With just over two weeks into June and 83mm of rainfall. This compared to 1mm for the whole of last June. Making it the forth wettest June in 21 years. The only real negative from this high rainfall, is an outbreak of Red Thread. It is a disease that develops, due to the leaching of available nutrients from the soil, therefore not making them available for the grass plant. It is currently a nationwide issue, having spoken to colleagues around the country.
It was interesting to note that the greens at Pebble Beach are predominately Poa. It is very unusual nowadays for a Major venue to have Poa based greens. Congratulations must be given to the Superintendant for producing such good surfaces.
There is one thing every golfer wants and that is distance off the tee! Anyone who says they are not bothered about how far they hit the ball is either lying, or they have just excepted the fact they will never be a bomber off the tee. Learning how to increase your driver distance not only makes you look awesome in front of your regular playing partners, but providing your still hitting it straight, makes the game a whole lot easier. There is nothing better than stepping up to the tee box knowing that you’ve got the confidence to hit it long and straight down the middle, and this is a skill that every golfer should try and develop. If you can learn to hit it longer off the tee, this will lead to shorter approach shots into the green, more greens in regulation, and more importantly better golf scores. So what are the key factors to hitting long drives? In this blog I will give tips which will show you a step by step process on how to increase your driving distance.
- Ball Height: The primary goal when using a driver is to make sure that your “Hitting Up” on the golf ball through impact. By teeing the ball high this will encourage an upward strike and better drives. As a general rule I tell people the equator of the golf ball should be directly in line with the top of the clubface at address.
- Wide Stance: The driver is the longest club in the bag that you will have, therefore it is the it is the also the club you can swing the fastest. If you are going to swinging with increased club speed, you need to make sure you have the correct width of stance and solid base to maintain balance. I see far too often amateurs setting up with narrow stances which leads to sloppy unbalanced swings. To ensure you have a solid base at address, set up with outside of your shoulders extended down to the inside of your feet.
- Forward Ball Position: Many amateurs make the common mistake of placing the ball too close to the middle of their stance as if they are preparing to hit a medium iron shot. When this happens the hands get in front of the ball and the clubhead becomes de-lofted as a result of the improper set up position. When the ball is placed in the wrong ball position it affects how a players shoulders are also set at address, which therefore can have an effect on the path of the club through impact. Players tend to strike down on the ball at impact which is the exact opposite of what you should be trying to achieve. This causes excess spin on the ball resulting in ballooning drives especially into the wind, which makes the ball go very high, but not very far in distance. In order to maximise your distance you must strike up on the ball! To do this simply place the ball in line with your left heel to ensure the clubs bottoms out earlier in the swing, meaning the club connects with the ball on the upswing.
- Spine Angle: At set up your upper body specifically your spine should be tilted away from the target. This means for a right handed player, their left shoulder should be slightly higher than their right shoulder at address. Making sure your spine is tilted the correct amount at address is important because it puts your body in a powerful position to strike up on the golf ball.
Obviously things such as swinging in balance and how centred your strike is on the clubface will also determine how long and straight you hit your drives. But hopefully these short tips in this blog will enable you to see instant changes and hopefully positive results! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. To book a lesson with myself please call 613131
Westridge Golf Centre
A timely and welcomed drop of rain this week, 1.5″ so far. Thankfully, a drop in temperature too. The ground temperature has also dropped 4c too, which is quite a drop in a week. This too is very welcome, meaning no flush of growth to control.
To clarify a point that has been raised many times over the last few weeks. I thank you all for your concern, however, the black marks on some greens, are the result of goose droppings and NOT oil or grease from our machinery.
The Barnacle Geese have, quite frankly, outstayed their welcome.
With the greens currently being cut at 3.5mm, we are averaging 9 on the stimpmeter. A speed that I am happy with and is sustainable.
