Before you play a round of golf, it’s best to loosen your muscles and joints with some warm-up exercises. Here are five quick moves that you can do between the clubhouse and the first tee that will help get the blood pumping.
- Arm circles- Raise your arms to shoulder height and start making small circles with your hands, widen the arc, change speeds and reverse the direction.
- Shoulder stretch- Take your 3 wood and place your hands at either end. Keeping your body still, hold the club parallel to your waist and then lift it up over your head and behind you. Repeat the motion.
- Torso turns- Hold a club parallel to the ground and turn your shoulders to the left and then to the right. Repeat the motion.
- Knee bends- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lower your body by bending at the knees, then raise back up. Keep your upper body still. Repeat the motion.
- Standing toe touches- Stand with your arms outstretched at shoulder height and with your feet spread apart, bend at the waist and touch the fingers of your right hand to the toes on your left foot. Repeat with the left hand and right foot.
Jeremy Rivando, PGA of Canada
Bunker Shots - Sand Traps
Bunker shots tend to scare many golfers and with the right technique you can turn that fear into confidence and success.
Get into the bunker and settle your feet an inch or so into the sand, your foot alignment should be to the left of your target. The ball should be forward in your stance, slightly ahead of centre.
Keep the face wide open throughout the swing. You want to have the club open as you splash down into the sand. The swing should be outside to in, meaning that you want to swing the club away from your body as you go back and then to the inside as you accelerate through the shot. You should finish the shot with a full follow through.
You do not hit the ball, you hit the sand behind and underneath the ball. Don’t try to “pick” the ball out of the trap, you’ll want to hit the sand first, your focus should be on a spot about an inch behind the ball.
Spend some time practicing in the sand while utilizing these tips and they should help you feel more comfortable and confident over your next bunker shots.
Jeremy Rivando, PGA of Canada
There are so many ways to putt. Normal grip, cross handed, pencil grip, belly putter, long putter etc.. No matter which way you choose, there are a few things you should always be aware of:
- Grip pressure: should be light and tension free
- Your arms should hang straight down and your eyes should be over the ball
- Feet shoulder width apart and standing in balance. (weight should not move during putt)
The stroke should be 1/3 back and 2/3 through. (always a slight acceleration)
- Follow through should stay low and club face pointing at your intended line.
- Always hold your finish, and don’t look up until your putt has gone half way.
- Vary the length of your stroke to control distances. (long putt = longer stroke)
- The putter has a sweet spot!! Finding it will help keep putts on line with proper speed.
Be sure to practice and have fun!
Jamie Moran, PGA of Canada
5-Wood or Hybrid Blast
Sometimes a trick for playing a shot is discovered, and it's so effective it spreads and becomes a trend on tour. That’s the case with a long shot from medium to heavy rough. Instead of merely advancing the ball with an iron, guys are blasting away with a 5-wood or hybrid. To play it, position the ball forward in your stance, in line with the toe of your front foot. Open the clubface so it’s aimed slightly wide of your target.
(1) Lean into your front foot at address with about 75% of your weight on your forward foot.
(2) On the takeaway, break your wrists early to encourage a steep, downward blow
(3) Hit down sharply, taking as little grass behind the ball as possible
(4) Drive the clubhead down through impact, shredding the grass beyond the ball. This technique makes the ball come out low, hot and running, dead straight with little spin.
Hitting too Early
Ever wonder why the pros look like they swing so smoothly yet hit the ball so far? The key is they don’t try and hit the ball too soon.
Most amateurs try to swing hard and hit the ball as soon as they get to the top of their backswing. This causes a couple of problems. First the club tends to get thrown out and across you target line and secondly the power angle formed between the trailing arm, wrists and shaft is released too soon, eliminating the “power lag” in the swing. Let your shoulder arms and hands drop below your armpit then swing hard through the
This is the “magic move” that all the pros have.
Golf is a target game and if you are like most golfers you more often than not miss your target. The important thing is to not miss your target by too much.
If your target is the middle of the fairway or the green and you miss it you will end up in the rough or missing the green all together. Make your target small. Don’ t just aim for the middle of the fairway or just to hit the green. Aim for a specific spot in the fairway or on the green. Narrow your target – Narrow your focus.
When you miss your target you won’t miss it by as much.
If you have a tendency to swing to hard or lack balance in your swing try the following exercise:
Place four balls about three inches apart in a straight line with the center of your
Set up in your address position.
Now with a “tick tock” back and forth swinging motion, strike the closest ball first down the line and without stopping, hit the next three balls, one at a time, stepping forward slightly with each shot. Be rhythmic and let this exercise flow with a little hit at the bottom of the swing arc.
Breathe in on the backswing and out during your hit. Relax during this exercise. Only squeeze the muscles when you make the hit, toward the bottom of each swing, just during actual impact.
Swing the clubhead through the ball to your target.