Golf Practice "P"

Pencil It In

Concept: Reverse the Loop

Action: Step 1: Take a pencil and place it into the ground, approximately 2 feet outside of your right foot, between your body line and the target line.

Step 2: Swing the club back keeping it outside of the pencil, and on your downswing, allow the club to pass inside of the pencil, forcing the club head to make the desired linear swing path.

Pivot Fixation

Concept: Keep your eyes on the ball.

Action: Place your head on a post and practice moving your lower body forward while keeping your head steady.

As soon as you feel you have cleanly struck the ball or see the blur, move your head with your body.

Fixating on the contact zone is the trademark of elite players. Beginners tend to lift their eyes, pull their head up before the ball even reaches the club head, and turn their head to follow the ball’s trajectory too early.

Pirate

Concept: Looking up too early is the number one cause of bad putting strokes.

Action: Practice putting with one eye closed because it stops you from lifting your head prematurely. Close the eye closest to the hole and make your normal stroke, just listen as the ball falls in the cup. You can even try putting with your eyes closed.

The desired effect is a clearing of the mind, a getting away from ball-focus, from being too focused on mechanics, and allowing “feel” to take over.

Plane Board

Concept: The plane is the most important consideration in the golf swing. This is the angle the club shaft makes with the ground at impact.

Swing plane determines to the greatest extent these three things:

  • How much ground the golfer will hit.
  • The arc, which is a portion of the circumference of a circle.
  • Clubface smash factor, or hitting the sweet spot!

Action: Create your own swing plane board.

Use plywood to create your very own swing plane board. Make the dimensions of the board 5 ft long by 2 ft wide. A width of 3ply is fine. Simply build a small stand so you can adjust the board depending on what club you are using. When it is complete, practice running your club along the board, or even hit balls with it.

Priceless your very own swing plane board about $60.00 from the hardware store.

BONUS: One plane angle, many different planes.

Tiger Woods’ swing plane angle at the top of his swing is congruent to the address position.

This is the easiest way to swing the golf club because it works in harmony with the law of motion, which states “an object will continue on a given path unless an outside agency directs it off that path”.

When a swing moves off this congruent angle, it looks as though the club is oscillating.

Golfers try to fix their golf swings by shortening the swing or slowing the swing down, when in fact they should be fixing the swing plan angle. Shortening your swing doesn’t change it. It merely creates a shorter version of it.

Work on keeping one plane angle. Keep the same angle that shaft forms with the ground at address throughout your entire swing.

Prepare For ANY Scenario

Concept: I am sure you are well aware of the benefits that golf practice ranges have on both your tee-off shots and your short-game approach. However, the ideal set of scenarios that you will face during any real golf game does not necessarily exist in such “safe” practice zones. In other words, try something different, break the mold.

Action                Practice unconventional shots that you can add to your golf game arsenal:

  1. Use a 3 wood to chip the ball.
  2. Turn your club over in order to play from the side of a tree.
  3. Play from the road.
  4. Hit several shots from an inch or more of water.
  5. Putt from the bunker area.
  6. Belly a wedge.
  7. Play the ball from up against a wall or fence.
  8. Bury the ball deep in sand and hit it back into play, otherwise known as a “fried egg” or plugged shot.
  9. Play a few shots from rough, dried-out grass.
  10. 10.   Putt the ball with a 3 wood.

Tip: Do not use your good set of clubs for some of these practice shots. You do not want to damage them. Instead, go shopping for some older irons that are similar to the clubs you use and practice with them. This will prevent repeated damage to your quality golf clubs.