Hey, Doc here again with another free golf lesson for you…
“Keep your head down.”
We’ve all heard this classic piece of bad advice from a well meaning friend or misguided pro. The problem is, this advice is so general and non-specific that its meaning is completely dependent on your unique interpretation. This makes it totally worthless, and more apt to screw your swing up than fix any problem it was intended to.
In the video above 3 time RE/MAX long drive champ Mike Gorton explains why he thinks “keep your head down” is such bad advice, and what you should be doing with your head instead.
As you saw in the video, its normal to move your head in the golf swing, after all it’s an athletic movement and you are not a machine. Any attempt to keep your head in one spot will result in all sorts of mishits.
Instead try focusing on keeping your swing below your head. You don’t want your head getting in the way of your torso and shoulder rotation in the golf swing, as if its some immovable object. No, you want your swing to be natural and comfortable. Lifting your head a bit to keep it out of the way of your shoulder rotation allows a natural swing and improves your mobility.
As explained in the video, you want to feel like your swing is happening below your head. Focus on that feeling instead of keeping your head still. This will result in better swing mechanics and fewer mishits.
Making unexpected shots will take your golf game to the next level. To make these shots you need to know what you, and your clubs, are capable of. By thinking outside of the box you can easily get out of many tricky situations around the golf course and save par.
In the video above Golf Pro Bill McKinney shows you how a hybrid golf club can get you up and over a tree that’s right in front of you, and still have enough carry to reach a green that is 170 yards away.
Normally in a situation like this, most golfers would choose to get over the tree with a 9 iron, sacrificing distance and their chance to make it to the green. This is a safe shot, but there is another option. A club like a #5 Hybrid has enough loft to get over the tree and will give you the extra carry you need to make it to the green.
The secret here is knowing what your clubs are capable of, but also spending time on the range experimenting with different shots. For this shot you simply need to make a shorter quicker swing. By tweaking your normal swing just a bit you can turn your #5 hybrid into a 9 iron on steroids. You’ll be able to clear the tree without sacrificing your score on the hole.
The best part is, if you practice these kinds of specialty golf shots, they won’t even seem risky when you use them on the course, it’ll be business as usual. And did I mention hitting these shots is a lot of fun.
So do yourself a favor, next time you hit the range try some trick shots, it’ll help your score and you’ll have a great time. Click here for more great golf tips from Bill McKinney.
Hey, Doc here, bringing you yet another free golf tip…
We’ve all heard it time and again – power in the golf swing comes from the core. The problem is, unless you know how to properly use your core, this advice does little good. That’s about to change.
In the video above you find award winning golf instructor and PGA Pro Greg McHatton explaining how to develop massive power from your hips. The kind of raw power that translates into 300 yard drives.
As you can see Greg’s teaching methods can be a bit unorthodox, but it works, and that’s all that really matters. This drill is all about learning how to “drag” the club toward the ball using your core, instead of flipping the head of the club at the ball with your wrists. The key to making this dragging motion work is using your core.
Your hips lead this dragging motion by sliding forward. That’s where the golf cart comes in. We can all slide our hips forward, the question is can we do it in a way that delivers serious power to the golf ball. By forcing yourself to push up against a heavy object, like the golf cart, you will naturally put your lower body into a powerful position. This means your right foot is firmly planted driving into the heavy object and your knees don’t collapse toward each other.
This is also a perfect drill to teach you how to use and feel the ground in the golf swing. You can’t hit 300+ yard drives without feeling and using the ground beneath you.
The trick is ingraining this feeling into your body so you can repeat it without a heavy object to push against. Once you do that you’ll be able to tap into a whole other level of power in your golf swing.
This drill should help teach you how to lead your downswing with your hip slide, not your arms. The hips accelerate the club longitudinally, one of the keys to developing pro level club head speed. If you aren’t sliding forward you are missing out on this crucial longitudinal acceleration.
Hey fellow golf nuts, Doc here with a short but sweet tip for you this week.
As you probably know a good pre-shot routine is crucial if you want to play great golf, all the golfers on the tour have a pre-shot routine and so should you. But I’ve noticed a lot of guys omit one very important part of the pre-shot routine, the waggle.
