Swinging as one unit

Published 10:15 am Friday, April 19, 2013

Good weather is here to stay and golfers are hitting the course and the practice range tuning up their games. The one place we see get the least amount of use is the practice putting green and short game area. Most golfers want to hit range balls and not focus on the shorter ‘scoring’ shots.

If the short game is over 50 percent of the score in a typical round, then shouldn’t your practice time require at least that much time?

Let’s start with some putting fundamentals as better putting is where a golfer can have the most immediate impact on lowering their scores. To help improve your putting try the following:

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Focus on swinging your shoulders, arms, hands and putter as one ‘unit. Most poor putting comes from allowing the wrists to hinge unnecessarily creating an inconsistent stroke and poor rolling putts. Take the ‘wristy’ move out of your putting stroke. A drill to help get that ‘feel’ is to set the putter down directly behind the ball and without any back stroke simply ‘push’ the ball toward the hole. (This is of course illegal during play)

Another major fault we see is poor aim when putting; have a professional or even a friend check your alignment by standing behind you and insuring that your are aimed where you think you are. It is amazing how many students we see who have tailored their strokes to fit their poor aim. How can you expect to hole putts when you aren’t aimed where you want to go?

It may be more fun to hit long clubs on the practice range but if you want to improve your score start by working on the short game and focus on the putting first! Next week we will share some tips on improving your short ‘scoring’ shots.

Marc Brady, PGA and Buddy Manson, PGA are available for private lessons to members and guests at Tryon Country Club. Junior and ladies clinics are held every Wednesday and also open to members and non-members as well.

See you on the course!