100 Golf Tips To Break 100: Part 2

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Published 26/06/2012 08:19:00
 

Missing 50 tips? Go to part one

Tip #51

To increase your driving distance: improve your technique, get custom fit for your driver and ball, and train to increase your swing speed.

Tip #52

Unless the flag is leaning towards you, when you are on the fringe, I'd advise you to putt or chip with the flag in the hole. Dave Pelz has done testing in regards to this and has determined that statistically more shots will end up going in with the flag in the hole.

Tip #53

If you are serious about your game, make sure to have your iron and wood shafts spine-aligned, 'pured', flat-line oscillated, or oriented with the shaft in the most stable position (different companies call it different things). When a load is placed on the shaft in the downswing, ideally it's good to have the shaft inserted in to the club in such a way that it will release consistently through the ball.

Tip #54

Most people only hit full shots on the range, so when it comes time to hit pitches on the course they are often uncomfortable, tense, and have poor results. Therefore make sure to practice your short pitches on the driving range.
Pitching the ball is relatively easy if you've practiced it a little bit. Try not to move around too much when you swing and above all be smooth. For longer pitches, don't hit at the ball harder, just increase the length of both your backswing and follow through.

Tip #55

For me personally, I don't pitch the ball as well using a system like Dave Pelz' clock system for the wedges. It works great on the range but under pressure I tend to lose the sense of my pitching tempo and consequently it has cost me birdie chances and par saves. Plus, I find that I end up thinking more about swing technique and swing positions versus the target and where I want the ball to go. I do better by simply looking at the target and have the length and feel of my swing be a reaction to that target.

Tip #56

The old advice of just swinging through the ball as though it's not there really becomes more apparent to me when people make a great looking practice swing, and then tense up and take a hard and unbalanced 'hit' at the ball.

Tip #57

Sometimes people ask me what I look at when I'm hitting the ball.
I've looked at the back of the ball to focus in on where I want to hit it, the inside rear part of the ball to help me swing from the inside, and the ground on the target side of the ball to help me drive through the ball to the point where I want my club to hit the ground. I've also maintained a soft general focus on the ball area (such that I could use my peripheral vision) and instead sensed my swing path away and back in to the ball and where I want my ball to end up.
In the end, though, I found it's best to have my eyes looking towards the ball but have my mind's eye on the target.

Tip #58

Many people come up to a par-4 and automatically grab the driver. Before doing that, consider the layout of the hole and whether it's actually necessary, because it may not be the smartest choice. In fact by automatically grabbing driver, you may be bringing the trouble in to play. In some cases it might be better to hit 5-iron of the tee and then 5-iron to the green.
I've played par golf only using my irons before, and Tiger has won the British Open only hitting a few drivers during the whole tournament. Key message: think before you drive.

Tip #59

Sometime try and play a round of golf with only a mid-iron, wedge, and putter. You might actually surprise yourself with how well you score. Doing so helped me become a smarter player and realize that distance isn't always as important as it might seem for scoring.

Tip #60

Carry your golf bag if possible when you play. It's not only good exercise but it can also prepare you for other courses you play that do not offer carts.

Tip #61

If you play with a cart or buggy and aren't sure what club you'll need to take with you to your shot, take the whole bag.
I once saw a guy only take the one club he thought he'd need. After getting to his shot, he realized he needed the next longer club. Instead of going back to the bag, he went and ahead and tried to muscle the shorter iron to the green. As expected the ball ended up short and, worse yet, in a horrible position. As a result he made double bogey. Had he brought the whole bag or at least taken a few extra clubs to have more options, he would've likely landed on the green and made par.

Tip #62

More loft on your driver means more accuracy. The extra loft puts more direct backspin on the ball making it more difficult to put sidespin on the ball.

Tip #63

When it's time to pick the club you want to hit, trust your instinct. If an approach shot to the green calls for a certain iron to be hit distance-wise, but you feel like you should hit a different one, go ahead and do it. Your instinct is often correct.

Tip #64

It will depend on the lie, but I would be cautious about using a fairway wood from the rough if your ball is sitting down. Take an iron and just make sure to get it out and back into play.

Tip #65

As you are playing the course and going from hole-to-hole, take a look at the upcoming greens as you pass them to check where the pin position is located. Different pin positions could mean making different choices from the tee and on your approach shot.