The waggle does some amazing things for your golf swing and skipping it is just plain madness. Once you realize all the good stuff the waggle does for your golf game you’ll never skip it again.
As Bill McKinney explains in the video the waggle does 5 important things for your golf swing. First, it rehearses you swing path. By moving the club along the proper path you are reminding yourself seconds before you swing where the right path is.
Next, it reminds your wrists how to cock at the top of the swing. A good waggle also reminds your wrists how to release into impact.
The waggle also helps you feel the right amount of tension in your arms and wrists, remember your arms and wrists should be loose and your grip just tight enough to hang onto the club. If you have too much tension you’ll quickly realize it when you waggle and be able to correct it before it ruins a shot.
Lastly, a good waggle gives you some rhythm, and keeps you from stiffening while standing over the ball. As Bill McKinney explains in the video, the rhythm aspect to the waggle is very similar to a baseball player rhythmically moving the bat before each swing. Starting a swing from a stagnant position nearly always results in a jerking motion, it’s just how our muscles work, but if we are already moving we can be incredibly precise and smooth.
How can something as simple as a waggle help so much? The simple answer is that it force feeds your brain very detailed information about where the ball is. That’s why it’s so important to waggle with precision. A sloppy waggle can be worse that no waggle at all.
How does the waggle force feed your brain information? Our brains have two ways of knowing where something is, sight and feel. Sight is pretty simple, look down at the ball. The feel however is a bit different. You can’t reach down and touch the ball with your hand in golf, instead you have to learn to use the club as an extension of your hand.
This is obviously a bit more difficult, that’s where the waggle comes in. Instead of putting the club head right behind the ball once (which tells the feeling part of your brain where that ball is), the waggle allows you to send that message to your brain two or three times in a row, really cementing the feeling of where the ball is into your mind. When you have both sight and feeling working properly you’re much more likely to hit the ball crisp and clean. That’s how something as simple and easy as a waggle can help eliminate fat and thin shots, without actually changing you natural swing.
Hey it’s Doc again with yet another no-cost video lesson to help you crush more long, gorgeous drives.
This week I want to talk about your right elbow, more specifically how getting your right elbow in the right spot during the downswing can add power and distance to your golf drives.
Bill McKinney’s baseball analogy in the video above is probably the best way I’ve ever heard this golf tip explained, that’s why I’m sharing it with you today. We’ve all seen those dramatic Sports Illustrated shots of a baseball pitcher just before he releases the ball with his hand so far behind his elbow it looks physically impossible. Pretty Impressive.
What does that have to do with golf? Well great pitchers and great golfers both know that they can maximize their speed by tucking their right elbow before the moment of truth. Why does this work for golf? Without getting into complex physics it basically loads up power in your swing. The more bent and pulled into your body your right elbow is, and the longer you can hold that position before impact, the more power you have to release right when you hit the ball.
When you tuck your elbow properly it’s like a loaded spring.
You may be thinking to yourself, well that’s great, but how the heck do I naturally get my elbow bent into my body like that? The answer is that although it looks awkward in slow motion it’s actually pretty easy to do when you are swinging.
However, if it doesn’t come naturally or you are having a hard time developing a feel for it you can have a buddy do what Billy is doing in the video with the student. By lightly grabbing a hold of the club as the student starts his downswing, Billy is forcing him to pull the club down and inward toward his body. In order to do this you will naturally tuck that right elbow into your body.
If you don’t have anyone willing to do this for you that’s okay, there’s a simpler way. To do this without a partner simply think about pulling the handle of the golf club downward and in toward your body from the top of your downswing. Just remember it’s not a jerking motion.
For more great power boosting tips from PGA Golf Pro Bill McKinney checkout his Natural Power DVD Package. You’ll be glad you did.
Hey it’s Doc again with another free golf tip for you…this one’s about hitting the ball longer and straighter so listen up.
Many golfers have a hard time developing the kind of raw power from their lower body that would help them hit the long drives they dream about. For most of them the problem has nothing to do with any lack of ability, instead the problem is in their head.
As you saw Darrell explain in the video the subconscious mind can play tricks on us in the golf swing. We put so much focus into the little white golf ball at our feet that we unknowingly slow or halt our pivoting action once we reach the object of our focus, the golf ball. As you can imagine this has devastating consequences not only for the distance of your golf shots, but their accuracy as well.
