One little tip...

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By Speedy

  • 9 Replies
  1. Speedy

    Newmarket, NH

    Now here’s a little story I like to tell about one little tip that worked so well (had to throw in a little Beastie Boys on this). Last week I was in Florida with my 2 sons and managed to play 5 rounds thanks to my parents. Wife couldn’t make the trek down, darn… Anyways, played 3 rounds at Streamsong and struggled a little with my irons; driver and putting no issues thankfully. So after those 3 rounds and still a week left in the sunshine state I figure I hit the range to work on my short game and irons. While hitting a few balls at the range I remember an advice/tip given to me while playing in a winter simulator league event with my buddy. That night I was having issues making solid contact with the irons, felt like I wasn’t hitting the ball first. So after we got done our event we played a practice round and my buddy stopped me. He puts a little piece of paper about an inch in front of the ball. He told me look at that and swing. My goal was to hit the paper after striking the ball. Ok… Swung and BOOM, ball first and paper goes airborne.. I’m like ok.. Did it again and again and was please with the progress… Well at the range in Florida I decided to give that a try again and would you know I was hitting the ball solid and then a nice divot. Granted not ALL of them were perfect and knew what I did wrong but a good chunk of them were solid. Sure put a smile on my face leaving the range.

    The next day I made a tee time, had to get out and play while I’m in the sunshine state. Played with one other guy and had a blast. First tee, I drove the ball in the fairway. Here we go, have about a 130 yards in so let’s do this. So instead of thinking about my posture, stance, etc. all I thought about was picking a target and a spot in front of the ball. Swung away (pushed it a tiny bit, I didn’t complete a full swing) but BAM put it on the right side green, probably about a 25 footer.. First GIR of the day and a solid 2 putt for par (would say ALMOST made a birdie but almost doesn’t count) . Long story short, it was an awesome round hitting my irons. Very few mistakes but man was I happy. That one little thing helped me hit my irons better. I did play another round b/c I wanted to make sure I was on to something and yeah it was another happy round with irons. Again not all perfect but it was enough to make me one happy TT dude… Gotta love when you can carrying something over from the range...

    I will say this didn’t work so well with the woods but that’s another story. More stuff to work on but it’ll be fun…

    Normally I think too much when getting ready to hit so It was nice to only think about picking a spot in front of the ball and swinging away. This will be one thing I’ll be working on a lot this summer with my irons. And I should add this also helped me around the greens when chipping.. Probably the best I chipped in the long time..

    It's a work in progress and really hope this will help my game a little bit more this year.

    Anyone else ever get one little advice that truly changed ya game?

    Fairways and greens!


  2. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Got to love this game. Crazy how you can slowly creep into a bad habit and then fall into a quick fix. My "love/hate" relationship with golf. Hope this one stays with you for a while Speedy. Enjoy!
  3. Barry B

    Barry B
    Lake St Louis, MO

    Good tip....when I was first learning to play I was told to always focus on the front of the ball, not the back.
  4. Rich T

    Rich T
    Shrewsbury, MA

    Great to hear the good progress with your ball striking, Speedy! The drill you mention is fantastic for irons. And as you also mentioned, this is GREAT for chipping. One of the drills I do with chipping is to focus on the front of the ball. It is a great way to train and feel what proper contact should be.
  5. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    Thank you for the tip and hopefully my iron contact will improve!
  6. tdogg21

    Chambersburg, PA

    I play my best golf when I don't have to over think things. Last year I seemed to fight my swing every time out. Even though I know not to over think, that's exactly what I ended up doing. One of my goals for this year is to hit the course with no more than one swing thought. That little paper trick might be my thought for iron play!
  7. Great tip and visual, Speedy, which really helps promote quality of contact. One thought that I often return to, particularly at the beginning of the season while 'de-rusting' at the range, is a swing path exercise where you superimpose a clock onto the top of the golf ball and focus on the clubhead approaching the ball at different 'times'.

    This analogy has been shared by myriad sources in varying contexts, but the best description and explanation I have found goes to Joseph Laurentino in his book "The Negotiable Golf Swing". I am linking the specific reference below, although the entire chapter on "Factors That Affect Ball Flight Patterns" is both accessible and extremely elucidating when deciphering how swing and clubhead dynamics impact the direction and behavior of the golf ball.

    In my own application, I tend to favor the perceived control from a draw flight path and like to think about the in-to-out sensation that generates such a result. When I'm struggling to produce said swing, I often go back to the clock drill.

  8. Speedy

    Newmarket, NH

    Thanks for sharing H Killefer! I'll have to look at that book.. When i first started working my golf instructor, we concentrated on Swing plane right away. It was tough in the beginning but now it's certainly paying off..
  9. Great tip, Speedy! Thanks for sharing. I'll remember this one the next time I start thinning it.

  10. Steve S

    Steve S
    Tuckerton, NJ

    Great post yet once again Speedy. Always enjoy reading what you have to say!
    Play Well,
    Steve S.

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