Rethink Your Game

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.

Connect The Rights

In the boxing world, the fighter who can connect his rights has a good shot of knocking out his opponent. In golf, the same holds true, but instead of crosses and uppercuts, you need to connect your right hip and shoulder, a move that augments your balance, puts greater power into your swing and otherwise facilitates a pure, on-plane motion.

50 Best Swing Keys

What to do and where to be throughout the swing for guaranteed success

When you watch Tour pros on television, you probably notice certain similarities in their respective swings. Good tempo is common, as well as good balance. Do you remember the last time you saw a professional golfer fall down after a swing or take a hack that looked awkward or rushed? Amateur golfers also tend to notice the look and feel of effortlessness Tour pros project during the swing. Of course, the prodigious distance their shots travel and the crispness of their ballstriking are impressive as well. The problem is, most amateurs simply don’t do the things the pros do before, during and after the swing and, as a result, are unable to get the same results. To hit the ball like a pro, you have to understand the moves they make and learn to do them yourself. Then, you’ll be solid.

Stop Coming Over The Top

To fix golf's most common flaw, find out what's causing it

It’s a phrase heard on driving ranges, tee boxes and fairways nationwide. I’m coming over the top. It’s a lament as common as I’m lifting my head or I’m swinging too fast. And as hard as golfers try to correct this fault, most endure little success.

Toss For Distance

Here’s a drill that transforms golfers into more consistent ballstrikers and longer hitters. The most remarkable aspect of this drill is that it doesn’t involve swinging a golf club at all, but I feel strongly it best teaches the athletic movements involved with swinging a club.

Are You A Candidate For Cross-Handed Putting?

For most golfers a left-hand-low grip cures all setup flaws

Every golfer is built differently, but in constructing a putting posture that will yield the most successful results, you have to take into account subtle, less obvious differences in build. The most important of these anatomical fingerprints is shoulder lines. When standing naturally, every golfer has shoulders that are either open (left shoulder behind right), closed (right shoulder behind left) or square. Most golfers have open shoulders, and the putting setup that best accommodates this anatomical structure is one that features a cross-handed (left-hand-low) putting grip.

Putt The Percentages

Live on the pro side and sink more putts

Putt The PercentagesThere’s no quicker way to establish yourself as totally clueless on the greens–and to inspire confidence in your opponent–than to set up for a right-to-left putt, make a little pull stroke that sends the ball dead left, and watch the ball meander aimlessly on a path five or six inches below the cup, totally oblivious to the hole. Ditto the left-to-right breaker that you push well right of the hole. There’s a reason they call this missing on the amateur side–these are the putts that haven’t got a chance.

Drop 5 Strokes

Add to your arsenal of short-game shots and hit to tap-in range every time

Instead of taking advantage of clear scoring opportunities from less than full-wedge distances, most recreational golfers unnecessarily struggle, often needing additional strokes to get the ball into the hole following a poor approach. Not only does this situation work to balloon your scores, it robs you of the momentum you might have gained had you made par or birdie._Ê Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Score From Anywhere

Shotmaking tips from the seaside links of Scotland to help you save strokes wherever you play

Regardless of how good your golf swing is or how crisply you strike the ball,_Ê you won’t post good scores if you don’t know how to think your way around a golf course. Obviously, solid technique helps, as does driving the ball long and straight. But throughout the course of a round, there are a variety of situations in which fundamentally solid golf skills simply won’t get the job done. Instead, you must be able to rely on good decision-making to put yourself in position to shoot the lowest score possible without risking double and triple bogeys.

Speed Plane

One of the main reasons why recreational golfers can’t generate the power they’d like to is that they never fully get the club in their hands on-plane, especially the longer irons and, to an even greater extent, the driver. What recreational golfers need to understand is that the plane on which the club should travel changes from club to club–it’s a path dictated by the lie angle of the iron or wood you wish to swing. As the lie angle decreases from the short irons to the driver, the desired swing plane becomes flatter.

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