How can you fix this distance robbing problem? As you saw in the video it’s pretty darn simple. It’s time to turn the tables on your subconscious mind. Instead of it playing tricks on you, you are going to fool it into focusing on something beyond the golf ball. That’s where the cardboard box comes in.
Having an object to focus on that is well beyond the golf ball will teach you to accelerate beyond the golf ball. This in turn will prevent you from decelerating at impact or stopping your rotation too early. All you need to do is place an old empty cardboard box 18 to 24 inches in front of where your golf ball would normally be. The box should now be the focus of your swing. Put all your energy into smashing it to pieces. Keep in mind you’ll be hitting the box with the toe of your club, don’t try to hit it with a square club face.
The best part is, this golf club head speed boosting trick is easy as pie. There are no tricky concepts, no tedious techniques; all you need to do is spend 20 or 30 minutes beating an empty cardboard box to pieces. Do this once a month or so, just to remind yourself how it feels. If you want to you can buy a special bag that’s made for this purpose.
The result will be longer drives without a whole lot of effort. Just remember to use an old club with a steel shaft for this drill. You don’t want to accidentally snap an expensive club.
For more no nonsense golf tips that’ll boost your drives and slash your scores check out Darrell’s Signature Package. You’ll be glad you did.
For Better Golf,
Doc O’Leary, Head Golf Nut at OHP
Doc O’Leary here with another free golf tip for you. This week its all about hitting longer drives.
It’s practically impossible to hit long consistent golf drives without having a setup routine you follow each time you walk up to a tee shot. Even more important, you’re routine should be simple, quick, and get you in the optimum position to fire off long drives time after time. In the clip above, Bobby Schaeffer showed you how his simple routine prevents several common mistakes and prevents you from over-thinking the shot.
Proper Alignment is the first goal of any setup routine for you golf shots. Setting up too close or too far from the ball is a guaranteed way to send a tee shot into the trees. The best way to prevent this is to align the club to the ball and the target, then setup your stance based on where the handle of the club is.
One important thing to remember is that the higher you tee up any golf shot, the more you have to align the golf ball toward the toe of the club, when the club is resting on the ground.
Aligning the ball off center, toward the toe of the club, allows for the extra inch or two of arm extension at impact. Making this small adjustment ensures that you are striking the ball on the sweet spot instead of the heel of the club face.
Okay now that the golf club is lined up properly to the ball it’s time to get your feet set up.
As Bobby shows in the video above, using a few clubs to create a line perpendicular to the target is a great way to help you visualize your setup when practicing. Use this perpendicular line as a guide when you step into the shot. It will ensure that you are placing your left foot in the right spot, then you can choose a placement for your right foot based on comfort.
It’s the alignment of your left foot that needs to be precise. Many golfers walk up to a tee shot and then take some shimmy steps to get comfortable.
This may work sometimes, but it often leads to shifting your left foot out of position, all for the sake of getting comfortable. Using Bobby’s method you can still get comfortable, while maintaining proper alignment.
The final aspect of a good tee shot routine is pace. It shouldn’t be rushed, but it should be brief and to the point.
Don’t waste time standing over the golf ball. It will only get you thinking too much and throw your mental game off. As Bobby said in the video it’s best to think of it like riding a bike, you know what to do, there is very little to think about after the setup.
Now that you have proper alignment nailed down your tee shots will wind up in the fairway a lot more often. All that’s left is adding some serious “umph” to your swing, so you can start nailing those monster tee shots, you know…the kind that make you smile from ear to ear.
I personally can’t think of a better Christmas present for any golfer to give to himself than the gift of ridiculously long and accurate tee shots.
Nasty lies around the green don’t have to ruin your golf score, you just need the right technique to get the ball close. In this video golf tip, award winning PGA Pro Marc Minier will show you a great way to get the ball up and down, even if it’s caught in deep rough next to the green.
Before we dig into this golf tip you need to know that when Marc says “decel” he is talking about decelerating the club.
Having the golf ball in deep rough a few yards from the green can be a really tough shot. Most golfers are worried that if they swing hard enough to cut through the grass they will overshoot the green.
