Dan’s Weekly Top Tips

3 Simple Ways To Improve The Strike With Your Chipping

Take It Back To Basics

Getting a consistently clean contact on delicate chip shots feels almost impossible at times. With so many moving parts in your technique, things can easily be miss timed and the results can be disastrous at best.

If you fall into this category, then take yourself back to the basics of chipping and use a simple putting technique. Use a less lofted club like a 7/8 iron and take your putting grip. Address the golf ball as if you are holding your. If you notice, the heel of the club will be up in the air slightly more than usual. Now, all you need to do is make a smooth, simple putting stroke.

These slight changes will help simplify the movement and allow you to focus on the strike, which will make you be more confident with the stroke. The ball should pop up into the air lovely before rolling out towards the hole.
Tempo Is Key

During my time teaching, the one thing that most golfers who struggle with their chipping have in common is the tempo of their chipping action. For instance, they rush back to the ball from the top of the backswing. This quite commonly comes from the anxiety that builds up by over-thinking too much about the specifics of the chipping action. Adopting a simple putting method will certainly help with this.

At address, soften your grip pressure and feel the tension leaving your muscles. In practice, count in your mind 1 - 2 and whilst your counting you should start your golf swing on 1 and finish on 2! If you finish before 2, then slow the acceleration down even more.
The Destroying Hinge

During your takeaway, try to avoid the long takeaway and the big wrist hinge, as this can cause an excessive amount of speed if it’s not controlled and the hinge can create a very steep angle of attack which can be detrimental for other reasons that I will go into on another “Top Tip Blog”. So just make sure that when you are adopting the putting grip technique, keep your wrists firm and backswing a little shorter. This will give you greater control of the speed.

If you would like any more tips on chipping or you want to develop your technique to a more advanced level, then call me on 01983 613131 and we can get a lesson booked in.

Daniel West

Assistant PGA Professional

Dan’s Weekly Top Tips

This weekly top tip is going to be a simple one, however, very effective and can prove itself by doing just a little practice. This is something that we perhaps dabble with a little or maybe do for a few minutes before we go out and play.

As you may have guessed, it’s going to be about putting practice.

How many of you can say you at least spend 15/20 minutes on the putting green every time you go to the golf course or driving range? Probably about 10% of you, MAX! You’re not alone, I use to do the same. Especially when it’s cold. So with the season ahead, it’s time to get practicing your putting and get lowering them scores!

Here are two simple drills to effectively work on the two key areas within your putting.

Short putts

Distance control

Firstly, let’s get you working on them shorts putts with a game of “Round the Clock”. All you need is 6/8 golf balls and your simply going to put them in a circle around the hole at only a putters length away. This may seem easy, but let’s see how many you miss on your first go. If you beat 5 out of 8, then you beat my first attempt! Well done 🙂

You need to focus on the back of the hole and make a good confident stroke and for the first few times, you can’t leave the green till you’ve made at least 75% of the putts. Then after a few sessions, be tough on yourself and say you can’t leave until you’ve made at least 1 round at 100%.

Secondly, let’s work on your distance control. For this you will need 5 golf balls and about 35ft of putting green to work with minimum from the edge of the putting green. If your golf course doesn’t have this much length, then come and use ours when you’re using our other facilities.

You’re going to start from the edge of the green and walk to 15ft away (drop a ball down), walk another 5ft (drop a ball down) and so on until you have put all 5 balls down and there is roughly 5 feet between each ball and your last should be about 35ft away from the edge of the putting green. All you are looking to do is get the golf balls to stop as close to the edge of the putting green as possible. If they go more than 1ft passed or finish 1ft short, then you need to start the game again. Like the previous game, don’t leave until you make all the putts within the area!

Be tough on yourself for the best results.

If you need any help or want to know more then please come and have a chat with me and I will more than happy to explain in more detail. However, if you are still having problems then you can always book a lesson in with myself. Just call the shop on 01983 613131 and get something booked in at a convenient time for yourself.

