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Need help with Swing Consistency?

Steal Bryson DeChambeau’s secret to swing consistency

Get better swing plane where it matters, near the ball

By Matthew Rudy
Source: GolfDigest

The same few words seem to pop up when describing Bryson DeChambeau’s game: Unique, quirky, or even strange.
What isn’t strange are the results. DeChambeau won his third career PGA Tour event at the Northern Trust, smashing the field by four shots with elite ball-striking using his single-length Cobra irons. DeChambeau hit 16 greens on Sunday on his way to his fourth round of 69 or lower at Ridgewood Country Club, and he made just six bogeys on the week.
The precision and consistency in DeChambeau’s game comes in part from his determination to make every swing on the same plane—literally. “I’ve run his swing on my 3D analysis software, and Bryson is literally more planar than the swing robots they use to design clubs,” says Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher Michael Jacobs. “Even if you wanted to try to do that yourself, I don’t think the average player has the coordination. He really is unique.”

But even with DeChambeau’s idiosyncratic method, there are things you can take away and use to tweak your game. “What gets weekend players in trouble is pushing and pulling on the club with too much force that’s perpendicular to the direction of the swing,” says Jacobs, who is based at Rock Hill Golf & Country Club in Manorville, NY. “That forcing of the club makes the club respond ‘out of plane,” which requires you to make a compensating move to recover.”

You don’t need to try to get your swing on a consistent plane throughout, as long as you can produce more consistency through the “execution phase,” says Jacobs—which is about hip high to hip high. “That’s where swing plane really matters,” he says. “Film your swing from down the line, with the camera on the ball line, and practice making swings where the club doesn’t move very much off the plane line in that phase. That’s going to come from a more neutral address position, where you aren’t aligning your shoulders, hips and feet at different targets, and from more neutral body motions. Get that phase down and you’re going to hit much more consistent shots.”

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Got the Shanks? Here’s how to fix it.

How To Cure The Shanks

The fix for golf’s worst shot

Source: GolfDigest
By Keely Levins

We know, we know. You don’t even want to talk about the shanks for fear bringing the subject up will cause you to catch them. But like it or not, you might find yourself in a situation where you’re going to want to know a solution. Though awful, the plague of the shanks is curable.

First thing you have to do is take a break from the course. You need some alone time to sort this out on the range. Start by checking in on a few basics. Make sure you’re standing tall with your chest up during the swing, don’t hold the club too tightly, and make sure your weight isn’t sneaking up towards your toes. David Leadbetter told us that not tending to all of these little things could be the root of your struggles.

He also gave us a drill that will cure your shanking woes.

Set up like you’re going to hit it, and then put a tee in the ground just outside the toe of the club. While you’re swinging, think about keeping the grip end of the club near your body. “Miss the tee at impact, and you’ll hit the ball in the center of the face,” says Leadbetter.

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Practice to make the perfect putt!

Here are some great tips we found for making the perfect putt!

3 drills that will build a great putting stroke

By Todd McGill
Source: GolfWRX

When you find yourself scratching your head because of all the putts you’re missing, take the time to hit the practice green and work out the kinks. All players go through slumps and face times when their stroke needs touching up, these three drills will go a long way in helping to reestablish a solid putting motion.

1. 4 Tee Drill
This drill is great for focusing on center contact as well as helping to maintain a square putter face through impact.
Most players will associate this drill with the two tees that many players on tour use for solid contact. But what makes this drill different is that by having two sets of tees, it forces us to have a good takeaway, as well as a good, follow through. Just have the two sets spaced 3 to 5 inches apart with the openings of the two sets being slightly wider than your putter. From there, any unwanted lateral movement with your putting stroke will be met by a tee.

2. Coin Drill
This drill pertains to those who tend to look up before hitting a putt which throws off our follow through and makes us manipulate the head. We do this for different reasons, though none of them are justifiable. Because those that keep their head down through the stroke will allow you to have better speed, control and just make a better stroke in general.
To perform this drill, just place the ball on top of the coin and make your stroke. Focusing on seeing the coin after you hit your putt before looking up.

3. Maintain the Triangle drill
One of the biggest things that I see in high handicap golfers or just bad putters, in general, is that they either don’t achieve an upside-down triangle from their shoulders, down the arms, and into the hands as pictured above. If they do, it often breaks down in their stroke. Either way, both result in an inconsistent strike and stroke motion. It also makes it harder to judge speed and makes it easier to manipulate the face which affects your ability to get the ball started online.
I use a plastic brace in the photo to hold my triangle, however, you can use a ball or balloon to place in between the forearms to achieve the same thing.
These three drills will help you establish proper muscle memory and promote strong techniques to help you roll the rock!