On the other hand some golfers will chose to take a short back swing and accelerate through impact. This type of shot has its own set of problems including stubbed shots. Relying on your arm power to push through the grass and accelerate through impact is a bad move. You never know what that grass is hiding, and if you hit the ground unexpectedly your club is coming to a stop.
As you saw in the video, the golf shots described above are not very good for this situation.
There is, however, an effective way to get out of thick rough by the green without the chance of way overshooting or stubbing the golf shot, and it’s easy. Simply take the club back and drop it down on the back of the ball “pinching” it out of the rough lie.
You don’t need to worry about your follow through. It simply doesn’t matter. The great thing about this type of shot is that it is consistent and repeatable. This is especially true if you focus on letting the weight of the club do the work.
After a bit of practice with this golf shot you’ll know exactly how far back to take the club for different distances.
The other important factor in this type of golf shot is your club choice. As Marc Minier explained in the video the worse your lie (deeper the rough), the more loft you want.
Choosing a high lofted club, like a 60 degree wedge, allows you to get aggressive and de-loft the club, while not worrying about hitting the golf ball farther than needed.
As always I hope you enjoyed this tip. For more great golf tips from 2006 Southern California PGA teacher of the year Marc Minier Click Here.
If you want longer more consistent golf shots with fewer fat, duffed, topped, and thin golf shots you need to think a bit about your ball position.
Each golf club you have in your bag is a different length. This means each club has a slightly different swing arc. What does this mean for your golf shots?
Well if you hit your seven iron perfectly then took that exact swing and used your five iron you would hit a fat shot.
The solution is not to change your swing, rather you want to change where the ball is in your stance. Changing your swing leads to terrible inconsistency. Changing the position of the golf ball in your stance is simple repeatable and easy to do.
The best part is that since the lengths of standard golf clubs vary in half inch increments it’s actually quite easy to figure out where each club should be in your stance. Keep in mind there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to ball position, but using this guide will get you pretty close to what will work best for you.
The easiest way to determine the best ball position for each club is to use the seven iron as your standard. The seven iron is the middle length club and should be played in the middle of your stance. Since the eight iron is a half inch shorter it should be played a half inch further back in your stance, and a nine iron should be played a full inch back from center. For longer clubs you’ll move the ball forward in your stance in half inch increments.
The driver is where people have the most difficulty with ball position. The driver is the longest club in your bag and you have probably been told by instructors, magazines, book, or buddies that when hitting your driver the golf ball should be lined up with the inside of your left heel.
I’ve got some news for you, unless your driver is still made out of persimmon wood with a hickory shaft playing the ball off your left heel is simply wrong. Standard driver shafts back in the old days were 43.5 inches long. To be fair many drives were still 43.5 inches long up until about 10 years ago, so your buddy’s advice is outdated but not ancient. The point is most new golf drivers are somewhere between 44.5 to 45.5 inches long.
If you were paying attention earlier you know that a longer shaft means these newer golf drives must be played further forward in your stance. The old guide of using the inside of your left heel won’t work anymore. For long consistent golf drives you need to play the ball a full inch to an inch and a half further forward.
Don’t worry you don’t have to get out a ruler when teeing up. Simply swap the “inside of your left heel” quick guide with “inside of your left toe”. It’s as simple as that. This slightly more forward ball position will compensate for the longer driver shafts and swing arc. The result is a square club face at impact along with longer, and more consistent tee shots.
It doesn’t much easier than that.
For more simple golf tips to improve your swing and your scores click here.
For Better Golf,
Head Golf Nut, OHP Direct
As Bobby said in the video the importance of proper putting cannot be ignored if you want to shoot low scores. I’ll admit putting isn’t the most fun thing to talk about, but let’s face it consistently dropping 6 footers will take a serious bite out of your score (plus it will drive your golf buddies nuts).
Golf is a mental game and putting relies even more heavily on your mental state and confidence level. That’s why overcoming the illusion Bobby talked about is so important if you want to become a consistent putter.
Focusing on keeping the putter face perpendicular to the target line through your whole stroke will drive you nuts, force you to do some funny things, and cause you to lose confidence on the green.
