Are You A Serious Golfer?

I would consider myself a serious golfer. Well, to a degree I do because as an amateur there are limitations to my abilities and motivation to be a better players. This is an unfortunate reality for most players who at one time in their career were too involved to realize that their “dedication” to the game was actually hurting their scores. This seems to be the case for Jordan Spieth as he recently explains during an interview.

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Who Needs More Than One Wedge – I Do!

In my younger playing days, I rarely used anything other than a pitching wedge for shorts within 100 yards. I would open the face, hood it, over swing, and choke down for delicate shots. It was my everything club and I thought I was playing great golf. At that time I was a solid 12 handicapper and felt that by focusing on one wedge, I held the secret to lowering my index. Boy, could I have not been more wrong!

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Hoping For A Change in Your Golf Score

Practice is important to lower golf scores.

Our golf score is really the bench mark for how well we perform on the course. Naturally, that score is a bit deceiving from time to time, but overall it is what golfers talk about after their round. The first question at the 19th hole is “What did you shoot?” Of course most golfers downplay they score and explain that they left at least 3 strokes on the course. Now, fast forward a week and the same conversation is occurring between the same players, with the same results. Now is that not the definition of insanity?  Continue reading

What Causes a Chili Dip in Golf?

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Too much wrist action while chipping!

Not again! I exclaimed on the course not to long ago. Everyone has heard of the yips while putting, well, I had a case of the chili dips! Yup, each time I walked toward my ball, I started to second guess my course management of hitting the ball as close to the green as possible to chip the ball in or close to the hole. Normally, this strategy works very well as my short game is fairly strong. However, during this round…..

“Chili dip” is a slang term in golf that refers to a type of mis-hit. When a golfer chili-dips his shot, it means that his club struck the ground behind the ball, digging up turf and resulting in little or no contact with the ball itself. The result of a chili dip is a golf ball that doesn’t go very far, possibly moving only a few feet or barely at all. (about.com)

The chili dip is the bane of most amateurs on the links. The number of miss hits around the green quickly jacks up their score and frustration. I gave it some thought and decided on three main reasons (although there are many more) why a player hits the ball fat while chipping. Here is what I see:

First, too much wrist action. Players try to help the ball get in the air and use too much wrist action to move the ball. As a result, they generally hit behind the ball causing an errant shot. To fix this error, try locking your lead wrist and keep it slightly ahead of the ball during contact. This action will allow for crisp and solid contact on the ball.

Second, ball position. If a player is consistently hitting the ball fat, hence causing chili dips, the ball is usually too far forward in their stance. Move the ball back slightly to were the club first makes contact with the ground. To know this position, try a few practice swings without the ball in your sight line. Where your club touches the ground is where the ball should be placed with that club.

Last, bobblehead action! Keep your head still! I have this challenge as I like to watch the ball fly through the air, land on the green, and roll into the hole. I never want to miss the action. Unfortunately, by moving my head too quickly, it puts the rest of my body out of position during my swing. As a results, chili dip all day long. To fix this, watch your club make contact with the ball, then count to one before you follow your ball. You will not miss any of the action and if keeps your body in the right position through the entire swing.

Chili dip is a challenge for most amateurs. With a bit of practice and patience, this golf tip will improve this aspect of your game. The three main points mentioned above are what I believe are the root causes for hitting poor shots around the green. What do you think?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Jumping to Confusion

Lost and Confused SignpostHave you ever walked up to your ball with a club already in your hand before you actually looked at what was going on around you? This usually happens when a player is familiar with the course and draws conclusion before their next shot. We are all guilty of it, but is it really a case of familiarity or confusion?

One of the major challenges to members of a golf course is familiarity. Many players use the same club off the same tee all the time. Next they walk to their ball with the exact distance in mind; then select their club because it is the one they always use! After shooting the same score over and over, they question what is wrong!

Complacency on the golf course is a real challenge for most players. It causes them to stop thinking and to play golf on autopilot. Playing without thinking is the root of many challenges for amateurs. Having a preset plan on each hole stagnates the development of the famous Jack Nicklaus course management, degrades the Seve Ballesteros shot ingenuity, and limits their Lee Trevino’s love of the game!

Ultimately, by jumping to confusion players limit their ability to lower their score. Fortunately, there is a fix to this quagmire – change your approach to playing your favorite course. Instead of using your driver, use your three wood off the tee. Instead of bashing the ball each time, play to your favorite distance to the green. Instead of pin hunting, shoot for the middle of the green. There are many fixes, the real approach is just deciding to make a change.

As Jack Nicklaus says: Success depends almost entirely on how effectively you learn to manage the game’s two ultimate adversaries: the course and yourself. The only thing that a player can control is themselves; so instead of jumping to confusion, try something different. Only you can decide what changes are required, but changes are required if you want to lower your score!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!