The winter is a great time to get to know your putting stroke and improve consistency to make more putts next summer. Try some of these ideas that I know it will make a difference.
At this time of year I am always thankful for every golfer, especially those that graced our fairways or roughs at Meridian Sun Golf Club this year. I am also curious as to why you play. Have you ever asked yourself that question? Or maybe the question is why don't you play. Whether you play golf regularly or just once a year, I guess the questions are valid either way. There are so many reasons to play golf and I am so blessed to have enjoyed playing this game for over 40 years. Whether playing competitively or just enjoying a relaxing round at Meridian Sun, I enjoy so many aspects of every round.
Each of us enjoy the game for an unending list of reasons; here are my top ten reasons for playing. I am sure you can add a few more of your own so please let me know why you play.
Please let me know what you're thankful for this year and why you play golf. Or don't play golf.
One of the most common misconceptions about hitting a shot is that you should return to impact in the same position you were in at address. This concept can lead to many problems including fat and thin shots, reverse weight shift, loss of distance, etc. To hit solid shots consistently, especially with an iron, your club must be in a forward leaning position at impact. By reviewing the two photos below you can get a better picture of how the address position and the impact position are different.
The address position (left) is balanced and poised in preparation for the swing. The club is centered in the stance and the weight is distributed evenly between the feet in an athletic position. The hands are centered in front of the body and the spine is slightly tilted away from the target relative to the way your hands are positioned on the club.
The impact position (right) is dynamic with the body in motion moving toward the target as the club is swung forward. The weight has moved toward the target foot and the hips belt buckle is rotating toward the target. The shoulders are still tilted away from the target and the shaft of the club is now leaning forward with the handle of the club pointing at the forward hip. My left wrist is flat and my right wrist is bent supporting the club and applying pressure against the ball and then the ground, my right elbow is supporting my right wrist and the right hip is supporting the right elbow. This impact alignment will produce a solid strike by compressing the ball and sending it straight at the target.
A word if caution; you are only in any one specific dynamic position in the swing for a split second so there is no way to consciously create this impact alignment while hitting a golf shot, yet it is important to understand the differences between the two positions and the concept of compressing the ball.
By taking slow intentional practice swings in front of a mirror you can begin to feel and become aware of the proper impact position. Seeing and feeling the difference between address and impact can result in more solid contact and better shots. If you would like to learn more, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring seems like a long way off, but before you know it the snow will be melting and warm temperatures will return. Don't wait until spring to get yourself ready for the golf season. There are plenty of ways to prepare your game in the off season in just 10-15 minutes a day. My favorite drill to improve your swing technique and build golf strength during the winter months is with the use of weighted golf club. However, I don't recommend you swing it, but rather move the club and your body through the golf swing in super slow motion to trigger the proper muscle groups while practicing the correct club positions.. In front of a mirror or window take your address position with the weighted club. Now very slowly take the club back until the shaft is parallel to the ground and the toe of the club is pointing slightly upward. At this point the club should also be parallel to your feet and will feel heavy. From that position continue the backswing until the club shaft is pointing upward and the butt (grip end) of the club is pointing at or near your target line. The weighted club should feel light at this point. Now continue to the top of your backswing keeping your weight balanced evenly on your feet. At the top of the backswing your shoulders should be turned close to 90 degrees from the address position and the club should again be over your shoulder and parallel to your feet and target line. (IMPORTANT NOTE: As you make your slow motion swing you need to maintain good balance on both feet and good posture by keeping your spine angle. If you loose stand up, most common or bend more toward the ball you won't keep you club on the correct plane) On the forward swing start the club down slowly with your arms and shoulders keeping the butt of the club pointing at your target line until the shaft is parallel to the ground and parallel to your feet. Then continue to impact noting that the butt of the cub at impact should be pointing more toward your forward hip. From impact move into your follow though position and finally to a full finish. Watch my weighted club video to see the correct movements. If you don't have a weighted club now you can purchase one through Meridian Sun's online store.
I wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. Although instead of just wishing you a Happy New Year, I want to also encourage you to schedule more time for golf in your life this next year. Many people will make resolutions in 2013 to lose weight, to get fit, to spend more time with family and to remove the stresses in their daily life. With golf you can not only achieve all of these goals, but also enjoy many more benefits along the way. Golf provides us with the perfect activity to enjoy quality time with family and friends, to refresh and exercise both our mind and body and to appreciate the natural beauty of the courses given to us by our Creator through His many skilled architects. Set a resolution to play more golf in the coming year and enjoy a happier and healthier lifestyle. And if you want a little help along the way, just give me a call.
Before you store your clubs and shoes away for the winter, take a few minutes and make sure they will be in great shape when the warm weather turns nice next spring. Clean your clubs with warm water, mild dish soap and a firm brush to clean out the grooves. This will eliminate any rusting in the grooves and will keep the edges of the grooves sharp. Wash your grips in the same way and dry them with a towel. Your hands leave oils on the grip which can cause them to dry out and crack during the off season. Finally, clean your shoes with warm water and a cloth and allow time to dry. Apply a leather protector to protect the leather upper. Put cedar shoe trees in them to hold their shape and you won't have to break them in again next year. Store your clubs, shoes and golf balls in a temperature controlled area like your basement to avoid extreme the extreme cold. A few minutes now will make a big difference next spriong.
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