Well, the golf season is now in full swing in Michigan and the rest of the US, Canada, and Europe.
Due to family issues I was unable to go to Scottsdale, AZ in May, so I have no report at this time on affordable courses in that area. Perhaps next year?
I see two common areas of concern among the students and many other average golfers who are now trying to enjoy their time on the golf course.
Putting - The first area of concern is in putting. Some golfers over-do the time it takes to line up a putt and make their stroke, only to still miss the putt. This often leads to aggravation, more tension, and even longer time for the next putt.
Taking too long builds tension and provides time for too many thoughts.
Other golfers continually make the same basic mistakes and do not seem to understand what they are doing wrong or how to correct it.
Without a focused pre-putt routine, you are simply guessing and likely setting yourself up for a number of 3-putt greens.
To help all golfers establish a solid routine, assess their putt situation, and make a higher percentage of their putts, we have developed a new training course appropriately named “Improve Your Putting”.
The training provides focus on technique, successful putting methods, and process for improving accuracy and distance control.
The course includes 7 student booklets with learning exercises, and access to ten video demonstrations.
If you are a beginning golfer there is no better place to start that to develop the feel for contact with the ball using the putter.
Watch your scores quickly improve.
Hybrid Clubs- The second area of concern is a combination of club selection and the lack of use of hybrid clubs.
Many golfers choose the wrong club for the lie or distance situation. They still do not understand that hybrid clubs will help them hit the ball higher, straighter, and farther than typical mid and long irons.
Let’s assume that you have a reasonably good drive but it is in the first cut of rough along the edge of the fairway. The distance to the middle of the green is 170 yards.
The green has a pond along the right edge, a large sand trap along the front center and left side, and brush / woods over the back. It slopes from back to front and the cup is located in the front left, just behind the bunker.
For a low handicap golfer this is not a difficult shot or club selection. Choose your 170 yard club, focus on left center of the green, staying away from the right / pond side, take your two putts, maybe one if you’re lucky, and be off to the next hole.
For the average golfer who typically shoots 95+, this could be a scorecard wrecker.He/she sees the pond and the sand trap. The 170 might be a 4-iron or even a 3-iron or a fairway wood.
If you have a reasonable swing, this might be an excellent shot for a hybrid. 1st, the lie in the light rough on the edge of the fairway provides a good situation for a hybrid club. The grass won’t catch the clubhead as easily as it might with the iron.
The ball should quickly rise and land on the green with less roll distance than it would have if struck by a corresponding iron, thus keeping the ball on the green.
The hybrid is likely more forgiving, also minimizing the likelihood of going right, into the pond.
If you are not convinced, or if you cannot acquire a hybrid at this time, then you could play the ball short of the green and to the right of the sand trap. This would provide you with a good angle toward the flag and perhaps an opportunity to chip or pitch a shot close and one putt for a par.
There are many brands of hybrids available, and each brand has a variety of lofts. For example, a 21 degree hybrid might replace a 4-iron or a 3-iron. A 24 degree might replace a 5-iron. And don’t be afraid of trying a 29 degree. This is an excellent club for the 130 to 160 yard range, depending on your swing speed.
Well, it’s time for me to go play some golf.
I am working with some students on their swing speed and swing tempo. (See the swing speed page.)There will be more details about hybrids, and some good example evaluations, in a future blog article.
Hit ‘em straight.