Keep a straight left hand for solid putting 1/5/2019

Most putts are missed because they are mishit rather than misread. One key factor in a solid putting stroke is keeping your left hand flat toward the target than flipping your wrists. A good way to get the feeling of a flat left wrist is to insert a six-inch ruler into your glove so it runs up the back of your hand and along your forearm. In practice, stroke your putts so that you do not feel the ruler dig into your arm. This will promote a stroke that starts the ball on your intended line every time.

Time well spent 1/13/2019

Most golfers do not have a great deal of time to practice. It is always a good idea to practice the parts of the game that will give you the most benefit when you play. Practice putts from five feet to three feet out. These are the putts that you will need to save a par after a chip, pitch, or first putt. Also, in match play, these putts become critical to halving or winning a hole. Practice wedge shots from one hundred yards and closer, as you will have more of these shots than any other iron. Finally, work on your tee shots and focus on accuracy over distance.

Brush, brush 1/20/2019

Poor chip and pitch shots occur when the ball is struck too thin or too fat. Often, the shots that blade the ball or dig into the ground behind it are caused by poor setup. In your pre-shot routine, take your stance with most of your weight on your front foot. Open the clubface slightly to expose the bounce on the sole of the club. This will help you to have your club glide on the grass rather than digging. Take several practice swings and find the spot where your club brushes the grass and does not skim too high or dig into the ground. Once you establish this point, use it as your ball position and repeat the same stroke that gave you the brush of the grass.

Are you between clubs? 1/27/2019

Sometimes you will face shot that is between the distances that you normally hit your irons. For example, a 135-yard shot may be too long for your nine-iron, but an eight-iron would go too far. The best strategy in this situation is to opt for the longer club and choke down on the handle. Make an aggressive swing and do not ease off. The shorter shaft will help you gain distance control. If you ease off on the swing, chances are you will hit a pull or a hook. Practice this shot often so you know how to handle it on the course.

You land in thick rough near the green. 2/3/2019

If your ball comes to rest in the thick rough near the green, a normal pitch shot will not work. A great way to play this shot is to use the normal technique that you use for a sand shot. Open the face of your wedge while standing with a slightly open stance with your weight on your front foot. Lift the club up on the backswing and slide the club into the grass behind the ball and accelerate through. The open face will allow you to glide through the grass without digging and allow for the ball to pop out. Allow for extra roll-out, as the ball will not have a great deal of spin on it. Find an area where you can practice this shot. Simply find thick rough, as you do not have to have a practice green to land the ball on.

Do some experimenting 2/10/2019

If your tee shots are inconsistent or shaky, try some experiments the next time that you go to the range. Move your ball position either back or forward in your stance to see if it offers more accuracy and a better ball flight for you. Sometimes having the ball a little too forward will lead to hooks and pulls, while too far back can cause blocks to the right. Try teeing the ball up higher or lower to see which offers you better contact. Spray the face of your driver with foot spray powder to see where you are making impact with with these changes. Give these subtle changes some time, and you may save a lot of strokes with a little adjustment.

Practice correctly, play better 2/17/2019

The quality of practice on the range far outweighs the quantity of time. Many players simply do not have the time to practice too often, so that time should be used well. Beating balls is not practice. Always have your "practice station" ready to include alignment rods for both alignment and to mark ball positions. Select specific targets that are measurable for distance and something that will give you feedback, such as a video or a knowledgeable friend. Go through your pre-shot routine, carefully aim and align for each shot. Pause after a good shot to let the feeling sink in and to let learning take place. Use visualization to feel the shot and see your ball flight. All these will promote improvement in a meaningful way and you will use your practice time much better. Put your emphasis on the short game to lower your scores.