Golf course designers artfully take advantage of the natural terrain to create challenges for golfers of all skill levels. If you play on a course with rolling fairways you can cope with shots off of sloping lies through simple adjustments to your stance and swing. When the golf ball is below -- lower than -- your feet, it's referred to as a sidehill lie. Maintaining your balance while swinging at a ball that lies on a downslope is difficult -- and balance is critical to making solid contact with the ball.
How far you stand from the golf ball at address will affect your swing. Standing too far away can force you to reach out with the club, with your arms completely straight and your elbows locked -- ruining any chance of a nice, easy swing. It’s generally a good idea to stand as close to the ball as possible and adjust from there until you establish a nice, comfortable position.
A full shoulder turn allows you to coil your body and begin shifting your weight onto the back foot. Failing to turn properly can lead to weak or off-target shots. Improvement is possible with practice on the range -- or even at home without a golf ball. For the best results, ask a PGA or LPGA professional to review your swing.
Golf courses built on rolling terrain can be spectacularly beautiful but they also create treacherous downhill and uphill lies for golfers. Hitting from a severe downslope is one of the most challenging shots for many amateurs because your stance feels awkward and you fear not being able to hit the ball squarely. The result can be an off balance swing and a topped shot.
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Divots are nothing more than strips of earth dug up after your club hits the ball. You might think it's silly to put so much emphasis on what you do to the ground. But if you take a good divot after you hit the ball, that's proof you made a good strike.
The pitching wedge was once the club of choice for a variety of approach shots. When a golfer was beyond sand-wedge distance, but needed more loft than a 9-iron offered, he reached for the pitching wedge. With the advent of gap and lob wedges, the pitching wedge now has greater competition. But as important as the short game is, a pitching wedge remains an important part of most golfers’ arsenals.
It's rare for any player to hit every green in regulation, which means your wedge often gets a good workout. To use your wedge successfully, it's important to understand how to set up for your shots. On the practice range, you can use an extra club to help you learn the proper procedure.
If you are like most golfers, you make hitting a golf ball much harder than it really is. People think nothing of hitting a baseball when the ball is moving, or a tennis ball when both the ball and the player are moving. In golf, the ball sits still and you have plenty of time to get set and make your swing. And, fortunately, the proper way to hit a golf ball is also the simplest way.
You are feeling pretty good about yourself. That drive went right where you intended, and now you're sitting pretty in the middle of the fairway. However, your job is only halfway done; you still need a good approach shot to post a good score. Even though the ball is in the fairway, it's not sitting on a tee. Before hitting your next shot, take everything in front of you into account.
At one time or another, almost every player pulls a shot, sending the ball left of the intended target for a right-handed golfer. A pull is a straight shot that travels left of where the golfer is aiming and is the result of an incorrect swing -- an out-to-in path. But you can cure the pull by attending to some simple fundamentals.
Golfers work hard on lowering their scores and improving their skills – sometimes so hard that they start to take the game too seriously. Foursomes who regularly play together may become too competitive and forget that the point of the game is to have a good time. A solution is to bring some wackiness onto the course with unusual formats for play. Award the winner of your wacky game lunch at the clubhouse, a gift certificate at the pro shop or greens fees for the next round.
For most players, the height at which they tee their golf ball has a direct impact on how well they can drive it. It's possible to tee the ball too low and too high; when it's teed just right, you should get the maximum distance and trajectory on your tee shots.
In golf, an albatross is something that most golfers will never have the fortune to make. This scoring term, which represents three strokes under par on a single hole, is extremely difficult to achieve. Several professional golfers have scored an albatross in a tour event, but the list remains relatively short compared with the number of holes collectively played by all the golfers in PGA Tour and LPGA Tour history.
The game of golf most likely began when a few hardy Scottish souls used a stick to propel a round rock toward a predetermined target. The exact details have been lost in the mists of time. Between the 1500s and 1600s, the game became more formalized. Everyone played, from the peasants to the elite. However, not everyone favored the game. King James II of Scotland thought the youth of his era should be more focused on worthy pursuits, such as going to war, rather than honing their golf skills. In 1636, David Wedderburn included the Latin word for "club" in his Vocabula, a listing of terms related to golf. Also included was a term for "golf hole," a critical element for defining the modern day game of golf.
