How to hit a Great tee shot

Every golfer wants more distance off the tee. Trust me – I’d give almost anything to be able to launch a 300 yard bomb down the middle on command!

But, the BEST players in the world know that focusing on distance ISN’T the right way to hit a great tee shot…

The drives that really get your game going are more than just power. They are the product of proper planning, careful consideration, and the ability to see BEYOND the tee box to the approach shot you’re setting yourself up for.

Here’s my top tips for hitting GREAT tee shots…

Think twice before pulling your driver. For most golfers it’s almost an automatic reflex – when you walk onto the tee box of a par 4 or par 5 you grab the driver out of your bag without even thinking. To hit a great tee shot, you’ve got to be smarter than that.

Imagine your ideal approach.
Where would you like to play your approach shot from if you could drop a ball anywhere in the fairway? For me it’s always right at 125 yards – a perfect full swing with my trusty pitching wedge.

Do the math. If you’re playing a 330 yard hole and your ideal approach shot distance is 125 yards, a GREAT tee shot only needs to be 205 yards down the fairway. For me this means keeping the driver in the bag and pulling out my trusty 5 wood.

Focusing on these simple tips will help you hit better tee shots, lower your scores, and have more fun out on the golf course. Here’s to starting every hole off right!

2 ways to play smarter golf

Golf is a game that requires a lot of strategy. You have to think about every shot that you hit before you hit it if you want to play your best. Many golfers simply don’t put enough thought into their game and then wonder why their scores are not where they want them to be.

Ready to start playing smarter golf? Try these two simple yet effective tips next time you head out to the course and you might be surprised with the results.

1. Know when to leave the driver in the bag. Maybe you’ve heard this tip before, but are you actually putting it to use? the key is to remember that the goal of hitting a drive is not to maximize your distance, but to put yourself in the best possible position for your next shot. By thinking about each drive in this way you will be able to make much better decisions, reduce the amount of costly mistakes you make, and set yourself up for success more often.

2. Play the game, not the swing. When you’re out on the driving range working on improving your swing focusing on mechanics is exactly what you want to be doing. The problem many golfers have is that they carry this focus over to the golf course where it doesn’t do them any good. The moment you step foot onto the tee box your focus should shift swing mechanics to playing the game. If you are hitting the ball great you can play the game in a certain way. If your swing is off and you are struggling to hit the ball well you will need to play the game a slightly different way. Trying to perfect or fix your swing while you are out on the course will usually only make things worse.

Remember that golf is a game, and just like any game the players who will get the best results and have the most fun are the ones who play it smart.

Dial in your short irons

Today we’re going to focus in on how to get the most out of your short irons and your wedges.

Let’s face it — the closer you get to the hole the more important it is to hit great shots, and this is exactly why improving your short iron and wedge game is so essential to unlocking your TRUE potential on the course.

When it comes to short approach shots most golfers always talk about accuracy, but I’ve actually found that one of the most important parts of these shots is distance control.

As I’m getting closer to the green I often find myself in between clubs, and I can’t afford to end up short or long. In these situations it’s absolutely critical to know how far my ball is going to travel. That’s why I use a simple trick called “The Clock” to dial in my distance control

You see, since the length of my backswing controls how far the ball travels I simply think about taking my club back to different positions on the face of a clock. See the picture below to get an idea of what I mean…

A one-quarter swing takes me back to 8:00, a half swing takes me back to 9:00, a three-quarter swing takes me back to 10:00, and a full swing takes me back all the way to 11:00 or 12:00. I find that there is about a 5 to 7 yard difference between each different take-away, and on the course that can make all the difference in the world.

By practicing these different take-aways at my local chipping green I am able to really perfect my distance control with my short irons and wedges. This system also makes it easy to hit great shots under pressure since it gives me something comfortable to fall back.

Next time you head out to practice give this technique a try. It helps you have someone that can document your swings and ensure that what feels like 10:00 is actually 10:00 (you’ll be surprised at how far off you can be when you first get started).

How to practice for results

If you’re anything like most golfers, you love heading out to the driving range and dropping a large bucket of balls down in front you. But as you work through that bucket of balls do you actually have a strategy for what you are doing or are you just mindlessly pounding shot after shot out there into the distance?

The world’s best players know that how you practice is just as important as how much you practice. When they head to the driving range they have a very specific plan. Sometimes they are working on certain swing mechanics, but other times they are focused on simply executing great shots. This second strategy, focusing on executing great shots, is one of the best ways for amateur players to get better results on the range.

Here’s how to do it:

Every time you rake a ball into place choose a very specific target – just like you do when you are out on the course. Practice choosing small targets and you’ll find that your mind becomes even more focused.

Go through your pre-shot routine before hitting every single ball. This takes discipline but it’s really the only way to get your pre-shot routine ingrained into your mind and start developing the trust that you need to execute when the pressure is on.

After you hit your shot watch it fly through the air and keep your eye on the ball until it comes to a complete stop. After that analyze what happened. Did you hit your target? If not, what happened and caused you to miss?

If you hit an errant shot and miss your target play a recovery shot with your next ball. Practicing punch outs is something that most golfers never do, and when they are faced with one of them on the course it can be a disaster. Don’t let this happen to you!

