Putting is a game within a game - 4 keys to success!

Putting is a game within a game – 4 keys to success!

Putting is a game within a game – 4 keys to success!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I have always felt that putting is a game within a game.  In the full swing, as long as I have the correct club selection, all that counts is clubface path and clubface angle. PLUS, if I hit the ball a little offline, I still have the opportunity to hit a good chip or bunker shot to save my par.  Not so with a putt! Once I miss a putt, the shot is gone forever, and I add another stroke to my score. So it is vital that my putting stroke is reliable in order to hit my putts time and time again on the EXACT line I choose.  Once I have that ability, I can become the golfer I always wanted to be!   Tom Stickney II of golfwrx.com, and a Top 100 teacher explains the 4 principals you need to become that golfer!

Repeatability.

One of the most important aspects of putting is the repeatability of your stroke. That’s because reading putts perfectly isn’t very helpful unless you can consistently control your speed and direction on the greens.

The average amateur has little control over how the putter moves back and forth, thus they have little consistency in how the ball comes off the blade. The mechanical side of putting is all about getting the ball to leave the putter face exactly where you want it to.

The question is, how can golfers accomplish greater consistency on the green? Below are 4 keys to help you hone the repeatable putting stroke you’ve always wanted.

The Four Keys

  • Address Alignment of the Putter Face
  • Impact Alignment of the Putter Face
  • The Path of the Putter Head
  • The Rotation of the Putter Head

Note: Before I begin, I want to make clear that I’m only focusing on the horizontal (side-to-side) launch of the ball, which governs the starting direction of your putt based on your intended line. We’ll assume you have perfect vertical (up-and-down) launch characteristics, which will be the topic of another story. 

1) Address Alignment of the Putter Face

It’s nearly impossible to be consistent on the greens if your putter face is aimed away from your target line.

In your practice sessions (on a real putting green or your carpet at home), use visual keys in practice such as putting mirrors, T-squares, chalk lines and lines on the golf ball so you can understand the difference between open, closed and square.

Don’t forget about putter designs! Different players respond differently to certain designs, and finding the right match for you could drastically improve your alignment. Take the time to read what David Edel says about how your alignment changes with different putters.

Putting Analysis Technology.

Also, I highly encourage you to use some kind of putting analysis technology at your closest fitter or instructor that has the technology. It can help you diagnose a problem that you may not even have known existed. I personally recommend SAM Puttlab, an ultrasound machine that measures more than 20 different factors of a putting stroke.

Below is an example of the feedback that SAM Puttlab offers. I have used it in my academies for more than 10 years to give my students a better understanding of their putting motion.

First, note the alignment of the blade at address. You can see that this player has a propensity to line up the face about 2.5-degrees open (to the right) of his intended target. It’s true that many players have issues aiming the putter perfectly at address, which they have to make up for during the stroke by altering their club face or club path into the ball. The more manipulation you have in your stroke, the more you have to rely on your hand/eye coordination to take over for your faulty alignments.

If you’re new to SAM, consult a professional instructor to ensure you’re reading the results properly. Diagnosing your issues is key to developing a plan to improve.

2) Impact Alignment of the Putter Face 

The second factor in putting consistency is the ability to return the blade to square at impact. As we saw above, the sample player’s putter was 2.5-degrees open at address, meaning an adjustment had to be made during the stroke to avoid pushing the ball to the right.

Thankfully, this player closed the putter face during the stroke and had a path that was right down the line. Ultimately, his horizontal launch conditions were not skewed, but it’s a move that’s very difficult to repeat consistently. It’s best to start with a square face, and return the face to square at impact.

NOTE: The face angle of the putter at impact accounts for more than 80 percent of a balls starting direction.

To see the other 2 elements you need to develop a great putting stroke, go here!

Source: Tom Stickney II, Golfwrx

Pictures: Tom Stickney II

Thanks for reading Putting is a game within a game – 4 keys to success!

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Aiming is critical in a really good chip shot!

Aiming is critical in a really good chip shot!

Aiming is critical in a really good chip shot!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

In order to hit a consistently good chip shot on the golf course, you have to do two things. Select the correct club and aim the clubface correctly.  Easier said than done! Here, Piers Ward and Andy Proudman of Meandmygolf help you understand both things. Now all you have to do is go to the chipping green and work on this!

The shaft angle can make a big difference in your chipping.  The more shallow the shaft, the more the clubface will tend to aim to the left.  Get the shaft in a more upright position for better chipping.  And check the grip.  You want a neutral grip, meaning the palm of the lower hand and the back of the upper hand are facing the target.  Do these two things to really help our chipping!