A rangefinder can help you determine the length of your drive and also how far you are away from the green. Although these devices can routinely cost between $200 and $300, their ability to provide accurate data is beneficial. When you know the average length you hit each club, you're more apt to select the right club and avoid under-hitting or over-hitting the ball. If you don't want to buy a range finder, it's possible to calculate the distance of your shots with a more traditional method.
A divot is the hole left when a golfer hits a ball off the turf. The player should have replaced the turf before moving on to his next shot. But that doesn't always happen, so it's not unusual for another player to find that his ball has come to rest in that divot. Hitting your ball out of a divot usually isn't all that difficult. But most players have to do it a few times before they feel comfortable with the shot.
With more than 26 million golfers in the United States alone, it’s a sure bet that one of them -- whether it be a casual putter or celebrated pro -- will end up on your shopping list at some point in time. Whatever the occasion, you’ll score a hole-in-one with any of the following great golf gifts.
Stretching is a vital part of the pre-golf routine. Stretching before playing will help you generate better flexibility, leading to a smoother, more comfortable golf swing. But stretching can also be invaluable after your game of golf. When the muscles are warm from playing, having a stretching routine will allow you to increase circulation to joints and tissues, relax the muscles for the rehabilitation period and get rid of waste products, all of which reduce muscle soreness and stiffness after the game.
Most golfers dream of the day they can knock every drive down the fairway, every fairway shot onto the green and so on. Unfortunately, even for professionals, errant shots are a byproduct of a game as precise as golf. Golf is also a sport of etiquette, which is why a special term has been coined that golfers should use the next time they hit an errant shot near other players.
To hit your driver well, first make sure you are using one fitted to your measurements. Remember to go back to basics and execute a strong, rhythmic swing. Once you have conquered the basics, step it up a notch by learning how to hit a fade and a draw.
The two primary types of golf training clubs are weighted training clubs and hinged training clubs. Each training club is designed to target a different part of your golf game. Therefore, you’ll get the best training results by using both types of training clubs as part of a regular training routine. The weighted club will strengthen your swing, and the hinged club will increase your accuracy. By using the clubs correctly, you can greatly improve your overall golf game.
One of the biggest changes in the game of golf over the past 20 years has been the attention given to training and getting in better shape to play the game. In the 1960s and 1970s, pear-shaped professionals could be found frequently on the pro tour. However, those days are becoming distant memories as players spend more of their time and effort on getting in shape and staying in shape. A stronger golfer can get more distance and hit the ball more effectively.
If you are a good enough golfer to make a living on one of the professional tours, consider yourself lucky because there are only 500 to 600 of them in the world. Otherwise--with the exception of an occasional bet on the golf course--you play the game for fun while trying to improve your scores and handicap. Discover a few tips on how best to hit a golf ball.
Golf balls feature what many golfers consider a near-elusive spot—the "sweet" spot. This is the place on the ball that golfers aim to strike because it helps ensure maximum distance on shots from the tee box, fairway and even the rough. Striking the sweet spot can produce that crisp, well-played shot that leads to a birdie—and a memorable round.
Pulling golf shots can hurt a golfer's confidence as well as his scorecard. Most pulled golf shots happen when a swing path goes from outside to in (commonly known as "coming over the top"). This means a golfer is starting his down swing with his upper body instead of his the lower body. This article is for right-handed golfers. Reverse "right" and "left" in the instructions if you are left-handed.
The offset golf club was developed and implemented as a game-improvement technology in the late 1970s and early '80s. The offset actually places the clubface slightly behind the hosel of the club, allowing players who tend to slice the ball to more easily square the club at impact and hit the ball straighter. Many clubs are still manufactured with offsets of various sizes.
The downswing is where all the power and clubhead speed are generated when you are trying to hit a golf ball well. Though there are many different types of golf swings, there are several points that all good golf swings have in common during the downswing, not the least of which is how you unwind the coil you've created during your backswing. Remember these and you'll hit the ball with confidence.