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Michael Breed: Try My Secret Move To Flush It From Any Lie

Here’s a good tip we found from GolfDigest to help you with muddy lies.

Source: GolfDigest
By Michael Breed

If winter for you meant no golf, I know you’re itching to get back out there. First, we need to do a little prep work. I’ve learned from all my years in New York that spring lies—those muddy ones with no cushion under the ball—are prime territory for fat shots. And when you hit a few of those, you can lose it fast. Let’s talk.

Golfers who are afraid of hitting the ball fat tend to bend over too much, with their weight on their toes. They feel more in control if they’re closer to the ball. But your body will find its balance as you swing, so you’ll pull up and dump the club behind the ball (fat) or hit it thin. To stay in the shot, set your weight in the arches of your feet. Next: ball position. With an iron, play the ball in line with a spot on your body between the buttons on your shirt and your chest logo (short irons in line with the buttons, longer irons farther forward). I’ve got a 6-iron here (see below).

Image: Click here

Now I’m going to give you just one swing key to think about: Drive your left shoulder closer to your left hip as you start the downswing (far right). That’s probably a strange concept for you, so let’s break it down. I want you to shift toward the target and feel like your upper body is leaning that way, your spine tilting left—we call that side bend. That will shift the low point of your swing in front of the ball so you hit the ball, then the ground. You’ll love that crisp impact, and your confidence will soar because you won’t be worrying about the next iffy lie.

That move—left shoulder toward left hip—also causes your upper body to turn open slightly. Perfect, because that brings your arms and the club back in front of your body, which is another key to avoiding fat shots. Golfers blame fat contact on a steep, choppy swing, but a shallow swing will often skim the ground before impact—and that’s fat, too. The common denominator is, the club hits the ground too soon. Driving your left shoulder forward will prevent that and add compression to your strikes.

So get the ball in the right spot, set your weight in your arches, and focus on that left shoulder. You’ll have the pieces in place to hit it solid—and beat those muddy lies. Come on, spring!

BUTTONS TO THE BALL Focus on two positions at address: (1) Weight in the arches of your feet, never on your toes; (2) Ball just ahead of your shirt buttons (for a middle iron).

TURN INTO YOUR RIGHT SIDE Let your weight shift to the heel of your right foot, and be ready to drive forward. What you do next will determine how solidly you strike the ball.

LEFT SHOULDER TO LEFT HIP This is the key move for solid contact: Drive your left shoulder toward your left hip to start down. When you feel like your spine is tilting left, you’ve got it.

Michael Breed is Golf Digest’s Chief Digital Instructor.


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Why speed is the key on every putt

You’re looking over a long, breaking putt, and in your mind you start drawing a picture of the ball snaking its way to the hole. What’s wrong with that image? Nothing, as long as you don’t forget about speed. Speed is the biggest factor in putting. Good speed with a bad line almost always puts you closer to the hole than bad speed with a good line. Think about that.

“IF YOU USE AN AIMING POINT, MAKE SURE IT’S BEYOND THE HOLE.”

What you need is a way of combining those two elements. You probably already pick an aiming spot on long putts. For a lot of golfers, that spot is the high point of the break, which might be halfway down your line. If that’s what you do, don’t be surprised if you’re leaving putts short—you’re aiming at something halfway to the hole!

For better speed control, try this method. First, estimate the high point of the break, then draw an imaginary line through that point to a spot even with the hole. Second—and this is the big one—move that spot a couple feet farther out on the same line (below). Why? Because you want the ball to have a little roll left when it approaches the hole. To quote Yogi Berra: “Ninety percent of putts that are short don’t go in.”

Here’s one more image to help you get putts to the hole: Picture one of those annoying speed bumps three or four inches before the cup. You want to hit the ball with enough pace to get over the bump. You can even practice this concept with an alignment stick on the green.

The best part about getting the speed right is, you become a better green-reader. You’ll have a mental database to access when you’re reading a putt. The more putts you’ve hit with proper speed, the more experiences you have to guide you. Putts hit with poor speed poison the database.

Michael Breed is Golf Digest’s Chief Digital Instructor.

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How A Doorframe Can Help Your Golf Swing

Source: GolfDigest
By Keely Levins

Learn how to turn back, not sway.