Golf tip – Chipping it close. In this week’s Go Low PGA Professionals Piers Ward and Andy Proudman talk about set up and grip to help you improve your accuracy when chipping.

Source: Meandmygolf

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Brush Up on your Fundamentals with Smylie Kaufman!

Brush Up on your Fundamentals with Smylie Kaufman!

Brush Up on your Fundamentals with Smylie Kaufman!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Smylie Kaufman is better known for his friendship with Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler than his accomplishments on the golf course where he has won only once on the PGA Tour.  This came in 2015 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.  But what he does have is a great golf swing that is very fundamentally sound and is a perfect role model to learn from.  Thanks to  and Ron Kaspriske of Golf Digest for such an interesting and informative article!

Make a list of Your Specific Swing Keys.

Just a guess, but there are probably three or four things you need to work on with your golf swing to improve. Am I right? Then jot them down. I don’t care if you use an index card, like I do, or dictate them to your smartphone. Just make a list of swing keys, and when you practice, stick to them. For example, maybe you swing off your back foot and need to transfer your weight better. Or maybe you cut your swing off short, and should let your chest keep turning.

Whatever issues you have, don’t let them always get the best of you because you’re not paying attention to how to fix them. Working with my swing coach, Tony Ruggiero, I’ve identified four fundamentals that I constantly try to improve. Keeping the index card handy allows me to stay on point. See if my notes can help you be a better ball-striker, too.


Whenever my swing gets a little funky, I go back and check to see that my right arm isn’t drifting too far away from my body when I make a backswing. A little separation is fine, but a real loss of connection means it’s going to be a challenge to re-sync my arm swing with my body pivot on the way down, so my timing isn’t off. I want everything turning back together, so I’ll often work on keeping my shirt sleeve tucked into my armpit as I make a backswing.
 
Here I’m demonstrating what I mean by bunching my shirt into the armpit as I make a one-handed backswing (pictured). This helps remind me to keep the movement of my arms and body in sync.
 

BACKSWING: DON’T SWAY

 
Brush Up on your Fundamentals with Smylie Kaufman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a Full Turn.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Making a full turn and really loading up the right side as you take the club back is a huge power generator. Do that and you can really hit the ball hard. However, be careful you don’t let your body sway a lot in that direction. That will make it much harder to get back to the ball and produce solid contact. One thing I do to prevent that sway is to make a backswing where my pivot feels centered over the top of the ball (pictured above). Tony will even hold an alignment stick next to the right side of my head as a reminder. If I bump it, I’m swaying too much.
 
 
Pictures: 
 
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How to stop topping the golf ball forever!

How to stop topping the golf ball forever!

How to stop topping the golf ball forever!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Topping the golf ball is a malady that every beginner golfer goes through.  In order to get rid of this swing flaw, the golfer needs to have the ability to control the bottom of the swing arc.  That control is achieved by two things – The length of the lead arm and the position of the head remaining constant.  Rickard Strongert of Videojug explains this in an easy to understand manner!

Videojug’s golf guru Rickard Strongert explains how to avoid topping the ball. Learn the basics of golf, and make sure that your ball always get’s off the ground with this short tutorial. Improve your golf game the Videojug way!

Source: Videojug

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What is your Killer Move in the Golf Swing?

What is your Killer Move in the Golf Swing?

What is your Killer Move in the Golf Swing?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Every amateur golfer has a Killer Move in the golf swing.  The one move that completely ruins their chances of hitting consistent golf shots.  Today we have Alistair Davies of Alistair Davies Golf to explain the dreaded “chicken wing” and the importance of NOT keeping the head down too long!

Avoid these killer moves – Part 3.This video is the third in the series avoid these killer moves. This video focuses on the impact conditions. Alistair discusses how golfer’s tend to lose their arm radius and keep their heads down too long. This is what he commonly sees on his lesson tee. Look out for the rest of the series on Killer moves.

Source: Alistair Davies Golf

Picture: Peter Dutton

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Learn the Secrets of the Long Ball with Dustin Johnson!

Learn the Secrets of the Long Ball with Dustin Johnson!

Learn the Secrets of the Long Ball with Dustin Johnson!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Dustin Johnson is the longest, straight hitter on the PGA Tour.  He accomplishes this with a combination of these things: an amazingly strong and flexible body, a wider stance that tilts the spine angle slightly back, and a slightly open stance to help cut across the ball slightly, giving him a very powerful baby fade!  Today, Piers Ward and Andy Proudman of Meandmygolf talk to Dustin and find out the secrets of the long ball!

