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
Day 1 — 2012 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village
So, it was only the first round of the 2012 Memorial tournament. But I thought it was going to be pretty exciting to watch the group of Mickelson, Fowler and Watson. It was almost painful to watch and I’m sure Fowler felt the same.
Everyone was talking about how fast and slippery the greens were, the course was playing tough. The word frustrated was all I kept hearing from the announcers when both Watson and Mickelson missed fairways, found bunker after bunker and even followed each other into the water on the par 3 16th. It was really hard to watch, like watching a 4 hour car crash.
Phil had that look on his face, playing with absolutely no Mojo, no magical shots and that every present smile wasn’t on his face yesterday. He finally got back to the club house shooting a 7 over 79, did I say it was tough to watch.
Now Bubba Watson looked to out of sorts too. Frustrated with golf shot after golf shot claiming to be rusty from lack of tournament play. Again, finding bunkers, water and few fairways, bogie on the par 5 11th – Bubba struggled to get in with a 3 over 75 -just 4 shots better than his playing companion Phil.
Yeah, the green were fast, I heard they were rolling at a 14 – but that didn’t look like either of their problems during the first round yesterday at the Memorial.
It must have been tough for Fowler to keep his focus while he watched a couple of his friends come unglued on the course. He traded birdies for bogies, had an eagle on the par 5 – 11th and then a bogie on the other par 5 – 15th he went out in 36 coming in with a 1 under 35. That’s where he stands after the first day.
Curious as to what happened with Mickelson’s game I find out he WD — are you kidding me he withdrew because of fatigue, too much travel and a family vacation to Italy and France. That’s a first, not a wrist or back injury, but fatigue. He probably thought he wouldn’t make the cut anyway, oh well -gotta get ready for the U.S. Open.
Maybe Ricky and Bubba will gel a bit better today without Phil around, we’ll see. The second round should be fun to watch, would like to see Spencer Levin play well today he’s right in there at 6 under. Or, who knows maybe come Sunday it’ll be Tiger Woods again.
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.
As you saw in the video the secret to a low power shot is to have a large amount forward shaft lean. This takes some of the loft off of the golf club keeping the ball flight low.
This type of shot can be used in many different ways. It’s pretty common to use a 4 iron for this kind of shot but other clubs work in different situations.
You can use a half swing and get a small 50 to 75 yard golf shot with a low short flight and a really long roll, or you can use a full swing and like Bill said in the video get up to 200 yards out of it (which will also be low and have a long roll).
The bottom line is that this is a very versatile golf shot, one every golfer should know. It can really save you if you wind up in the trees or on the edge of the fairway where you need to keep the ball low to clear overhanging branches.
Aside from being able to use this shot to get out of trouble it will also help you train your hands to stay in front of the ball at impact.
This kind of low power shot simply exaggerates the forward shaft lean to keep the golf ball low. If you have trouble getting your hands to stay in front of the ball or can’t seem to keep your left wrist flat at impact this is a great shot to practice.
By exaggerating forward shaft lean with this golf shot you will get the feel for where you hands should be during impact on a normal shot (sometimes exaggerating something is the best way to get a feel for it).
If you play around with this technique you will also find that you can start controlling the height of all your golf shots by simply changing the amount of forward shaft lean.
That’s it. Now I’m going to go out and try that umbrella trick myself (at night while nobody’s watching). You should try it too (but it’s not my fault if you break your umbrella). Leave me a comment if you can hit the umbrella, or just leave a comment for any other reason, I love to hear feedback from other golf nuts.
Learning how to shape your golf shots (hit a draw or fade when you want to) is crucial if you want to take your golf game to the next level.
Shaping shots takes you from ‘decent amateur golfer’ to ‘guy who makes his buddies jealous with his incredible par saving shots.’
Being able to shape your golf shots will enable you to recover from a sliced tee shot with a beautiful fade out of the rough, and on to the fairway or green. Mastering these shots will enable you to miss-hit the occasional tee shot and still beat your buddies on that hole.
In this short video Golf Professional Mike Gorton will show you the secrets to shaping your shots without changing how you swing.
As you can see from this video once you know the tricks shaping your shots is really pretty simple.
The key is understanding the two key variables that affect where the golf ball goes. The first variable is the way the club approaches the ball (inside out, outside in, or square). The diagram to the right shows these angles in case you are having trouble visualizing this (note: the diagram on the right is for a right handed golfer, it would be opposite for lefties).
The second variable is the position of the club head (open, closed, or square).
In order to shape your shots you simply need to change your stance. Changing your stance (opening up or closing up your stance) will cause you to chance your swing path without even having to think about it.
Hitting a Fade:
As Mike explains in the video all you need to do is open your stance while still aiming at your target.
By opening your stance you force yourself to make an outside in swing which puts right hand spin on the ball resulting in a fade.
Hitting a Draw:
To hit a draw you need to close your stance while still aiming at the target. This will force you to have an inside out swing path.
This swing path will put left hand spin on the ball causing your golf shot to draw to the left.
Practice these shots on the range to get a feel for how much you need to open and close your stance to get the amount of movement you are looking for.
These shots are actually a lot of fun to practice so grab a bucket of balls and hit the range.
When was the last time you hit the golf ball way over the green on an approach shot? You probably don’t remember because for most amateur golfers over shooting the green is rarely a problem.
Let me ask you another question. When was the last time your approach shot fell short of the green? You probably do remember because it was the last time you played golf. This is why golf course architects put the majority of hazards (bunker, water, ravines) in front of the green not behind it.
Why am I asking you these questions? Well I’m trying to show you all the strokes you are adding to your score simply because you are using the wrong club. Yep that’s right. Most golfers are using the wrong club for approach shots. It doesn’t matter if you are 180 yards out or 100 yards out you are probably over estimating the distance of your golf clubs. Most handicap golfers don’t hit the ball as far as they think they do.
This is one of the simplest problems in golf to fix. The secret solution: use one club higher on your approach shots. Yeah we’ve all hit that career best 180 yard 7 iron with 30 mph wind at our backs and a downhill roll. But let be honest this was a once in a life shot. If your instinct tells you to grab your seven iron grab your six instead. Pretty simple stuff I’m sure you will agree. The beauty is that you can literally start slashing your golf scores over night using this simple trick (you don’t even have to change the way you swing).
There are a lot of golfers out there who have good golf swings, hit the ball solid most of the time yet get frustrated with their high scores wondering why. They usually end up thinking that they need to hit the ball harder to make it on the green (ruining the rhythm of their swing). Why work harder when you can work smarter. There is no shame in using a longer club (especially when you are the only guy making it on the green without a chip shot).
There is no point in overestimating the distance of your golf shot. Yet we all have a tendency to do this. We all remember those perfect shots we have made and boy did that feel good. The problem is we can’t do this on every shot. The truth is you may hit the ball 180 once in a blue moon, but your average is around 150. So why not just use a six iron with a nice controlled and relaxed swing?
Play your golf clubs to their average distance not their max and you scores will start dropping big time.
For Better Golf,
Head Golf Nut, OHP Golf