Being able to hit longer golf shots, assuming they are accurate shots, allows you to lower your scores because you shorten the length of the golf course. Golfers especially want to hit longer shots off the tee, giving them the chance to hit 5-irons or 6-irons to the green instead of the more difficult 3-irons or 4-iron shots. The length of your shots depends on the club head speed you can generate. Improving your physical conditioning will help you generate more club head speed.
Hitting a tee shot and finding the bottom of the cup with your first swing is an accomplishment all golfers aspire to. While a hole-in-one is not a common occurrence, particularly for amateur players who typically do not have the pinpoint accuracy pros do, it is not an impossible goal, with hundreds made every day.
Living an active lifestyle is one of the key components to staying healthy. Activities such as playing a game of golf or hitting golf balls at a driving range are great ways to burn calories. The goal is to keep the body moving, increase heart rate and have fun.
While golf can serve as a form of leisurely recreation, it's also a way to exercise and burn calories. A round of 18 on the links is will help make you trimmer, but hitting balls on the driving range is also a way to burn calories, particularly if you hit the range for a substantial length of time.
When you set out to learn to play golf, make sure you learn from a certified PGA teaching professional. Find out how to make a correct golf swing, practice what you learn, and eventually you will hit the ball with the distance and accuracy you want. Hitting a golf ball properly is not easy, but the enjoyment you will get from playing the game outdoors with friends makes the effort worthwhile.
When you begin learning the challenging game of golf, it’s easy to become frustrated. It can seem like an impossible task to swing a club as far back as you can and deliver it back to the exact right spot behind the ball--over and over. Even experienced players who live in colder climates and don’t play during the winter months find that when they resume playing in the spring, it can take a while for the club to feel comfortable in their hands again.
To excel at the game of golf demands a great deal of practice as well as mental discipline. Those new to this sport can find all the facets of it overwhelming. But if the novice takes some advice on certain aspects of the game and is able to use these tips to enhance her scoring, she will progress every time out on the course.
If you are new to the game of golf, sometimes adding a new club can speed up your progress and give you confidence. By adding a hybrid iron, a different kind of wedge or a new putter, you're more prepared to handle every situation or shot you encounter on the course.
Whether you are a novice at the game of golf, or you have been playing for years, you know how frustrating it can be to make a clean swing and a straight shot. The smallest changes in your posture, your grip, your positioning above the ball, your swing or your follow through can make or break a shot–or an entire game. Golfers spend years trying to perfect their form, but sometimes it’s just a matter of getting back to basics.
As you develop your golf game, you will find that it is possible to hit both high shots and low shots down the fairway and get good results from both. However, over the long term, the golfer who can hit the ball high has a better chance to improve his score. Hitting a ball high will get you more distance and it will help you get the ball over and past hazards.
When golfers talk about hitting a driver better, they are really talking about achieving more distance and accuracy. Fortunately, there are some tips you can follow to achieve this goal. Take a look at your driver to make sure it is the right one for you and concentrate on your swing, and your driver can become your favorite club in the bag.
Failing to pick a specific target when hitting a golf shot is a simple oversight many beginners make, costing themselves strokes that could have been saved with the right procedure. When standing over the ball, your perspective of your alignment can become skewed, making it difficult to properly line up a shot at the flag several hundred yards away. Instead, pick an intermediate target and aim at that to more accurately make your shot.
Too often, golfers make the mistake of being vague with goals when approaching a ball and obsessing about all the ways a shot can go wrong. According to the golf forum GolfRewind.com, by selecting a specific target on every shot and focusing on hitting to that target, a golfer can greatly increase the accuracy of his swings, lowering his score. While adding steps to pick out a target can feel odd at first, as it adds to your pre-shot routine, it becomes second nature with repetition.
Hitting a golf ball far and straight is referred to as driving the ball. This can be very difficult, especially for beginners. Learning the appropriate techniques will allow you to have an easier time driving a straight ball. With consistent practice, over time it will become muscle memory.