Let’s talk about hip turn. James Kinney, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers and Director of Instruction at GolfTec Omaha, says that from the data GolfTec has collected, they’ve found lower handicap golfers have a more centered lower body at the top of the swing. Meaning, they don’t sway.

If you’re swaying off the ball, you’re moving yourself off of your starting position. The low point of your swing moves back when you sway back, so you’re going to have to shift forward to get your club to bottom out where the ball is. That takes a lot of timing, and is going to end up producing some ugly shots.

So, instead, Kinney says you should turn.
“When turning your hips, you are able to stay more centered over the golf ball in your backswing and the low point of your swing stays in the proper position, resulting in consistent contact.”

To practice turning, Kinney says to set up in a doorway. Have your back foot against the doorframe. When you make your lower body move back, your hip will hit the door fame if you’re swaying. If you’re turning, your hips are safe from hitting the frame.

Remember that feeling of turning when you’re on the course and your ball striking is going to get a whole lot more consistent.

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Cameron Smith’s trick for tight-lie chips: Turn more!

TOUR-TESTED TIPS: Golf’s best players make the game look effortless. How do they do it? That’s what we wanted to find out. Luckily, these guys were more than willing to talk. We tracked down Cameron Smith to teach us the secret to tight-lie chips.

Cameron Smith:

“Weekend players fear tight lies, but the setup is really the same as a basic high chip. My keys are to open the face, position the ball just forward of center in my stance, and make sure that my spine angle is perpendicular to the ground.

From there, I pick out a spot where I want to land the ball on the green then take a final moment to soften my arms and release any tension. From this relaxed position, all you need to do is rotate around your body, back and through, at a smooth pace. There’s no need to lift the ball into the air. The loft on your wedge does it for you.

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How to hit the deceptive ‘fluffy’ lie chip shot, according to a three-time PGA Tour winner

Source: GOLF.com
By GOLF Editors

PGA Tour player Russell Henley explains how to hit the tricky, fluffy chip shot…

You missed the green, but hey, the ball’s sitting up in the rough. Good, right? Maybe. In this situation, it’s not always certain how the ball will come out. As with all short-game shots, crisp contact is the key.

Step 1: Even if you’re short-sided, refrain from opening the face too much. With the ball up, you risk sliding the club right underneath it if you add extra loft. The ball won’t go anywhere. I keep the face square in this situation, or barely opened if I really need more loft to stop it close.

Step 2: I swing as if I’m hitting a little draw, with the club moving in-to-out and my hands rolling over slightly through impact. This helps the club remain shallow, which usually results in cleaner contact. My main thought is to get as many grooves on the ball as possible. Think “glide,” not “chop.”

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WINTERIZE YOUR GOLF GAME

Source: GolfDigest
You’re not into skiing; you can’t skate; you built your last snowman 27 years ago, and that whole dusk at 4:25 p.m. thing really gets you down. We get it. Winter sucks. For those of us who don’t have a nourishing cold-weather activity to pass the time between golf seasons, the “dark months” are brutal. Even worse, as we peek out the window, wondering if it will ever be playable again, our golf games turn to crap. By the time spring rolls around, we’re struggling just to put the ball in play.
✱ Though we understand this annual plight, it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no need to let your game get rusty. These days there are commercial simulators, indoor practice centers, hitting bays with heaters, even software that turns your flatscreen into a virtual-golf experience. What we’re trying to say is that you don’t have to put your sticks away if you live in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota. Just practice anywhere it’s warm.
✱ In this package, tour pros such as Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Cheyenne Woods, and top instructors including David Leadbetter and Stan Utley (above) are going to teach you how to winterize your game while you wait for the big thaw. And for you Sunbelt golfers, these tips work outdoors, too.

GET COMFORTABLE PITCHING OFF TIGHT LIES

By Stan Utley
Whether you’re making swings on artificial turf, like I am here at this indoor facility (see photo above), or you’re practicing on berber in your den, you can get a feel for how your wedge needs to slide along the surface to execute a pitch from a tight or hardpan lie. Come in too steep, and you’re going to feel that hard impact all the way up your arms. Stand tall and swing so the wedge’s sole skims along the ground.
Stan Utley is one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America.

