A question came in that asked what to do to really play better next year. The dewsweeper indicated they were willing to work at it but wanted real improvement. I am going to take my answer from an article I wrote in Florida Golf Magazine. It’s not easy, and it is not magical. but it works with every student. Read below and take heed for a great season in 2009!
Don’t read this if you are happy playing the same way you has been. You don’t want to read this if you do not want to get better. And certainly don’t read this if you are looking for a quick fix.
Below is the recipe that I use every day for success at the Hank Johnson School of Golf and on the Dewsweepers to help people play golf better, shoot lower scores and do it quicker more effectively than they ever thought possible.
Fundamentals are forever: We use that saying all the time. It doesn’t matter what level you play at whether you are a tour player or a club level player always pay attention to your fundamentals.
Grip: I start every lesson with a grip check of my student. You should do the same when you practice. Make sure your grip does not start to creep into the palm of your left hand. (For a right handed player) The left hand for a right handed player controls the club face. If the left hand moves so does the clubface. It is critical to have your left hand positioned on the club correctly at the base of the fingers of your right hand rather than in the palm.
Start every lesson with a grip check
Posture: Balanced and athletic. Your weight should be centered in the middle of your feet. Feel as if you were about to jump straight up in the air. Keep your chest up and your rear out. Make sure you lower yourself to the ball with a combination of knee flex and your hips. A body set up out of balance will move to try and find a balanced position during the swing. This will make it difficult to turn correctly and return the club to the correct low point.
Ball Position: Incorrect ball position can cause other issues to creep in. Keep the ball position about even with the logo on the front of your golf shirt. I use that visual often when teaching to give my students a reference point. For the driver you will want it slightly more forward. Develop a pivot motion: We use a saying with all our students; “You don’t move your hands and arms with your hands and arms”. When you learn to move the club with your body you will begin to improve your ball striking immediately. I have found that golfers that seem to tread water and never really get better all are trying to hit the ball with the club and are trying to move the club with their arms and hands. All good players move the club with their pivot. If you want to get better you need to develop this as well. Here is how you can start. Always start with short shots. Not only will your short game improve but it is much easier to learn proper mechanics with short shots at less than full speed. If you want to get better learn to chip correctly and at the same time you will be educating your hands on how to properly function during the golf swing. Hit short chip and run shots and learn to accomplish the following. Brush the grass in front of the ball; finish with the buttons on your shirt turned around to the left (right handed golfer) and with the club head below your hands with a flat left wrist and a bent right wrist. (Right handed golfer).
Now that you have educated your hands continue to develop your pivot with a pitch shot. Keep your arms in front of your body both back and through. A great drill I use is to have my students hit 30 yard pitch shots with a golf towel under their arms and across their chest. This drill is great for promoting a swing which keeps your arms matched up and moved by your pivot.
While this program is not glamorous or new it is incredibly effective. All you have to do is learn and monitor your pre swing fundamentals, educate your hands through short chips and then develop a correct pivot motion. Try this program and see if you don’t begin to hit the ball more solidly and consistently and find yourself on your way to cutting your handicap in half. If you don’t believe us you should ask our students.