Golf Tips – Putting and Short Game
Are you looking to improve your game and need some helpful golf tips? For most golfers it is the case of that they have been playing for many years but have slipped into a ‘bad habit’ scenario, what I have tried to do in this article is to bring the game back to basics, hopefully, it will stimulate some good habits and also make you look at the bad ones that have crept into your game too!
To start off, we are going to look at golf tips for putting. Even though putting is 50% getting the pace and feel right so the ball rolls on the line you have chosen, however I have highlighted a few points to always take into account to enable you to have a consistent putting stroke:
- Try and keep your feet the width apart as about the same as your shoulders, so each foot should be beneath each shoulder, this is a good benchmark so your feet are not too close to restrict your swing but also not too far apart that you feel too close to the ground.
- You should slightly bend your knees and keep your eyes directly over the ball and remember not move your head so it feels you are in a swaying motion.
- Try and always keep your elbows tucked into your body during the stroke, it should feel that your elbows are sort of rolling around your stomach, either way, keep your elbows close as possible to your body to keep a consistent flowing motion.
- When putting the golf ball keep your palm of your right hand ( left hand if you are a left-handed golfer ) moving towards the line of the putt and hole and always make sure the blade of the putter is square through impact.
Chip Shots around the green and up to 50/60 yards out from the green. Even though traditionally the majority of golfers will always try and execute this shot with a lob wedge or sand iron it can sometimes not quite work out with a good result, so I would recommend the following that would enable you to use a stronger ‘putting’ stroke but bump and run it onto the green and give you a more consistent stroke and also trim some shots off of your round:
- Try using a less lofted iron like a 5, 6 or 7 iron and bump and run it onto the green that is if you do not have any hazards like bunkers or water in the way of the shot.
- Keep your feet about 8 inches apart, so your feet should be inside of your shoulders so to produce a reduced swing but maintaining a similar stroke as with the putter.
- Shoulders and feet should be square to the green
- Try and minimise body movement, should really be an arms and shoulder movement.
- Put the majority of your body weight on your front leg and hands in front of the ball at set-up/address.
- Aim for the ball to land prior to the green and let the ball roll to the hole.
Before I cover this one, I would just like to cover some general rules and etiquette of bunker play, firstly you must remember that you are not allowed in the rules of golf to ground your club in the sand prior to taking the stroke, even on the backswing if you touch a raised bit of sand this is a penalty stroke, so no grounding of the club and no touching of the sand with your club before making the stroke. And a bit of etiquette, always remember to rake the bunker after play, other golfers playing the same hole following you will want to have a decent lie in the bunker, so always rake and leave the bunker as you found it. Now some golf tips on sand bunker shots:
- When you walk into the bunker and you have established which way you are going to play the stroke, set your feet in position and turn your feet from side to side, this will not only give you a better footing and stance, it will also give you an idea on the texture and also depth of the sand.
- When you are at address position open the clubface up.
- Open up your stance so you are coming across the ball and try and imagine you going to bounce the heel of the club into the sand.
- Get the ball in line with your front heel and get the majority of your body weight onto the front foot as well.
- Aim left of the target because the ball should pop out slightly right, so aiming left will compensate for this.
- Now you have to picture approx. 2 inches behind the ball as to where you are going to hit the sand, if this is done correctly it is the sand that projects the ball forward not the golf club and thus making the ball land softly on the green.
- And lastly, this shot is mainly an arms and hands golf shot, so you need to have very little body movement.
As with all of my posts and tips, if you have any questions or comments regarding my golf tips please do not hesitate to email me on Michael@bogeystobirdies.co.uk or alternatively leave me a comment at the bottom of this page.
You might also be interested in this section on Wikipedia about golf etiquette.