May 14th, 2008
We all know the saying ‘A bad workman always blames his tools’, yet today, with the advances in technology, this saying is not so easily dismissed. And, golf is no exception.
Golf club technology is bounding ahead in huge strides. So much so, that a number of drivers are deemed ‘illegal’ by the golfing powers to be purely because they offer the golfer too much advantage.
One problem area where the golf club can make a huge difference is ‘shanking’ – you know, that horrible feeling when the hosel part of the clubhead hits the golf ball first, sending your ball very off course. And have you noticed, that once you do one shank, you do more!!
Although shanking is attributed to an incorrect swing path, much of the reason is linked to the golfers mental state and loss of trust in their clubs….you know, those tools we blame!!
Having trust in your golf equipment is essential to a good golfing state of mind. In most cases, changing your clubs will NOT correct your bad golf technique, shanking is perhaps an exception. In this case however, it is not so much the brand of club but rather the type of club you are using.
- Standard irons - the hosel is either in line with or ahead of the club face, making shanking more likely.
- Hybrid irons - are half iron, half wood with the hosel up and out of the way, significantly reducing the likelihood of shanking
- Fairway woods – have the entire face forward of the shaft and hosel, giving you as much chance of shank proofing your golf shots
So before you go storming off to buy a new set of clubs, try changing your iron for a fairway wood for a while, let that mental condition have a chance to get out of the way of your golf swing, then work your way back to your irons again.
May 12th, 2008
Golf doesn’t end when the weather gets bad. Someone once told me that golf is like a marriage. You can’t expect good results if you only give it attention every few months. Golf is a ‘relationship’, you need to build on it every day.
During the winter breaks why not set yourself some off-course goals:
- Increase your golf fitness – check out our pages for golf fitness exercises. The improved flexibility frees up your swing and reduces injuries. The increased physical fitness also helps your mental endurance and control.
- Check back on some of the basics – like your grip and address. Check out these videos. You can save yourself thousands of dollars in golf lessons trying to overcome a problematic drive, when maybe just adjusting your grip is all that is needed.
- Check your club head for alignment – the lines on the face of a club head, and the bottom curve can be deceptive.
- Learn how to use your legs in the swing to improve your accuracy – get rid of hooks and slices
- Learn how to put a pro spin on your pitches and chips – the ball will climb higher, stop faster, and give you precision shots from 120 yards out to within inches of the pin. All by fooling around in your living room with some plastic balls and a chipping net
No try telling me there is no golf in winter!!
April 9th, 2007
Really! Of course not! If you want to win at anything in life, you need the right tools for the action at hand. The right mental tools, the right physical tools and the right tools of action.
In Golf, not having the right golf clubs for your physique and game ability is pretty much like trying to play golf with a tennis racket. As hard as you try, and as perfect as your swing may be, you are just not able to compete with a player of similar physical and mental ability, who has the right action tools.
Getting fitted for golf clubs is an easy process â€“ and it is not limited to buying new clubs. Most pro shops offer club fitting services for existing clubs and when you are buying second hand clubs.
Not only does your golf game suffer with badly fitted clubs â€“ you can also strain your body and end up with debilitating tendonitis.
Donâ€™t let your ego get in the way of getting the best golf clubs for you. Too often we want golf clubs that are beyond our capability, on the pretense that we will soon grow into them. Clubs that are too advanced for your current ability will increase your game score, and act as a barrier to improving your game. Stiffer shafts are required for faster golf swings. The angle or lie of the head takes account for these speed and flex components. If your golf swing is too slow for the club and shaft, the flight of your ball will be compromised.
Golf is one game where a bad golfer can [at times] blame their tools â€“ but at the end of the line, it is you who chooses those tools â€“ so take care to choose wisely.
You can find more of custom fitting golf clubs here.
March 10th, 2007
Many of the golf injuries sustained are through lack of technique, but most are from lack of fitness.
A typical golf swing is an explosive action, demanding rapid response from muscles more tuned to more gradual exertion. No wonder that so many new Golfers rip the delicate tendons around the elbow, resulting in Golfers Elbow and Tennis Elbow. A little more time put into golf fitness BEFORE you start tackling 100 balls on the driving range will go a lot further than your drive distance. Itâ€™s more about keeping you on the golf course, rather than on the physiotherapists table.
But take caution in the type of exercise you choose, and the technique employed performing that exercise. And believe me, I am talking from experience.
Before I took up golf I embarked on a two month golf specific training program. It prepared my body for the postural, balance, core strength and flexibility. However, I overlooked some of the smaller, more localised areas. In an attempt to train my fast twitch muscle response I took up Kick Boxing. All was going great â€“ until I damaged my right elbow from locking it out too much in the punch. A simple mistake, but it has been an irritating injury now for over 4 months.
