One of the great things about the game of golf is that, on occasion, all of us, even the highest handicapper, will hit a shot like a pro. It might be a well-struck drive, hitting a par-5 in two or holing out a bunker shot.
Find out what Charles Howell III thinks about iron play and his new Bridgestone irons
Arguably one of the best American-born players in his 20s on the PGA Tour, Augusta native Charles Howell III had a great year in 2007. His second win came at the famed Riviera CC—a victory that kick-started his best year as far as PGA Tour earnings are concerned, having amassed more than $2.8 million on the golf course. For ’08, Howell’s game looks even better, thanks to a newfound confidence in his swing, putting and, most of all, in his new golf clubs.
I call it The New Math, but you can think of it as a simple way to cut strokes from your scorecard quickly and easily. As an instructor, I like to teach my students the basic premise that by adding to their technical repertoire and eliminating incorrect moves, they can effectively lower their handicaps. In other words, I believe that a good instructor subtracts as much, if not more, than they add. By eliminating inefficient and wasted motion and streamlining your technique, you’ll be making a giant first step toward improving your swing and your scores.
By now, you’ve probably realized that hybrid clubs are a lot easier to hit than traditionally shaped long irons. The ball flies higher and lands softer with a hybrid, making them ideal for shots deep in the fairway that require a soft landing on the green. But what you may not know is hybrid clubs are also designed to perform well from a variety of other locations on the golf course. From the rough, the fringe, even the bunker—the hybrid can be an effective tool for saving your score.
Step 1: Observe. As you approach your shot, take in the entire environment, including your lie, yardage, wind, hazards and your intended target. There’s a lot of info to process, but with a little practice, it’s easy to do.
Learn to improve your scores without changing your swing
What’s your goal in the game of golf? If it’s primarily to enjoy the outdoors or spend time with friends and family on the links, then you probably don’t need a lot of instruction. For most of us who love the game, however, the challenge of playing well and competing is a major part of why we’re hooked.
Many popular swing tips and equipment theories are just plain wrong
If you practice your backswing at a gas pump while talking on your cell
phone, the station will explode. Its myths like this—though hardly as
ludicrous—that can send golfers who need the right answers into a
tailspin. The trouble with myths is that most sound reasonable, and
usually are passed from one golfer to the next with only good
intentions. Nevertheless, the common tip shared across grill room
tables and on tee boxes nationwide tends to do more harm than good if
only because the true reasoning behind the suggestion is misunderstood.
Lets clear the air, shall we?
There’s little doubt that proper swing fundamentals and short-game techniques are important parts of a consistent golf game. Good golf, however, isn’t purely about perfect mechanics; it’s also largely about strategy. Fortunately, there are several key strategies anyone can easily utilize to produce lower scores. Better yet, using your smarts is a lot easier than trying to create a fundamentally perfect backswing or impact position. In this regard, the title of this story holds true—you can score better without changing your swing.
Many of my new students ask me about how to correctly initiate the golf swing. They want to know what trigger will allow them to start their motions smoothly and on the correct path. This common question comes from those who suffer from a condition that plagues everyone, from novices to touring professionals. I like to call it “paralysis by analysis.”
Easy keys for making the most of every swing during every round
Are you one of those golfers who absolutely pures it on the practice range with every club in the bag, but eventually goes into the tank during the course of play? It’s an unfortunate scenario experienced by a vast majority of golfers, most often caused by too little time dedicated to practice or too long a time period between rounds. For most golfers, the onset of trouble starts on the very first tee, where high anxiety invariably sends the tee shot deep into the woods.
Summer is rapidly closing in, meaning you probably have a golf vacation or two lined up. While the unfamiliarity of a new course may be your primary concern, you should consider the ill effects of another resort golf experience: the mandatory use of carts.
How do you really lower your scores? A change of approach can lead to a favorable change in score
Many of you scour the pages of this magazine looking for the magic answer to this question. If that’s your motivation, then this article is for you. On the following pages, I’ll show you how to drop strokes from your game by simply changing your approach on the tee box and on the putting green. After all, if you can get down the fairway regularly and hole the putts you’re supposed to make—and some of the ones you shouldn’t—you’ll be well on your way to playing your best rounds ever.