Making solid contact with the golf ball is something every golfer deals with, whether they're just beginning their golf experience or are a seasoned pro who has been playing the game for years. Solid contact with the ball will result in accuracy, providing the line that you've set up is correct. But making solid contact requires that all of the components of your golf swing work together. There are drills you can do that will work on body sequencing. Successful practice of these drills will bring you closer to making solid contact every time you swing the club.
Many players think that swinging a golf club harder is the only way to increase distance, but that's not true. The harder you swing, the shorter your ball will travel.
Hitting a solid golf shot with an iron requires balance, tempo, acceleration and precision. There are almost as many tips to hitting a great iron shot as there are players and teachers, but the simplest goal will often yield the best result—that is, hitting the ball crisply in the center of the clubface. Keep a few simple thoughts in mind and you should be able to deliver the face of your iron club squarely to the back of your golf ball.
All golfers go through slumps. Typically most golfers will feel the effect of those down periods when hitting the ball from the fairway or short rough. Instead of hitting through the ball, they will lunge at it or lift up as they come through the ball. Learning to hit the ball squarely or "flush" every time will get you through those slumps.
A draw is a shot that starts at one side of the fairway and draws in toward the center. Professional players often rely on the draw to gain extra yards, work the ball around doglegs and increase roll. Hitting a draw can be slightly challenging, but the shot can be mastered with a few tips and repetitious practice.
Getting the ball into the air is an essential skill for hitting satisfying shots that travel any significant distance. While it seems as though it should be an easy task, as the angle of the club will naturally angle the ball into the air when it contacts it, many players struggle because they do not allow the club to do the work in raising the ball.
In order to get height on your golf shot, you need to understand the physics of the golf swing. For example, when hitting with a mid-level iron such as a 6 or 7 iron, know that if you swing down on the ball it will fly high. If you want to hit high with your driver you need to tee it up sufficiently high. You also need to build a repeatable swing.
You play a reasonable game of golf, but you feel that if only you could hit the ball about 20 yards farther, you would enjoy the game more and your handicap would go down. Regardless of whether you are fat or thin, tall or short, with an adjustment in your technique, you can hit the golf ball farther. Start lowering your handicap and enjoying the game more by making a few of these changes.
Hitting a golf ball sounds easy but can be difficult to do consistently. With practice and correct swing techniques hitting a golf ball will become easier and more enjoyable. This article is for right-handed golfers.
A fade is a shot that curves away from the golfer--to the right for a right-handed golfer and to the left for a lefty. The shot is useful if you want to curve the ball around a tree or a corner, or if you want to aim at the center of the green and let the ball curve toward a pin tucked in the corner of the green. Accomplished golfers use various means to hit this shot, but the simplest requires just minor changes in your setup. You’ll have more success if you set up for a straight shot first, and then adjust for the fade.
Once you have learned how to hit a golf ball straight with relative consistency, you are going to want to make progress in your game. One of the shots you will want to learn is the fade. The fade has a slight left to right action and is quite necessary because most golf courses have holes that bend (dogleg) to the right. In order to play these holes to your best advantage, learn how to hit a fade.
A fade is a specialized shot that moves from right to left for a right-handed golfer. This shot is more controlled than a draw, and it does increase distance like a draw can. You can use a fade to bend around a dog leg, to hit a right side pin location or to shape the ball with or against the wind. Fade shots are hit with specific attention to your swing and body angles.
For some, hitting a driver hard and long is one of the greatest mysteries in the game of golf. A good drive can set you up for an easier second shot, keep you out of trouble and, with a solid short game, bring your score down dramatically. But hitting solid, long drives is a process that requires proper timing more than a gargantuan swing. Having the right hip turn, ball placement and clubface position on impact are all important factors to hitting the ball hard and hitting it far.
Learning how to hit a driver correctly is one of the most important aspects to the game of golf. TaylorMade, one of the premier golf club manufacturers, designs drivers for the novice player who plays once a year, and for experienced players who make a living playing the sport. With enough practice, you can learn how to hit a TaylorMade driver long and straight.