To eliminate many of those problems all you need to do is understand that the putter face will open and close naturally through your putter stroke.
Some guys intuitively understand this or simply go with what work, and through chance and luck they figure it out. Others guys (like me) need to understand this phenomenon conceptually before our brains will let us trust the putter stroke.
This video and the inclined plane tool should prove to you that taking the putter straight back on the inclined plane results in the putter face opening up. The same rules of geometry that caused it to open up will cause it to be square when it hits the ball. So as long as you take the putter straight back you don’t need to worry about getting or keeping the putter face square at impact.
All it really comes down to is accepting that this is fact of golf. It will allow you to focus on much more important things while putting, such as your speed, follow-through, break, and the speed of the greens that day.
You probably don’t have an inclined plane at home so use a score card like Bobby showed in the video if you need to prove it to yourself. The score card will also help you ensure that you are bringing the putter straight back.
For more putting tips and tricks from Bobby Schaeffer check out his Hot Touch DVD Package. This stuff will shave some serous strokes off your score.
Learning to control the trajectory of your golf shots is crucial if you want to take your game to the next level.
Trajectory control is one of the ways you can quickly multiply the number of clubs in your bag. Just think about it, if you can hit all of your clubs at three distinct trajectories it’s effectively like tripling the number of clubs in your bag.
As Bill McKinney showed you in the video changing the trajectory is as simple as moving the ball around in your stance and moving your hands more or less forward at impact.
To lower the trajectory of a golf shot (keep the ball flight lower) simply move the ball back a bit in your stance, and increase the forward shaft tilt at impact (move your hands ahead of the club head and ball). Both of these changes take loft away from the club.
A low trajectory shot is great for staying under trees, cutting through the wind, or getting more roll out of the shot.
To increase the trajectory of a golf shot (get the ball higher in the air) you want to play the ball forward in your stance. At impact you want less forward shaft tilt (although your hands still need to be a bit ahead of the ball and club head). You still want to maintain a flat left wrist, even for a high trajectory golf shot.
For these high trajectory golf shots you will be striking the ball right at the bottom of the swing arc. This means that you will take little to no divot on the shot.
This shot will feel more like you are sweeping the ball up. However you don’t want to try to flick the ball into the air, you must remember to stay down through the shot.
High trajectory golf shots are great for getting over trees or getting less roll from a shot.
As you know the power in your golf swing is developed in your core pivot, not your arms. This is a problem for many of us as we age.
As we start to lose flexibility we stop being able to twist our backs and shoulders like we used to. Because of this we start losing power and yards from our golf shots.
The body lean golf tip in the video above will help you get your back and shoulders to rotate more in the back swing so that you can get more power out of your golf swing.
If you don’t get your back and shoulders into your back swing you will naturally start relying on your arms which will not only cause you to lose some serious distance, but also lead to a number of other nasty problems in your golf swing.
So if you are losing flexibility do yourself a favor and try this out:
Simply open up your right foot (left foot for lefties) pointing it slightly backwards.
Lean your spine back so you are behind the ball, with your shoulders slightly turned behind you at address.
(Note: leaning back slightly doesn’t mean that you start your golf swing with your weight on your back foot. This tip doesn’t change how you balance your weight.)
These simple little tweaks to your golf swing make it much easier for your joints to twist the way they need to get the most out of your golf swing.
As Marc said in the video this little trick will also help you stay behind the golf ball during your swing. Many older golfers have a tendency to get in front of the ball too early in the swing, a problem that also robs power.
Oh and before I forget, you know that stinger shot that Tiger Woods always uses, well Marc Minier has finally decided to demystify the whole thing so average golfers like you and I can start using this little trick.
I convinced him to put together a new video where he breaks the whole thing down and shows you exactly how to hit that stinger shot.
It’s simple to use and it can shave some serious strokes from your golf scores. To learn how to hit the Stinger Shot Click Here.
For Better Golf,
Head Golf Nut, OHP Golf
Just so there is no confusion, this golf drill it is not meant for practicing bunker shots. This drill is geared toward improving your ball striking for golf shots off of grass.
This golf drill will teach you to strike the ball more cleanly. By practicing in the sand you are able to see exactly where your club first touches the ground in relation to the golf ball. This will really help you dial in your swing.
