If you are a golf fan, you may be counting down the days until you can get out on the course again. For many fans of the game, the key to the long winter months is finding ways to keep up your game. Here at Red Ledges, many of our members can be found at the Jim McLean Golf School during the winter months. At the Jim McLean Golf School members can take lessons from our Red Ledges Instructors, practice their swing with the TrackMan simulator, or participate in simulator tournaments. Our Director of Golf Jon Paupore, has three tips that will help you improve your game and stay sharp during the winter months.
Swing Up with the Driver
Since the Driver is the least lofted club in your bag (except for the putter), it is important that you “launch” the golf ball in the air to maximize ball speed and minimize spin rate. In general, the flat spot of the bottom of your swing arc should be located in the middle of your stance. Putting the golf ball in the front of your stance (near your left instep – for a right handed golfer) will help you hit the golf ball as the club starts ascending in its arc. This will launch the golf ball high in the air without too much spin and increase ball speed. Indoors use a mirror or look at your reflection in a plane of glass to make practice swings. Ensure that you are keeping your upper body tilted away from the target and behind the golf ball at impact and watch the club head ascend into the impact position.
Stay connected in your putting stroke
There are many different ways to putt (different grips, stances, and putter length to name a few), but try this simple tip to make your putting stroke more consistent. Stay Connected by gently squeezing your upper arms (biceps and triceps) and elbows to your rib cage. This forms a connection from the shoulders to the arms and therefore the hands and the putter. Rock your shoulders in a teeter/totter fashion and allow this to be the engine of your stroke. This way your arms, hands, and the putter are just “along for the ride” and you will be making more of a putting stroke rather than jabbing at the golf ball. Put a glass or a jar on the carpet at home to stay sharp with your putting stroke all winter long.
Hit the ball with a flat left wrist to “drive” your iron shots
A major power leak in the iron game is a bent left wrist at impact. This is referred to as “flipping” the club at the bottom of your swing because in essence you are using your wrists to flip the club head at the ball in order to get the ball in the air. It is important to let the loft of the club get the ball in the air instead of forcing the action. Try hitting the golf ball with a Flat left wrist (for a right handed golfer) at impact. Try this drill – get in your golf stance with a wall immediately left of your left foot. Without a club, make a golf swing motion with your left arm until the arm hits the wall. You should feel that the back of your left hand is flat against the wall. This is the same position you want to emulate at impact with all of your irons to drive the ball instead of lifting it in the air.