A cut shot, or fade, is when your right-handed swing sends the golf ball to the right, or to the left for left-handed golfers. Working the ball in either direction is essential to reducing your score for a round of golf.
It is a sickening feeling: You stand on the tee, hit one of your longest tee shots of the day … and it goes out of bounds. Often simply referred to as being “OB,” out-of-bounds shots carry a stiff penalty that really hurts your score; however, you can incur even more penalty strokes by taking your OB penalty incorrectly.
Of the many problems that can afflict novice golfers, one of the worst is skied tee shots. The ball flies high in the air, costing golfers valuable yards off the tee, leaving long approach shots into the green and ballooning scores. The key to fixing skied shots is understanding what happens during the swing and correcting the flaws.
Golf is meant to be played outside during pleasant weather; warm summer days are made for golf. There are few things more enjoyable than sinking a long putt on the 18th green before heading for the clubhouse and a cool drink. But there are dangers on the course and not just slicing a ball into the trees. Keep an eye on the weather while you play and make sure you start off completely hydrated.
Many golfers are plagued by the frequent mis-hitting of shots, which sacrifices both distance and accuracy. They often hit the golf ball with the toe of the club; and no matter what they may try, they continue making this mistake. If you are one of these unfortunate people, take heart because there are a few things you can do to hit the ball on the so-called “sweet spot.” The result will be longer shots and lower scores.
If you are like most golfers, you are constantly working on your swing and trying to improve. Whether it's how to hit the ball more consistently off the tee, hit better iron shots from the fairway or the rough, putt more consistently or find a way to get out of the hazard, all golfers need the small tips to help them improve their games.
Many golfers strive to hit a draw shot with the driver. For a right-handed player, this means the ball curves moderately from right to left. The draw is the preferred shot off the tee, because it adds distance to your drives. Learning to hit a controlled draw off the tee also helps you have a better chance of hitting the fairway on right-to-left dogleg holes.
If you're a beginning golfer, chances are you've learned to sweep under a ball in order to get it airborne. That philosophy couldn't be further from correct. Solid contact requires that you actually go down and through the golf ball. By doing this, you are essentially making contact with the ball before your club hits the ground. It's a swing that takes practice to master, but the benefits can be seen in longer, straighter irons and even the potential of backspin on landing.
“Fat” shots occur when you take a divot before you even touch the ball. Hitting the ground is not only bad for your golf stroke, but it is hard on your body. Sometimes a fat shot is the result of a new golfer being told “keep your head down,” or it's the result of a too-steep swing. With practice, though, you can eliminate the fat shot and bring more distance to your golf game.
Hitting a solid iron shot is simply a matter of understanding the fundamentals. Once you understand how to apply the basics, you can use that information to hit any shot that you want from the fairway or the rough. These exercises are set up for right-handed players, to be done at a driving range. Left-handed players will apply the same process but simply switch hands.
Many golfers find iron play particularly difficult. The long shafts and low degree of loft on the long irons make these tools quite challenging for the average golfer. The mid and short irons are much more forgiving and easier to use, with shorter shafts and a higher degree of loft. The long irons take some getting used to, and with practice on the driving range and a few helpful tips, you can become proficient with all of your irons. These clubs can come in handy as well if your ball lands in a patch of rough or under trees. An iron can help you escape these difficult situations, as it produces a low, long-flying ball.
Positioning your head properly when you address the ball will allow you to swing the club on the correct plane and approach the ball at the optimal angle. The result is consistency and distance.
There's always something to improve on, no matter how skilled you are at something. Once the beginning golfing skills are mastered, you can spend more time working to fix and fine-tune the details that are affecting your game. It's surprising how much small things that are being done incorrectly can affect your swing and your overall game By learning what these things are, you can avoid them and become a better golfer.
Once you know the basics of the golf swing, it’s time to focus on other shots you need to achieve a decent score on the course. As a golfer, you know that some holes curve right, while some curve left. If you know how to produce a fade to the right and a draw to the left, you will have an advantage when teeing off on curved fairways. You should also know how to get out of the rough grass along the fairway, and what to do if you land in a sand trap.