The Westridge Junior Academy looking absolutely FANTASTIC in their new kit! MASSIVE thanks to Matt & Sharron Lake from Buywise in Newport, who worked with Blomberg UK to secure the funding that made this possible - I hope you’d agree that they really do look fantastic!
The Importance of Staying in The Moment
When you come to play in a high stress environment under tournament conditions, I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep yourself in the moment and don’t try too hard and don’t try to make things happen.
The minute you try that bit harder or you try to make things happen because you want to score well, is the very moment you can wave goodbye to a good score. I am speaking from recent experience, as I have no worries about talking about my failures as they only make you stronger. I was playing in my first pro-am since turning professional and I just wanted to play well so much that I tried that bit harder and tried to force shots and take on the impossible shot.
When you are in a high pressure situation or you are in a competition that you really want to do well in, then you need to try and stay in the moment and keep relaxed. The key thing is to try and not force shots or take on shots that you wouldn’t normally, as this will create opportunities to force unnecessary errors.
Ways to help you stay calm and focused on the shot ahead of you and not to try and take on silly shots, would be firstly to take a couple of seconds and think about the shot you are about to play. Does the shot you are about to play, have a high percentage of coming off the way you want it too, if it doesn’t then don’t play it.
Secondly, once you are happy with the shot you have chosen, just take a couple of slow deep breaths to control your heart rate and focus your mind.
A great book that I read in the past about mental strength and staying confident and in the moment was a book by Dr Bob Rotella - Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect.
I would HIGHLY RECCOMMEND this book.
There are three pieces of equipment that golfers use on every shot, a golf ball, golf shoes, and a golf grip. A glove could be used but most golfers don’t wear gloves on every shot if sometimes atoll. We think about what golf ball we need to use, trying to get the right combination of maximized distance and ideal spin on every shot. But golfers don’t think about their grips much, even though it is used on every shot and is very important. The golf grip is what keeps our hands on the club, allows us to comfortably hit long drives, and also play those delicate touch shots alike. Also, they allow golfers to play in all kinds of weather conditions and feel comfortable in doing so.
When Should Golfers Replace Their Grips: Just like a golf ball does, a golf grip loses efficiency over time and use. Instead of being somewhat tacky and comfortable to touch, weathered old grips feel slicker, worn down and just frankly old! Golf grips need to be replaced every so often restoring the tacky and comfortable feel. The question is though, how often should a golfer replace their grips? The general rule of thumb is a golfer should replace their golf grips every 6 months or so, that is if you’re playing at least 3-4 times per week in conditions exposing your grips to heat and humidity. So, basically, if you live in the South of the United States, like Florida, Texas or Arizona, and you’re retired or super rich, then replace your grips every six months. For most golfers, they don’t need to change their grips every 6 months. They need to change them either once per year or approximately every 40 rounds. Since most golfers don’t play 40 rounds of golf per year, once per year is perfect. It’s usually a good idea to get them changed in the winter months like November, December and January when you’re not playing as much. This is so you can get used to the particular feel of the grips, and also so they won’t get too worn out before the summer months start. The bottom line is if your grips feel firmer or less tacky than normal, you need to look at getting your grips changed sooner rather than later.
Which Size Grip Should You Buy: Most golfers don’t really think about the proper sizing of their golf grips, but a golfer should ideally have a grip that doesn’t allow them to over grip the club. By that, I mean a golf grip shouldn’t allow you to dig your fingers into your palms on your bottom hand. If you can, then your grip is too small. Likewise, if the gap is too big between your fingers and palms, then the grip is too large.
The most important thing in a grip is the comfort on all types of shots. That might mean having different grips on different clubs although this is very rare to do. It could also mean finding a grip, more common these days, which has a variety of surfaces on a single grip, depending on where you grip the club. Those multi-purpose grips give you the most value for money, offering smooth and rougher surfaces which can be useful in any situation such as weather conditions.
Thank you for reading my latest blog. To book yourself in for a lesson with me, please call 01983 613131
Westridge Golf Centre