Daniel West

Assistant PGA Professional

Westridge Golf Centre

 

 

Understanding Shot Shaping

Have you ever been on the golf course and wondered to yourself “I’d love to be able to hit a nice high draw shot” or “A low cut around the tree here would be perfect”. In this blog, I’m going to give a simple guide to help you control your trajectory and get you hitting the desired shape on your golf ball. Shaping your golf ball can be quite tough to understand at first take, but once you get your head around the theories involved it can be pretty easy to do. There are 9 different shot shapes a golfer can hit by making changes to their set-up position, and this will give them a fantastic number of options when out on the golf course tackling the weather conditions or course challenges presented! These consist of high, low, straight, fade, draw shots which are all produced by making changes to the set-up position, which then intern change the golfers swing path. Remember that swing path (the direction the club travels before, during, and after impact) controls what happens to the curvature on the golf ball, and the initial starting direction is dictated by the relative position of the clubs face angle at impact. Below are tips on what to do in order to hit a fade and draw shot.

Hitting a Fade: In order to shape the ball left to right (for right-handers) you will need to swing the club with an out-to-in swing path. As you set up to the ball, you will need to aim your feet, body, and shoulders left of the intended target. Aim the clubface slightly left of the target to mark the starting point of the shot. Alignment sticks are a great aid in helping you get into the right position when practicing, and are not expensive to purchase. Then simply swing down the line of your feet and body, and providing the clubface is still in the same position at impact as when setting up to the ball, the shot will fade nicely back to the target.

Hitting a Draw: In order to hit a draw, you will simply need to do the complete opposite of what I have said about hitting a fade. For you to shape the ball right to left (for right-handers) you will need to swing the club with an in-to-out swing path. As you set up to the ball, you will need to aim your feet, body, and shoulders right of the intended target. Aim the clubface slightly right of the target to mark the starting point of the shot. Then simply swing down line of your feet and body, and again providing the clubface is still in the same position at impact as when setting up to the ball, the shot will draw nicely back to the target.

 

If you would like to book a lesson with me and learn about this in more detail, Please call 613131. Thank you

 

Christopher Reed

PGA Professional

Westridge Golf Centre

How To Drive Long Off The Tee!

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.

1.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.

2.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.

3.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.

4.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 me please call 613131

 

Christopher Reed

PGA Professional

Westridge Golf Centre

 

Dan’s Weekly Top Tips

Christmas has passed and our bellies are now stuffed! Now is the time to get yourself some fresh air and get back onto the golf course or if your course is too wet, then come and take advantage of our fully covered floodlight driving range powered by Toptracer!

My advice would be to ease yourself back into playing or practicing after the festive season as for most of you have probably consumed a fair amount of food and drink. So you may not move as freely as you did a month ago.

This is now the perfect time to really focus on any swing changes or drills ready for the 2019 season, as you now have about 4 months till the season starts. So if you’re not having any lessons or got anything to work on during this time to improve yourself for the new season, then please call me on 01983 613131 and we can get a practice plan in place to get you ready for the new season.

Individual lessons available from £30

&

Lesson and driving range packages available from £40!

I hope you all have had a fantastic Christmas and I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!

Look forward to seeing you all soon

Daniel West

Assistant PGA Professional

Merry Christmas

The end of the year is fast approaching and I just wanted to take this time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2019. Whether you hit your golfing goals for 2018 or not it is now time to reflect on what you could have done better with your golf in 2018 and what you can do differently to improve your performance in the year ahead. If you would like any help with setting some SMART goals then please get in touch with one of our coaches who would be more than happy to help you.

Thank you again for your support, hopefully I have helped a few of you at least to improve your golf be it via a custom fit club or some lessons. It gives us great pleasure as a coach when we see players performance improve and we look forward to getting that opportunity throughout the coming year

All the very best

Steve Davis

PGA Professional