots is actually a lot easier than you may think. In fact, I often see my students overcomplicate their bunker shots, thus making them more difficult, and in many cases, they struggle with simply removing the ball from the sand.

In most short-game shots, you usually want to remain fairly quiet with the right hand, but not so in the sand. Learning to spank the sand with this right-hand-only drill will give you the proper feeling of aggressively releasing the right wrist through the shot, which gives the shot more height and spin. This also gives you the proper sensation of taking a shallow cut of sand, with the bounce of the club or trailing edge. Most people try to play sand shots as they would play normal short-game shots, with the hands forward through the shot. This makes the club dig into the sand and produces only low shots with no spin.

So go ahead and hit a few bunker shots with just your right hand. I’ll bet you’ll see better results in no time.


TOO FAR INSIDE!

TOO FAR OVER THE TOP
MASTER THE LOOP
Despite what you may have been told, the golf swing is not a straight-back-and-straight-down-the-line motion. Because you swing in a circle, you have to swing the club on one side of the target line on both the backswing and in the followthrough. Ideally, the goal is to swing slightly inside the target line on the backswing, and again inside the line on the forwardswing. But that’s not always the easiest thing to do. Instead, you can actually loop your swing to better help you square the clubface at impact. Only thing is, most amateurs loop their swing in the opposite way from how they should. They tend to take the club back too far to the inside, which then leads to an over-the-top downswing and all sorts of ugly shots.


OVER THE BALL!

SLOT FROM INSIDE
BY LOOPING IT RIGHT
To practice taking the club back correctly, try what I’m doing here. Situate one ball a couple feet back and just inside the target line (which is the orange stick you see). As you take the club back, swing the club over, not inside, that back ball. As you do this, you’ll not only develop a wider swing arc, but also be more prone to start your downswing with a rotation and weight shift of the body, as opposed to driving your upper body first and coming over the top and hitting pull hooks, big slices and so on. Try this drill any time you feel as though you’re coming over the top.

TRIPLE-HIT DRIL
Most people buy into the myth that consistency in golf is gained by being still. That’s why you hear so many people preaching “keep your head down, eye on the ball, don’t look up” until the ball is long gone. But consistent golf is more about learning the proper motion, with good rhythm—something that everyone does with their practice swing, but rarely on their ball swing.

As you’d guess, however, having a smooth, effortless swing actually takes quite a bit of effort. The body has to swing in a fluid sequence with con-stant motion. To practice developing a smoother rhythm and tempo (not to mention more power), try the “triple-hit” drill. It’s simple: Set down three balls in a row. Then, place a middle iron in front (not behind) the first ball. From this position, swing up to the finish. From there, take the club all the way back and up to a half or three-quarter swing, and then swing down into the golf ball.

After you hit the first ball, you should be in the same position in which you started. Then, in a continuous motion, step closer to the next ball and repeat until you’ve hit all three golf balls.

With this drill, the goal isn’t to hit all three balls perfectly, or to do it as fast you can. Rather, what you want to do is groove a more rhythmic swing and a more balanced tempo.



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