Golf Tips – Back in The Swing of Things

Practical golf tips to get you started right for 2015
As spring comes back to life, so too do new hopes for the coming golf season. And you’ll find no shortage of “solutions” for beefing up your game. Golf club manufacturers have sexy ads luring you with the latest game-changing technology. New irons claim to help tour pros hit more greens even when missing the sweet spot. But is that all you need to improve? Before you drop $1,200 on a new set of clubs, check out these practical tips for developing a process and learn proper technique right from the start.

Align Properly With an Alignment Stick
When you hit a golf shot, you assess whether the shot was on target. If it wasn’t, do you know why? If you “think” you’re lined up properly but miss your target, you search for answers; you make modifications. But what if you were just misaligned? Now you’ve ingrained unnecessary changes that can lead to inconsistency. Alignment sticks are one of the easiest ways to improve your game, and they’re simple to find — any golf or home improvement store will have them. Use one stick for your body line set parallel to your target, and put your feet square to that line. Use a second stick next to the ball for a target line. Square your clubface to these lines to bring your shot more on target.

Do Your Clubs Fit?
Start with your putter. How did you select it? Did you get fit for it, or did you pick it up after a bad round, selecting it for reasons you neither remember nor trust? You’ll want to ensure the club is the correct length. You’ll know by putting a mirror down on the ground and taking your athletic stance. If your eyes are over the ball, it might fit. If not, your body will adjust, which leads to inconsistent putting. With that said,
my easiest putting tip comes back to grip pressure. Maintain a four out of 10 grip pressure (with 10 being the firmest) throughout your stroke. That will allow you to get the best feel and consistent distance control.

Avoid the “Bright Shiny Lure”
Open any golf magazine and you’ll find some quick fix to suddenly add 20 yards to your drive or a new grip to eliminate your slice. I call those new ideas “Bright Shiny Lures” — they’ll catch your attention and you’ll be hooked. But while you may be hooked, you may not get any better. You may also get hurt. Make sure that the new idea answers the fundamental source of the problem you want to solve. Just pursue help that fits your game.

Bonus Tip: If You Get Stuck, Get Help
Life’s too short to play bad golf. Get qualified help from a PGA professional. You’ll be amazed at the tools the good ones have so that you will improve.

Armed with these ideas, don’t get distracted. Implement them consistently. You will improve. Then, if you still want the sexy new clubs, go for it!

How to Overcome the Power of the Ball by Ollen Stephens and Andrew D. Cohn explores how to get control of the game with simple, effective ideas

Ollen Stephens
Guest Sports Editor
Ollen Stephens is a PGA-certified professional of instruction who has offered golf instruction since 1995. Along with golf businessman Andrew D. Cohn, Stephens authored How to Overcome the Power of the Golf Ball. This guide provides practical, proven advice to help everyday players improve their game — and find more enjoyment during their time on the fairway.

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