Play to your strength

The Lesson Tee………
By Director of Instruction, Andy Scott School of Golf

Maximizing your game to your fullest potential:

When I watch amateur golfers on the golf course I see so many shots wasted due to poor judgment or trying to play a shot that is not realistic to ones skill level. Here are two simple ways to help you make good decisions and play to your strengths.

 

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I see many amateurs struggle with not hitting enough club on their approach shots. This in turn will leave them the most dreaded shot in golf “the in between shot” which is not a full swing and not a simple chip shot close to the green.

A big shot saver you might try the next time you are on the golf course is to try and hit more club on your approach shots. For example, if I was going to hit an 8 iron from 160 yards I would hit the 7 iron instead, a longer and stronger lofted club. This will increase your chance of getting the ball pin high or hole high. If you accomplish this task you just made the next shot 100% easier.

You might keep track how many times during the round you get the ball past pin high to see how good you decision making skills are coming with club selection. Another shot saver would be to make sure you use a club you know you can hit solid and get in the air when know you can’t get to the green.

I see so many players try and try to hit low lofted clubs like 3 woods, 5 woods, or 3 irons from the ground with no success. These clubs are very difficult to hit solid and get up in the air even for the low handicap players, due to the low loft on the club.

We also need to remember we are hitting off of Bermuda grass. With Bermuda grass the ball will tend to sit down closer to the ground making these clubs even more difficult to hit. If you seem to have more success up north with these clubs it is because the grass is very different. The most prevalent northern grass is bent grass. This type of grass props the ball up much more and makes the longer clubs much easier to hit. It is almost like you have the ball teed up.

Don’t feel bad if you are struggling with these clubs. Join the club because 95% of all players are struggling along side of you. The next time you are on the golf course try a higher lofted club like a 7 wood or hybrid. If this doesn’t seem to do the trick try more loft until you find success. Just remember a solid wedge will always go further than a whiffed or chunked 3 wood.

Play for success not failure. Until next time………see you on the lesson tee.

 

 

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Posture

The Lesson Tee…….
By Director of Instruction, Andy Scott School of Golf

Posture:

Posture is a term we are all very familiar with in our daily lives. Maintaining good posture allows the spine to hold the body up with the structure of the bones in the spine. When the shoulders slump or the spine curves from a standing or sitting position, the body has to shift into overdrive to compensate for being out of balance. The muscles of the body will now have to work over time to support the weight of the body.

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The body works and functions at its best when the body is in Skeletal Balance. What is Skeletal Balance? This is simply putting the body in position to allow the bones to support the weight of the body with the least amount of stress on the muscles. In the sports arena, this is a highly important element. When the body is placed in Skeletal Balance, it has the best chance to remain balanced and perform movement to its highest potential.

Most players tend to have too much curve in their spine and or, too much flex in the knees at the address position. This will place the body out of balance before the swing has even begun.

To create Skeletal Balance, we need to learn how to bend correctly from the hip sockets, along with placing the right amount of flex in the knees at the address position.

Here is the sequence to getting into the perfect set up position. I call it “The Dance”, because it is like learning a new dance move!

-Start from a standing position, while maintaining a straight spine with your chest out, hold the club out in front of you (arms fully extended) parallel to the ground.

-Kick the butt out while maintaining a straight spine.

-Let the arms drop separately until the club touches the ground.

-The arms should now be hanging under the shoulders in front of your body.

-Without the butt moving inward toward the ball, bend the knees slightly to maintain proper balance. (If you have too much flex in the knees, your butt will tuck under your torso causing you lose your spine angle or tilt).

-Take a couple of waggles and let it rip!

Note: Practice your new dance move at home in front of a mirror or at the practice range and you will see very quickly how athletic and balanced it looks and feels. You are now in the optimal set up position, “Skeletal Balance”!

Until next time………see you on the lesson tee.

 

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Productive practice

The Lesson Tee……
By Director of Instruction, Andy Scott School of Golf

Are you being productive when you practice?

Practice: Repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency.

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In order to improve our games through practice we must learn “how to practice”. Most people just go to the range and bang ball after ball with no real purpose to their practice session while hoping for improvement to their game. This is not a good recipe for success or improvement. If you went to a piano and banged on the keys for an hour, do you think you have improved your skills? NO! You must have some kind of game plan and purpose when practicing to improve skill level.