Tip #66

I would hesitate to change something that has already proven to work. It's a simple thing to say, but you might be surprised at the number of times I've heard people say they wish they hadn't changed something that used to work for them. Sometimes perfecting what you have or use is better than changing it altogether.

Tip #67

If you are lucky enough to frequent a course that is not busy, try and do more of your practice out on the course rather than on the driving range and practice greens. Play a few balls if you have trouble with a certain shot, learn which club is most comfortable in certain situations, chip from around the green to the various pin positions, etc.

Tip #68

Avoid getting into the habit of walking up to the tee area and randomly placing your ball on the tee. Rather, think about which side of the tee box will be best suited for the shot you are about to hit. You are allowed to tee the ball up to two club lengths back from the tee markers. Use that space wisely.

Tip #69

A lot of instructors tell you to start warming up with a few pitches, then a few full wedges, then some full mid-irons and long irons, and then on lastly the driver before finally heading out to play. I did this for a long time and it worked great until I had to either rush straight to the first tee from the parking lot, the range was out of balls when I went to warm up, the driving range wasn't long enough to hit woods, etc.
Therefore, at least for some of your practices, try 'playing' a few holes on the driving range right off the bat and pretend that you have to get that very first swing in play. It can help get you into the mindset that prepares you for various on-course situations and help you from shooting yourself out of a good round right off the bat.

Tip #70

Start your practices the same way you would start out a round of golf. You'll probably feel more comfortable and confident heading to the first tee when it's time to play.

Tip #71

Be decisive and commit to confidently hitting the shot you pick. If you aren't sure, the hesitation in your body will likely prevent you from hitting your best shot.

Tip #72

If you are constantly changing things, it's hard to know what works and what needs changing. Stick with the same equipment and once you establish a routine for each shot keep performing it over and over. After a while, it will become apparent what is working, and it will also be easier to locate the subtle refinements that can be made to improve. In this way, you can smartly keep the good and get rid of the bad.

Tip #73

Use common sense when it comes to your training and practice. A little muscle soreness is fine, but I'd advise you to take a day or two off if you experience joint pain. Missing a day to rest and recover is much better than missing weeks or even months because you over-trained and caused a chronic injury. Be smart. Rest is important too.

Tip #74

Stretch yourself and live a little bit by setting goals that make you feel a little nervous when you state them or think about achieving them. Sometimes its good to venture outside of your comfort zone.

Tip #75

Mimic a Professional by staying in balance and holding onto the club with two hands after your shot and until the ball has stopped rolling, i.e. hold your pose.

Tip #76

When you are about to hit a shot, your brain doesn't know what 'don't' or 'not' means. If you think, 'don't' go in the bunker or 'don't' go in the water, guess what? Your ball will often end up in the bunker or water even if it's only a small percentage of the possible physical space you could hit your ball. Instead, do your best to focus solely on where you want the ball to go.

Tip #77

If a shot makes you nervous about pulling it off, go with a different club or try a different shot. Confidence is very important when hitting shots and it's difficult to hit good shots if you have even the slightest bit of doubt in your system.

Tip #78

Don't feel like you have to buy the latest club that you see a Tour player playing. Much of the golf world is capitalistic and the companies keep bringing out and cleverly marketing new products each year to make profits. By and large, the relative performance of equipment is the same amongst the manufacturers year to year with only the occasional actual technological improvement.
The Tour players spend a lot of their own money each week to cover the costs of their hotels, flights, transfers, etc, so oftentimes they are just playing certain clubs because they get paid to do so and not because the clubs are better than another brand or last year's model.

Tip #79

One reason to have a shot routine is that the more accustomed you get to the process, the easier it can be to detach from technical thought and shift your awareness to the ball moving towards and arriving at the target.

Tip #80

It costs money to buy land and supply it with range balls to operate a driving range. Thus you should know that range balls are sometimes designed to not fly as far and to be more durable than other balls.
So don't worry so much about the distances you hit them on the range. Rather trust your feeling and observe the general direction the ball goes. Besides, often times the distances that are marked on the range are not correct anyway.

Tip #81

'Trying' to score low usually doesn't work. Just relax, stay patient, remain calm, play each hole to see what happens, and enjoy the results that comes with it.

Tip #82

Golf can be made to be more reactionary by looking at the target and then having your swing be a reaction to it.