During normal practice off of grass it is difficult to tell whether or not you are striking the ball cleanly, because after you swing the ball is long gone and you have no reference point to compare your divot to.
As you saw in the video when you practice this drill in the sand you can draw a line, place the ball just ahead of it, make your shot and get instant feedback from your swing. After you take a few shots you will know right away if you were are a little ahead or behind the ball.
Ideally you want to strike the golf ball first then the ground, so your divot should start right after the line you drew in the sand. Your divot should never start in front of the line (that would be a fat shot). If your divot starts before the line you know you need to adjust your swing.
The length of your divot is also important. This is where the sand really helps out. Since grass is resilient it will only take a divot where you make hard contact. Soft contact simply scuffs the grass.
Sand on the other hand will tell you exactly how long you were contacting the ground. A long divot means that you have a good follow through and are maintaining proper wrist conditions through impact.
If your divot is short you need to work on staying down through all your shots. Try focusing on having a flat left wrist through impact, and carry that wrist position as long as you can into your follow through.
If you really want to dial in your golf swing this drill is a must, so go out there and try this out.
The key to hitting longer drives is developing a more powerful golf swing. As many of you know swing power is not developed in the arms. Instead the power in the golf swing comes from your core and your pivot.
One of the crucial ways you get power out of your core is by creating torque from your torso. It’s kind of like winding up a spring (your spine is the spring). The trouble is many golfers think they are winding up their torso, when in reality they are just turning their whole body during the back swing.
To visualize this, think of a bungee cord going from your right shoulder to your left knee. If you turn your shoulders the same amount as you turn your hips there won’t be much tension in that imaginary bungee cord. In other words there isn’t much torque in that swing.
If however you rotate your shoulders more than your hips you would be stretching that cord and storing a lot of torque and power in your golf swing.
Now don’t get me wrong your hips and knees will rotate to the right during the backswing. The key is that for a powerful swing your shoulders must rotate further.
The key to this simple golf bucket drill it that is makes you conscious of how you are winding up your torso and hips. You can see and feel it right away.
If the bucket is pointed in the same direction as your shoulders you know you haven’t created any torque in your golf swing. That’s what makes this golf drill so powerful. You don’t need anybody to watch your swing, and there is no guess work (even better it’s free).
Aligning the driver directly behind a teed up golf ball is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to teeing the ball high. This is why many golfers avoid long tees. Once you understand this little secret it will open up a whole new world of distance for you. This one trick alone can get an extra 20 to 40 yards out of your driver.
I recommend using 3 inch tees. Here’s what you need to do:
Tee the golf ball up with a 3 inch tee. Align yourself to the ball without letting the club rest on the ground. Make sure your arms are fully extended (like they would be at impact). The ball should be at the center of the club.
Now relax your wrists and arms letting the club rest on the ground. Notice that the ball is now aligned to the toe of the club, that’s okay because like you saw in the video your arms will lengthen at impact putting the ball right where it should be.
The key to this trick is that the sweet spot on drivers isn’t where it used to be. New golf driver technology and the massive club faces found on modern drivers have moved the “hot spot” higher up on the face of the club.
I use the term “hot spot” because when I talk about the sweet spot most people are thinking about the spot smack-dab in the center of the club face. The center of the club face isn’t a bad place to be hitting, but on most new drivers hitting a little above the center will actually get you more distance.
This is why using a longer tee is so important. Without the golf ball sitting up higher off the ground it is pretty much impossible to access the “hot spot” on the club face.
In addition to hitting the “hot spot,” teeing the ball higher brings your swing plane closer to the horizontal axis. The driver swing is already much more horizontal than an iron swing because of the long shaft. Teeing the golf ball up an inch higher brings it even closer to horizontal.
Why is this good for you? Well many (actually most) golfers tend to hit at least a slight slice with their drivers. A sliced golf shot can be caused by two things: an open club face, or an outside in (sometimes called coming over the top) swing path.
The closer your swing plane is to the horizontal axis the more difficult it becomes to swing outside in.
So in addition to helping you hit longer drives, teeing the ball up higher can actually help to fix your slice. All you have to do is remember to address the shot with the golf ball toward the toe of the driver, it’s that simple.