USE THIS TIME TO MAKE A PUTTING CHANGE—FOR THE BETTER

By Hank Haney
The racks are filled with all kinds of putters designed to make rolling the ball easier, and that’s great for some players. But the best putterhead technology in the world isn’t going to help if you can’t control the face through impact. If you think you have the yips, or generally struggle to hit putts on the line you’ve chosen, don’t be afraid to try different ways to hold the club, as well as grips of different shapes and sizes. Shaking things up can really change the way your hands and wrists respond through impact and can calm down extra movement. Here I’m holding an oversize putting grip. If you’re still using a grip of standard thickness, just the different feeling of holding this grip can do wonders for a shaky stroke. It has saved plenty of careers on the professional tours, believe me, and can make putting fun for you again.
Hank Haney is one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America.

HIT SOLID CHIPS WITH YOUR KNEES

By David Leadbetter
Chipping indoors is a time-honored way to get your golf fix on inclement days. But rather than doing it mindlessly, use this time to improve your lower-body action. Many amateurs hit these shots off their back foot, trying to lift the ball into the air. If you hang back with a cushy lie, you might get lucky and still chip it OK. But do it on a door mat, and you might ricochet one off the china cabinet. The goal is to get your weight on the front foot and hit down on the ball. A good technique to ensure that happens is to move your back knee toward the target as you swing down. It can even bump the front knee. This will help you hit it solid. Check this move in front of a mirror to confirm what you’re doing.
David Leadbetter is one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America.

LEARN TO TAKE IT EASY WHEN YOU PUTT

By Jordan Spieth
Putting problems often stem from effort—too much effort. I see a lot of amateurs strangle the grip and then make a jabby stroke. The result is typically a miss, usually short, often crooked. If you make a softer, quieter stroke, the result will almost always be better. Spend this offseason developing smooth tempo by swinging your phone charger back and forth—heavy end hanging down—like you’re making a putting stroke. Notice how you can’t do it if you use too much muscle. You have to stay smooth. Duplicate this effort with a putter in your hands to make a better stroke.
Jordan Spieth is a Golf Digest Playing Editor.

SEE HOW MANY SHOTS YOU CAN PULL OFF WITH ONE WEDGE

By Chris Como
Conventional wisdom in pitching is that you use different clubs to change trajectories. For example, use a 60-degree lob wedge for the soft, floating shots and a 50-degree gap wedge for those low checkers. That’s fine, but I’d rather see you get versatile with just one club. Spend this winter using your sand wedge to hit a variety of pitch shots. Try to hit it super high; make the ball grab and stop; see if you can get it to run out once it lands. Why only one club? It helps improve feel, and that’s super important in the short game. You get more control over your angles of attack and experience different kinds of contact. When it comes time to play again, you’ll have so much more confidence and flexibility with that one club, and your scoring should improve because you’ll be more comfortable in a variety of short-game situations. As a bonus, practicing with one wedge this way will eventually help you be more versatile with all the clubs in your bag. You’ll have so many more tools to navigate a round of golf.
Chris Como is one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America.

FINE-TUNE YOUR PUTTING SETUP NOW!

By Charley Hull
With putting, even the most subtle changes can feel really awkward at first. That’s why it’s smart to make them in the offseason. Be prepared that your putting might get worse before it gets better, but you can’t ignore the importance of fine-tuning—especially your setup. One of the most important things I concentrate on in practice is eye positioning. You should check to make sure your eyes are either directly over the ball or just inside of it, otherwise you’ll probably struggle to hit the putt on the line that you see. You can check your eye positioning by simply setting up for a putt and dropping another ball from your eyes to the ground. Wherever it lands is directly below where your eyes are set. I’ve been working on getting my eyes just inside the ball I address, rather than directly over it. I roll it on line better this way. Give it a try.
Charley Hull won the LPGA Tour’s 2016 CME Group Tour Championship.