Tip #83

Padraig Harrington has his caddie clean the grooves on his irons after every practice shot on the driving range.
It takes longer to hit each ball, but this is a good idea if you are looking to build consistency in your game because the club will look and respond more similar for each shot. Plus, with the bit of extra time between practice shots, it will better mimic what happens on the course.

Tip #84

If you want to work out with weights, don't worry about it messing up your golf swing. In some cases it can throw you off when you first start, but once your body adjusts you'll be fine if not better than before you started.
The current trend in golf is for Pros to be in better shape. Camillo Villegas and Tiger Woods both lift weights. If it works for them, it can work for you too.

Tip #85

Try playing a few rounds of golf without getting the distances. This can be useful to get more in touch with your instinct and what feels right rather than trying to force a club to go a certain distance.

Tip #86

Take a look back at your last several rounds and total up your score relative to par when you hit the green and when you missed it. I'm willing to bet your total score was much lower when you hit the green.
Knowing this, try aiming to the middle or fat part of the green on every full swing shot (even when using a wedge) over the next few rounds and see how much better your scoring average becomes.

Tip #87

One of the most important things you can learn about bunker play is how to effectively use the bounce of the club.
Cleverly, I heard an old Golf Digest instructor refer to the leading edge of the club as the digger, and the bounce bottom part of the club as the skipper. Use the digger when there isn't much sand in the bunker. Open the club and use the skipper when there's lots of sand.
The club might look a little funny when it's sitting open like that, but the ball will mostly be influenced by the direction the sand flies rather than which way the clubface is pointed.

Tip #88

If you feel like you need to make a different swing with each club, you haven't been fit properly for your clubs.

Tip #89

When you first begin the round, especially when you are starting off without any warm-up, play safe and conservative shots. Once you get the feel of the round and have some confidence that you can hit the ball where you want that day, you can start picking your opportunities to be more aggressive.

Tip #90

For those morning rounds when it's a bit colder and/or you aren't loosened up, don't try to muscle a club the distance you normally hit when you are loose. Take an extra club and use your same normal tempo until your body wakes up and/or it warms up.

Tip #91

Over the course of the day, the grass conditions on the green can change. The grass grows; the dew dries and/or ground firms up, etc. Pay attention to the changing conditions during the round so you can continue to get your putts close.

Tip #92

Consider how wet the fairways are when you tee off on each hole of your home course. A hole may require driver on a wet day, but on the dry day the driver may go through the fairway and it would have been better to use 3-wood.

Tip #93

For any shots that are less than full swings (including pitches, chips, and putts) vary the distance of your shots by changing the length of your swing rather than trying to 'hit' harder and/or jerking at the ball. Tension and rigidity in your swing make good contact more difficult and you can cause you to lose control and direction. Working with a smooth gravity based pendulum type swing generally works much better for consistent distance control.

Tip #94

If there is a group behind you waiting for you to clear the green before they hit their shots, don't write your score down while you are still on the green. Clear out of the way and write it down after you are out of the way.

Tip #95

On a drive-able par-4 or long par-3, to speed up play you might let the group behind you hit up to the green. While they are walking from the tee to the green, you can finish putting.

Tip #96

Follow the Golden Rule on the golf course. Especially after a good shot, it can be nice to play from a good lie. Thus I'd advise you to show the same courtesy to golfers playing after you. Remember to replace your fairway divots, rake the bunker after your shot, and repair your pitch marks on the green.

Tip #97

If you need more distance for a certain tee shot or to clear an obstacle or something similar, be very careful of 'going for it' and giving your shot extra effort. So many times I've seen this backfire against someone and the shot ends up shorter and less accurate than his or her normal swing.
Instead, try to focus on swinging better and making good contact for that extra distance.

Tip #98

The ego can really get you in trouble on the golf course. Swinging too hard, hitting a risky shot, etc can kill your shots and scores. Get control of your ego and you'll probably have a better golf game.

Tip #99

Golf is like playing blackjack at the casino. You can take emotional risks and gambles and occasionally win one or two big ones, but in the long run you'll probably lose money.
For overall scoring, you're likely better off understanding the strategy, managing yourself, and simply playing to the numbers.

Tip #100

If the ball is sitting below your feet, remember to stay down through the shot. I've topped or hit thin more than one or two of these shots by forgetting this simple point.




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