Golf Practice X

X games

Concept: A Fun golf game.

Golf is mastered and won by consistency more so than any other tool of progress.

The golfer who is able to sink six-footers while under intense pressure is not talented, he is gifted! Being gifted comes from practicing your skills, such as what the following fun game can do for you. It is called “Horse”, much like the basketball version.

Action:1.    You and an opponent take one golf ball each to the practice green.

  1. As in the classic basketball “horse” game, one player picks a spot around the hole and attempts to sink a putt.

When player one sinks it, his opponent must sink it too. If the opponent fails to duplicate the putt, he picks up an H, which is the first letter of “Horse”. If player two sinks it, player one conjures up another challenge.

If player one misses the putt, player two has the chance to choose a putt of his own design and attempt to hole it.

  1. The first player to get stuck with all five letters spelling out the word “Horse” loses the game.

X out Your Hidden Tendencies

Concept: Spotting swing problems.

Accomplishing a better swing is a life-long process for every serious golfer. Becoming skilled enough to spot and fix a specific swing problem is part of the process.

Even professional golfers have coaches to help them with swing problems.

Actions: First, use your ball flight as a guide. Keep in mind that the less lofted the face the less backspin it imparts to the ball (which, of course, is why a long-iron flies so much lower than a pitching-wedge).

For a true reading of your club face alignment at impact, hit some shots with your driver. Any curvature indicates how you tend to deliver the club face at impact: looking right of target (open) if the shots mostly curve to the right; looking left of target (closed) if the shots mostly curve to the left.

To assess your club head path, hit some shots with your 9 iron. The strong backspin created by its steeply-pitched face negates any sidespin imparted on the ball. The shots will continue to fly in their starting direction with little or no curvature. If they start to the left, your club head path is from out-to-in. If they start to the right, you are swinging from in-to-out.

The interaction of backspin and sidespin is the answer, of course, to one of golf's great mysteries for many golfers:

“Why do my driver shots finish to the right and my short-irons finish to the left of the target?”

The truth is that the attack on the ball—out-to-in and open-faced—remains constant, while the countering of sidespin increases backspin as the clubs become more lofted, thereby disguising the club face error.

In short, just another example of golf's single most important fundamental: the flight of the ball always tells you everything you need to know to become a better player.

Xtreme Rough

Concept: Hitting through heavy grass.

When you are playing on the golf course, it may not happen often, but every now and then the golfer hits a shot so far off line that it strays into an area of the golf course that was never intended for play, where the rough is knee deep!

Some golf courses have grass that borders the fairways, reaching as high as 20 inches and topped with a heavy head of grain, which cause the stalks to droop.

Action: Two types of shots are involved when the rough is this deep:

  1. One shot is for when you are a considerable distance from the green.

On the longer shot you must surrender any hope of trying to reach the green. Your goal is to get the ball onto the side of the fairway and open up the green for the next shot. You should use a wedge or a 9 iron because these clubs have the loft to get the ball up quickly and the club head weight to fight through the grass. The face should be opened at address because the grass will grip the club head as it comes down, which tends to close the face.

The backswing should be upright and the downswing hard, with the left hand extremely firm. You won't get much distance here but you should be able to reach the fairway.

  1. The other shot is for when you are at the edge of the green.

An explosion shot is the best answer to deep grass around the greens, but it takes a little nerve. You should hit two or three inches behind the ball, as if you are hitting from sand. Emphasize the follow-through to get the ball up. The explosion shot out of deep grass behaves the same way it would if you hit from sand.

Xtreme Sand Shot

Concept: This is a little-known technique for when a bunker wall is so steep that you are unable to swing the club back in your normal fashion.

This particular shot can be attempted hundreds of times without success unless you have the right idea. Here are the instructions.

Action: 1.    Assume your bunker shot stance.

  1. Pick the club straight up, breaking your arms the same way as you would if you were picking up an axe before chopping a piece of wood.
  2. Now hit down on the ball with an overly strong right-arm action.

There cannot be any follow-through at all. Otherwise, the club head would bury itself in the sand. The arc is up and down instead of back and forth, just like a woodcutter. Do this and your shot will succeed.

Xtreme Water Shot

Concept: Walk On Water!

When your ball lands on the edge of a small pond or creek, part of you is happy that you can still locate the ball without it sinking and you getting a penalty, but on the other hand, playing the ball while it is half immersed in water can be a crazy (and wet) shot.

Action: If half the ball is above the water line, the following three steps will help.

  1. Open up your stance and keep the ball in the middle. Only do so if you can avoid sinking your feet into deeper water.
  2. Take a steep swing back and hit the ball as cleanly as possible. Remember, this is not a bunker shot. You do not want to hit too much of the water.
  3. Do your best to follow through. All you can do is hope for the best.