We have all heard stories of the Tour Professionals hitting balls for hours at a time when they practice. The only part of the story that we never hear about is how they practice during those hours of practice on the range. You might find it interesting to know they have a practice plan for each day that is broken down into multiple mini practice sessions for all aspect of their game. This allows them to break down their entire game into small practice sessions each day they practice. These practice sessions involve ten to fifteen minute work outs on different parts of there game so they can maintain focus and productivity with each session.

The research has proven the average person has about a 15 minute window of focus in one area at a time; after the 15 minute window passes, performance levels and focus tend to nose dive.

If we are going to learn anything from this it would be the power of practicing different parts of our game in smaller time increments.

Put together a practice plan for the week. Make sure to implement the full swing and short game into each practice session. Break it down into to what ever categories you like and try to spend a maximum of 15 minutes on each category. Try to be specific with your practice plan. For example: I am going to hit twenty putts from twenty five feet and see how many I can two putt, or I am going to hit 15 balls from a tee with a seven Iron and see how many I get airborne. Use your imagination for practice try and make it fun!!

Until next time……..see you on the lesson tee.

 

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Putt like the tour Pros

The Lesson Tee……..
By Director of Instruction, Andy Scott School of Golf

Putt like the Tour Pros

When I watch the Tour Players on the putting green, there is one universal trait they all have in common. They all have great control over where the ball ends up after they have struck the putt. This is called speed control. Speed is the most important factor to becoming a solid putter. Speed will always trump line. For example: If you hit a putt off line by two feet and your speed is perfect you would only be two feet away solidifying a two putt. If you hit a putt perfectly on line, but your speed is off, you have just increased your chances of a three putt.

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The good news for all of us is that we all have the ability to putt the ball as well as the Tour Professionals because it does not require extreme strength, flexibility, or speed, to make a putting stroke. The putting stroke is not about power and speed. It is all about controlling where the ball ends up after the putt has been struck.

In order to have good speed we must fist learn how to move the putter correctly on both sides of the ball. I like to call it “Smooth to Smooth”. The putter should have the same tempo on both sides of the ball. Here is a great way to work on this element.

Right Hand Only Tempo Drill: “Smooth to Smooth” (right handed player)

-Grab your putter, a tee, and three golf balls and head to the practice green.

-Place the tee in the ground any where on the practice green.

-Drop the golf balls down on the green fifteen feet from the tee.

-Hold the putter in the right hand only while placing your left hand behind your back.

-Make two practice strokes trying to emulate a smooth stroke on both sides “Smooth to Smooth”.

-Hit three putts towards the tee trying to stop each ball as close to the tee as possible.

-Try same process from different locations around the tee. For example: You might try an uphill, downhill, and side hill putts.

-Move tee to a new location and repeat process from a longer distance.

The only way to sharpen your skills is to put time and effort into the process. I challenge you all to spend more time on the putting green to work on your “Speed Control”.

Until next time……..see you on the lesson tee.

 

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Putting Tempo

The Lesson Tee…..
By Director of Instruction, Andy Scott School of Golf

How to lower your putting average

Are you tired of those brain numbing three putts that drive you nuts on the golf course? To most players putting seems to be the easiest part of the game therefore there is really no need to practice this skill. In reality this is 30 to 40% of your score. The average player averages 36 plus putts per round. If we reduce this average to a realistic 30 putts per round we would see a dramatic drop in individual scores. For example, that 94 you shot the other day POOF is now an 88. Sounds pretty good huh?

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I guess you are asking how we are going to lower our putting average. It all comes down to the rhythm of the stroke. The most important in-swing fundamental is to swing the putter with a smooth tempo on both sides of the ball. Most amateurs struggle with putting because of changing tempos during the stroke.

For instance you might see a player with a short smooth backswing and very quick follow through or on the other hand you might see a player with a fast back swing and slow decelerating follow through. To achieve smooth tempo on both sides of the ball let the length of stroke match the length of putt. As the putt gets longer so does the length of your putting stroke. This will allow the player to maintain solid tempo creating good speed and control. A good rule of thumb to always remember is good speed always trumps accuracy.

Now that you have learned the secrets to better putting get out your putter and try this smooth tempo on both sides of the ball. Until next time see you on the lesson tee.

 

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