USE THIS CROSS-HANDED DRILL TO DISCOVER CONSISTENT CONTACT

By Cameron McCormick
I started coaching Jordan Spieth when he was 12. His swing was idiosyncratic in many ways—his shoulders were dramatically open at address, he’d flare the club inside on the takeaway, his left elbow was bent nearly 40 degrees at the top—but he produced consistent contact that allowed him to shape the ball both ways. As a young teacher, this really challenged me. If I imposed too much traditional swing philosophy on this phenom, surely I’d mess him up. For the first time, I appreciated the idea that the only position in the swing that truly matters is the bottom.
To get my students to understand impact, I often tell them to think of the swing as a large circle traced by the path of the clubhead. On a perfect strike with an iron, the bottom of this circle occurs after the ball is struck. That’ll make a perfect divot. An effective drill to achieve this is to grip the club cross-handed and hit punch shots. That means for right-handers, the left hand is beneath the right as you see here (large photo, above). Swinging cross-handed can be strenuous on the shoulders, so start with 30-yard punches. If you’re flexible, you can work your way to full swings with any iron. You can even use plastic balls in the yard if your course is closed. Like magic, this drill cures two common swing problems: a premature release and getting stuck. I’ll explain how.
Most amateurs go wrong by reaching the bottom of their swing too early. This premature release, also called casting, leads to chunks and tops. Golfers with this issue need to get the shaft leaning forward at impact—the hands slightly ahead of the ball—to shift the bottom of their swing circle forward. When golfers practice with the cross-handed grip, the top hand has a tendency to push the handle toward the target, creating this desired impact position. Remember this feeling when you go back to your normal grip.
A problem more typical of better players is getting stuck, when the hips unwind so fast on the downswing that the club gets trapped behind the body instead of staying in front of it (photos, above). From here they will hit a lot of blocks to the right, or sometimes snap-hooks if they over-correct with the hands. Because the wrists are restricted with a cross-handed grip, these moves become almost impossible. The weight of the clubhead pulls it in front of the body on the downswing. Now the club is in front of the golfer at the bottom, exactly where it should be.
Cameron McCormick is one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America.

TRAIN TO STRIKE A POSE

By Justin Thomas
When I watch amateurs rehearse before hitting a shot, a lot of times I see really nice-looking swings. They look smooth, in no hurry, and they don’t stop until they’ve made a nice wraparound finish. Then they step up to the ball and swing, and it looks short, quick and off-balance. What happened? Well, I’ll let the sport psychologists tackle that one. Rather than focus on that, I want you to pay more attention to what you’re feeling as you make those nice practice swings without a ball. I hope you’ll be doing that a lot around the house this winter. See if you can swing at a pace that allows you to get into a finish position like you’re striking a pose. Here I’ve got my weight on my left side, posting on that leg, and my shoulders and chest are fully rotated. I could stand like this for hours. What I did was swing at a pace where the club was moving its fastest just past impact. The momentum of this acceleration carried me into this pose. Do that over and over, and it will eventually take hold when you get back on the course.
Justin Thomas was the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year for 2017.

A SWING DESIGNED TO CURE THOSE FAT AND THIN SHOTS

By Jorge Parada
The reason you’re not hitting it as solid as you like might be a lack of extension. For right-handers, the right arm should be straightening as the clubhead strikes the ball and continuing to extend post impact. When it stops extending or folds before impact, it’s really difficult to catch the ball in the center of the clubface. There goes your consistency. The common result is the club crashing into the turf behind the ball (fat) or catching it on the upswing with the leading edge (thin). You can train a better golf swing this offseason by making half-speed swings with your right arm only. The weight of the clubhead will support the feeling and motion of the right elbow pushing down as you strike the ground. This feeling and look of extension will continue well past impact.
Jorge Parada is one of Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers.

DON’T HIT THAT BALL, HIT THE NEXT ONE

By Matt Wilson
This is going to be the year you finally start hitting your irons the distances you’re supposed to hit them. How? You’re going to use this winter to learn to swing through the ball, not at it. If you have plastic or foam balls and can work outside, address a ball with your iron, but place a second ball down an inch closer to your target. When you swing, put all your attention on hitting the second ball. This will get you to strike the first ball solidly, and keep the swing going. After a while, take the second ball away, but pretend like it’s still there and try to hit it. Even if you can’t—or won’t—sdwing outdoors, using the “ball in front of the ball” visualization is a great way to put your attention on the target side of the ball. You’ll feel like the clubhead is moving low along the ground after impact—that’s how to pick up a full club on iron shots.

Feel the turn! This stretch will help you gain yards off the tee

Use this quick stretch to get the shoulder action you need to hit bombs.

STEP 1

Take your regular backswing and stop at the top. If you’ve noticed a serious lack of power in your game recently, you probably look like this (photo, below): left elbow bent, hands in close to your body. You’re all arms and no turn, and it’s costing you yards.

STEP 2

Try this: Using your left hand only, swing the club back until your left arm is parallel to the ground and straight. Grab the shaft with your right hand about a foot from the bottom of the grip and pull it toward your right shoulder. Keep pulling it until your left shoulder swings under your chin. That, friends, is a proper windup.

STEP 3

Thanks to this easy drill, you’ve learned how to combine arm swing with shoulder turn to create maximum potential energy on your backswing. Do this on the range when you’re practicing with your driver or even on the box during your round when prepping to tee off. It’s a great way to remind yourself during play to complete your turn and deliver with authority.

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