If you’re going to spend time on the driving range, you might as well make it worthwhile. The tips above will help you simulate the on course conditions that you face and help you lower your scores.

What’s the right height to tee up your drives?

Have you ever noticed how some golfers seem to tee their ball up very low, some tee it up high, and some tee it up in the middle?

What exactly is the right height to tee up your ball?

It turns out there is actually more than one right way to do it…

When to tee it up low: Teeing the ball up low (top of the ball even with the top of the club) works best when you’re hitting hybrid clubs, or when you’re hitting a wood and into a strong wind. The low height of the tee will lower the launch angle and help your shot stay out of the breeze -maximizing roll and distance. Teeing it low can also help prevent you from “skying” the ball.

When to tee it up in the middle: Teeing the ball up in the middle (half of the ball above the top of the club) works best when you are teeing off with fairway woods in normal conditions. This will ensure the optimal launch rate, minimize spin, and maximize carry and overall distance.

When to tee it up high:
Teeing the ball up high (the bottom of the ball even with the top of the club) works best when you are hitting one of today’s big 460cc drivers in normal playing conditions. Studies have shown that this tee height consistently delivers maximum distance and accuracy for players of all skill levels. Just be sure that the bottom of the ball is even with the top of the driver – if you tee it any higher you’re likely to sky the ball and leave a big ugly scuff on the top of your club.

While you might not think about the height of your tee very often it can actually have a BIG impact on the distance and accuracy of your tee shots. Be sure to experiment with these different tee heights next time you hit the driving range to find out how they work for you before trying them in a big money game on the course!

How you can hit more fairways

If you’re like most golfers I know you’re always looking for more distance off the tee. From trying the latest driver or ball to working out in the gym there isn’t much you won’t do to add 10-15 yards to your drives.

But…is it really worth it?

At the end of a round there’s really only one thing that matters – your score. While blasting the long ball can be fun it can also get you in a lot of trouble. If you want to shoot lower scores you’ve got to switch your number one objective off the tee from distance to accuracy. Specifically you need to focus on hitting the fairway.

Here are a few tips that will help:

Choke down. Most of today’s tour players are using drivers that are an inch or more shorter than those that you buy off the rack in your local pro shop. While this extra length can give your drives a power boost it can also make them harder to control. To solve this problem try choking down on your driver about an inch. This may feel a bit awkward at first but after you get the hang of it you’ll find your driver much easier to control. As you gain more control, you can start to slowly move back further on the grip.

Shorten your backswing. Taking a big backswing might look like a good way to develop power, but it can also spell disaster when it comes to your accuracy. If your shaft is past parallel with the ground it’s time to dial it back. This is why most of today’s top players focus on the rotation they are creating in their hips and shoulders instead of how far back they are taking the club. They know that both power AND accuracy are both created by the controlled rotation of the big muscles in their body like their core and their glutes. Not by the quick jerky action of the hands or arms.

Next time you step onto the tee box keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to hitting more fairways and shooting lower scores!

Why Do The Pros Use This Putting Drill?

If you’ve ever had an opportunity to watch the game’s top players practice you know that they spend a lot of time on the putting green.

You also know that sometimes they rely on STRANGE drills to improve their game, and for elite players like Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker this means practicing putting with one arm.

While it might seem odd, putting with one arm can actually be one of the best ways to improve your stroke.

To make the most of the one arm putting drill just follow these simple guidelines:

Choose an arm. Some pros will practice one handed putting with their lead arm (left arm for right handed golfers), while some practice one handed putting with their trail arm (right arm for right handed golfers). I suggest working a little on both to find your favorite.

Start with short putts. I like to practice my one handed stroke on putts that are 3-4 feet away from the hole. This allows me to keep my stroke under control and also build confidence by making a high percentage of the putts that I hit.

Feel the weight of the putter. When you swing your putter with one hand you will be amazed at how much you can feel the weight of the putter head as it swings back and forth. The key is to keep your grip pressure light and let the putter hang down from your arm naturally. This will help you create a natural pendulum motion and a great rhythm to your stroke.

Accelerate through the ball. With only one hand on your putter it’s going to be a lot harder to control. If you want to put a good roll on the ball you need to let the putter swing naturally and accelerate through the ball. Just imagine your putter head as a giant wrecking ball swinging down from your arm and crashing through the ball at impact.

After practicing this drill for 10 or 15 minutes try putting both hands back on your putter. You’ll be amazed at how much smoother your stroke feels, and how much more confident you are on the green!

The BIG mistakes most golfers make

Golf is a hard game, and there are many small mistakes you can make when you’re out on the course. Often times it can be easy to get caught up in the small details and lose sight of the big picture. You can solve this problem and keep your game on track by focusing on the 2 major mistakes listed below.

2 major mistakes that most golfers make:

Losing your focus: Unlike most sports that immerse you in the action from start to finish golf is a game that requires you to zone in over 70 times. Completely re-focusing your attention before every shot is difficult, but if you have a solid pre-shot routine you can do it.

Obsessing over your score: Sure score is important, but if you get too caught up in the number you’ll lose focus of how to enjoy the game and execute the shots you need to hit to play your best. The world’s best players focus their attention on hitting great shots and, naturally, the scores take care of themselves.

If you can avoid these 2 major mistakes you will be well on your way lowering your scores and playing better golf.