So although, I have no suffered any golf related injuries, I did fail to learn sufficiently about the exercise technique and how these types of injuries are sustained. I rectified that omission and have put together a resource to help not to fall into this same trap.
Learn from my mistake – take a bit of time to learn about the most common golf injuries, and how to prevent them. GolfSwingClub.com provide detailed information on golfing injuries and plenty of exercise drills to help condition your body for the specific golf swing mechanics.
Listen to every signal your body gives you. And take care in your response. I am now using a simple hand grip to increase muscle strength in the forearm and to recover from my elbow injury. With the knowledge I have now gained, and the improved strength in my arms, I plan not to repeat this experience. Iâ€™m sure there are others waiting for meâ€¦.but for now, Iâ€™m back on course.
February 22nd, 2007
Well my great fast track to golf proficiency plan just suffered itâ€™s first major set back. Whilst searching for my partners errant golf ball amongst an architectural landscape of rocks I sort of forgot that my trainer looking golf shoes were sporting plastic sprigs. And of course, sprigs donâ€™t grip too well to rocks. End result was a badly smashed up joint between my second phalanges and metatarsal. Five weeks later and I still canâ€™t put too much weight on my foot or risk any sideways pressure. Of course, this means that my upright golf swing drills have not been too comfortable either.
So that was lesson 1 â€“ Golf Shoes are not intended for walking on rocks.
I have however been able to concentrate on my upper body and spinal flexibility training. Whilst this has at least kept my upper body flexible, I certainly noticed my lack of swing drills when I ventured back to the course yesterday. If nothing else, the drills reinforce the routines I use in my in my preparation, address and swing. It took the first 4 or 5 holes to even start remembering. Now this was nothing more than me being slack and distracted by taking twice as long to do normal tasks around the house. [Violins playing!!]
Seriously, the whole exercise was a great lesson 2 – reinforcement of how valuable these drills are. Even if you cannot complete the full movement, the mental patterning of the routine is invaluable.
After a pain free day today, I have grabbed a wood and iron out of my golf bag and it will be swing drills in the morning â€“ right after a warm up, naturally.
February 15th, 2007
The growth of 9 hole golf is underpinned by the fast paced, convenience based power lifestyles of Generation Y today. Many players today do not have the time to commit 4-4.5 hours to cover an 18 hole game.
So it was not unexpected to see a shorter version of the game launched.
PowerPlay golf aims to make golf a â€œshorter, more accessible and more popular gameâ€; and was launched this week at Northwick Park by a former Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup captain Peter McEvoy, director of a Playgolf.
The PowerPlay Format
- Played over nine holes, with two flags on each green, one white and one black. The black flag marks the more difficult pin position.
- Each player nominates at the start of each hole, which flag they will aim for.
- Uses stableford method of scoring and players who nominate a black pin and pick up a birdie or better, gain extra points.
- Players must select this ‘powerplay’ option three times a round.
- The final hole represents a bonus fourth and final ‘powerplay’, the only difference being that a 30-foot diameter circle is placed around the black flag. A shot inside the target area is rewarded with three points while a failed attempt means two docked points.
PowerGolf aim to move this on to the pro game; with golf clubs hosting regular PowerPlay golf events as part of their annual schedule.
As a recent entrant into this obsessive game, I enjoy a quick 9 hole game, which is much easier to fit into my work:play routine. I do find though that it seems all over a little too quickly, so can appreciate how this format will add a little more interest to the short term. I will be looking forward to watching this format develop.
February 15th, 2007
As a middle aged business women with a wide range of interests I have little opportunity to harness 4-5 hours during the week to indulge in a sport such as 18-holes of Golf. That of course is on top of the countless hours of driving range practice and instruction.
A common approach of mine to anything in life, is play to ones strengths, rather than indulging countless hours in trying to overcome ones weaknesses.
So it wasn’t out of character for me to apply the same approach to Golf. My natural impatience would be put aside and I would concentrate on how I could be utilised my natural athletic ability to mastering this Game in quick time.
Being a supporter of fitness and health programs I figured this would be the best approach for me, so investigated the biomechanics of the Golf Swing, and developed a fitness program to ‘readify’ my body to the game, before I hit a single ball.
After three weeks of work outs, I hit the driving range and as pleasantly surprised with the results. Three weeks later I was out-driving most of my golfing partner.
Now I recognise that the drive is only one part of the game, but having got to a reasonable level of competence there I started next on the putting, then chipping and pitchcing and finally the fairway shots.
Applying the same physical and mental tools I used to kick off my game entry I am enjoying the fact that much of my Golf practice can be done at home, in a few minutes here and there througout the day.
Whilst I was not born a GenY, I certainly live the lifestyle and quickly adapt most routines to suit my interwoven daily routine.
This site represents the collection of knowledge that I gathered on my journey into Golf and my Blog will account for my progress, in both the Game and everything that surrounds it.