Monday, November 1, 2004
25 Best Short-Game Tips Ever!
6. Triple Play
If your current grip places too much of the handle in your fingers, you’ll need to adjust it so more of the grip fits in your palms. Furthermore, you should make a second alteration to ensure that your hands function as a single unit. Try this: After placing your hands on the handle, slide the lower hand up until the pinkie, forefinger and middle finger rest atop your lead hand. This triple overlap grip effectively quiets the movement of the dominant hand (the right hand for right-handers) during the stroke. A less-active dominant side translates into better grip pressure and keeps the hands working together. In addition, placing the grip in your palms helps prevent tension and positions your thumbs on top of the grip, which will heighten your feel and control.
7. Shake Hands
One of the best lessons you can learn is, “In golf, you shake hands like a gentleman.” Most golfers, however, “high-five.” In other words, they swing from low to high following impact. In all swings, especially shorter ones, hit down and through the ball so that in the postimpact position, your hands are still below your waist. For better wedge shots, follow impact by shaking hands with your target.
8. Putter Blast
An awkward situation where your putter can come in handy is when the ball is buried in the face of a bunker. This lie can be almost impossible to escape from, especially with a wedge, which often forces the ball farther into the sand. But if you turn your putter counterclockwise so that the toe points toward the ball, your putter can become a valuable bunker tool. To execute this play, simply set up with the ball in the middle of your stance, and assume your normal full-swing grip. Take the club up abruptly, and come down with a limited followthrough, just as you would when hitting a punch shot. If you make contact with the sand just in back of the ball, it should come out like a normal bunker shot. Keep in mind that heel-toe-style putters work best with this technique.
9. Eye Your Putts
Choosing the right line is a challenging task made difficult by optical illusions. These illusions arise when you gauge the line from your putting stance. You’ll always get a better read with the head in an upright position, not turned sideways. Always read your putts from behind the ball. Once you settle into your stance, give the line one more look, being careful not to tilt your head sideways. Keep your head up and rotate it so that your mind can redraw the line on the green.
10. Save Face
You won’t drain many putts if you set up with an open or closed face, regardless of the quality of your stroke. For a perfectly perpendicular setup, look to the leading edge of your putter, or make use of the club’s painted sight lines or natural aiming lines. Consider these lines when shopping for a new putter. Find a putter that feels good, of course, but also one that’s easy to align. We’re all likely to try something that works well for our playing partners or our favorite Tour player. Don’t fall into that trap. Experiment and find a putter that works for you. It may be something you’d never consider owning.
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