In this week’s Impact Show PGA Professionals Andy Proudman and Piers Ward Interview world number 3 Dustin Johnson about how he smashes his driver. During the video Dustin gives some useful advice to anyone looking to get that extra distance off the tee and how he hits the ball over 300 yards.

Source: Meandmygolf

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Learn how to Master the Fairway Bunker Shot with Ian Poulter!

Learn how to Master the Fairway Bunker Shot with Ian Poulter!

Learn how to Master the Fairway Bunker Shot with Ian Poulter!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

The fairway bunker shot is one of the easier shots for the PGA and LPGA Tour player, and yet, the average player seems to struggle with this shot.  Ian Poulter, European Tour winner and Ryder Cup player explains the art of this shot. The keys are getting a good footing,  choosing the correct club and making sure to hit the ball first.   Thanks to Ian and Golf Monthly for sharing this informative video!

In part two of our Ian Poulter tips series, he explains how to hit the fairway bunker shot.

Source : Golf Monthly

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Are you aware of the flaws that are sabotaging your game?  

Are you aware of the flaws are sabotaging your game?

Are you aware of the flaws that are sabotaging your game?  

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

How many times during a round do you hit a shot that is just so bad that you’re dumbfounded as to where that came from?  Well, you are not alone.  Even the top professionals sometimes have a “brain fart.”  However, they have sports psychologists that work with them on a regular basis to make sure that it does not happen too often.  John Haime of Golfwrx gives us a few ways to improve our own game.

 

Melinda Harrison.

I was inspired to write this article by a quote I come across from a friend of mine, Melinda Harrison, a former Olympic swimmer who specializes in helping athletes transition from the world of sport to their next great venture.

“If you do not see the wave coming, it can smack you down and pull you under leaving you feeling tossed around, upside down, gasping for breath and picking out sand from areas you never knew existed,” she wrote.          

I knew this feeling well in my golf game. I was tossed around often. In fact, these waves were blind spots that eventually derailed a golf career that had promise. I found myself metaphorically picking sand from areas I never knew existed (far too many times), and I wasn’t understanding how it happened.

What are the blind spots in your game? Those waves you don’t see coming that leave you tossed around and falling short of your capabilities.

Right now is a great time of the year to roll up your sleeves and reflect on what happened during the year — and what you might do in 2017 to get more enjoyment and make some positive strides in your game. How was your golf year? Happy with it? Wanting more?

In a reflection exercise, I highly recommend you consider your own blind spots, and what might be unconsciously holding you back from moving forward and getting more out of your game.

Blind spots damage performance

Working with world-class performers every day, I can assure you that understanding blind spots is important in performance. Almost every performer I have worked with has them, and I expect you do, too. Part of my job is to help these world-class performers identify their blind spots, making sure they have a clear view of what’s beneath their awareness and might therefore be holding them back.

Let’s highlight the idea of blind spots by using my own professional golf career as an example. This may help you start thinking about your own blind spots and get the wheels turning. I had a few tendencies that were constantly beneath my awareness that kept me on the treadmill and not striding forward on a steady, consistent career path.

A few examples:

To see the examples of what to look for in your mental game, go here!

Source: John Haime   Golfwrx

Pictures: Susan   Golfwrx

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Bubba Watson might be the longest driver on Tour, but Jordan Spieth is the best all around player!

What is the correct motion to set the wrists on the backswing?

What is the correct motion to set the wrists on the backswing?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

There is no specific way to set the wrists on the backswing.  Johnny Miller and Hubert Green set their wrists very early on the backswing.  Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have almost no wrist cock until their backswing passes hip height.  Piers ward and Andy Proudman of Meandmygolf give a very good explanation on the various options available to you.

In today’s Impact Show, we talk about when and how to set your wrists in the backswing. We also share our preferences and ideas on how to set the wrists, although there is no one way to do it.

Source : Meandmygolf

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Can you make a full shoulder turn - I bet you can!

Can you make a full shoulder turn – I bet you can!

Can you make a full shoulder turn – I bet you can!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

A full should turn is part and parcel of the “power package” in the golf swing.  But, as Chuck Quinton of Rotary Swing.com (why he does not introduce himself at the beginning of the video is a mystery to me) shows us, a poor shoulder turn is the product of trying to start the backswing with the lead side.  By using the trailing side, you have a much better chance of making a full shoulder turn.  Work on this on the range before you try it on the course just to get comfortable in changing the sequence pattern of your golf swing.

Now that you know you can make a full shoulder turn, it’s time to add some POWER back into your golf swing!

Source: RotarySwing.com Golf Instruction

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