A "fat shot" is a term used to describe a shot that travels less distance than expected due to a swing that takes a large divot behind the ball. When a player hits it fat, it usually means that he failed to strike down on the ball. This results in the ground that is being displaced pushing the ball forward, rather than the club face striking the ball cleanly.
Hitting a fade curves the ball to the right for right-handed golfers and to the left for left-handed golfers. A fade shot has increased side spin on the ball and will not travel as far as a draw (the opposite of a fade) or straight shot. A golfer will hit a fade to play around a hazard, take distance off, land the ball softly or to follow the contour of a hole. Practice hitting a fade on the range before attempting the shot during a round.
When searching for areas in their golf game to save strokes, golfers should look to their short game—chipping, in particular. Golfers chip the ball from the rough, fairway or fringe around the green with a variety of clubs, from wedges to short irons to hybrids. Chipping can be a challenging aspect of golf because it requires precision and has a small margin for error.
The dreaded bunker--hitting into it can cause heartburn for even seasoned players. But there’s no need to fear when you’ve got the proper swing technique and mental approach to bunker play. The next time you hit it into the sand, there are fundamentals to getting up and down with no problem.
Tiger Woods is the No. 1 player in the world because of his talent, mental toughness and power. His ability to drive the ball off the tee and reach par-5 greens in two shots is a major reason that he has been successful in the toughest golf environments. By outdistancing most of his opponents, Tiger has a distinct advantage over his competitors.
Most golfers want increased distance on their shots, which is associated with more club head speed. If the golfer increases his ability to generate more force, he'll generate more speed, and the ball will travel farther. All power movements should originate from the center of the body. The muscles of the core stabilize the area from the pelvis to the shoulder, and the power generated there is then transferred to the arms, the legs and the golf ball.
The driver is one of the most difficult clubs to hit in golf. This is because the club is longer than the other clubs, and it has a lower loft angle. If you are a beginning golfer, make sure your driver has a flexible shaft, a large clubface with a large sweet spot and a loft of at least 10.5 degrees.
Over the course of a round, a golfer will be faced with an array of shots — buried in a sand trap, from the middle of the fairway and stuck behind a tree, to name a few. Hitting a great shot under difficult circumstances provides a reward that keeps golfers coming back for more.
Serious golfers or those who want to improve their games should determine how far they can hit each club in their bag. Figuring out distance is an easy but time-consuming process. For new golfers, this should be done once every six months as distances will change with practice. Learning how far you can hit a golf club will give you more confidence in club selection on the golf course. Distance calculators are available at many golf shops, but average distance can be determined using simple math.
One of a golfer’s greatest fears is that he will shank a shot. In fact, when the readers of golfdigest.com were polled about what was the most embarrassing golf shot, shanking came in second to the whiff--which means missing the ball entirely. Luckily, shanks are caused by a combination of swing flaws that are curable.
Hitting behind the golf ball, or hitting it "fat," is a common problem, especially with high handicappers. It is a frustrating mishit that results in added strokes to the scorecard. There are several causes to hitting fat shots. Many can be remedied easily. In fact, it's often necessary during a round to think quickly to take care of the problem, especially in tournament play.
Playing consistently good golf requires building a swing that delivers both power and accuracy. Not being able to hit the ball very far makes every course longer and puts more pressure on your short game. If you can’t reach par 4’s in two, your wedge shots have to make up for this lack of distance. Fortunately, golfers who are not reaching their power potential can learn ways to generate additional clubhead speed through improved physical fitness and better swing technique.
A golfer typically goes through several levels as he makes progress in the game over the years. A beginner may struggle to understand what it takes before making rapid progress and then hitting a plateau. The same holds for golfers at all levels, with periods of rapid progress followed by plateaus. Those times can be quite frustrating, but there are steps that a golfer can take to improve his game.
In addition to being recreational, golf is also a way to burn some extra calories. Whether on the course, or on the driving range, golfers of all ages and body types can burn a varying number of calories simply by swinging away.