Want to boost your ball striking? How about your accuracy? The simple golf drill below can help you do that. A drill we often use in our golf lessons, this exercise forces you to work your hands in more, the club to stay outside your hands on the backswing, and your clubface to remain square to the ball a lot longer. Plus, this golf drill groves a one-piece takeaway. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t improve your game.
Alignment Stick Golf Drill
Place an alignment stick in the butt end of your 7-iron. Make sure you push the stick into the top of the club until you have about 12 inches or 14 inches sticking out. At setup, you want the alignment stick to be touching your back hip.
Now make your takeaway while keeping the alignment stick touching your hip. Now, fold your arms to the top of the swing and move the stick in front of your body as you come down and through with your swing.
Do this golf drill slowly at first. Done incorrectly the stick can hit you on the front side of your body—something we see all the time in golf lessons. Once you get good at the swing, hit some golf balls with it. You’ll find yourself making better contact and hitting more fairways with your shots, regardless of the club you use.
How to Putt with Your Sand Wedge and Save Strokes
Putting with a sand wedge isn’t often talked about in golf lessons. But it’s a highly useful shot. Popularized by PGA’s Lee Trevino, this shot is ideal when you’re sitting on the edge of the green with the back of the ball stacked up against the rough. The rough prevents you from putting the ball from this lie. If you try anyways, you could cost yourself strokes.
Here are five keys to the shot:
- Use your sand wedge for this shot
- Grip the club as you would your putter
- Choke down on the grip
- Use the leading edge of the sand wedge
- Strike the ball on the ball’s equator
Use your sand wedge with its heavy leading edge for this shot. The club’s sharp, leading-edge will cut smoothly through the grass. The weight of the leading edge also adds extra power behind the shot, so you’ll need to practice this shot a bit to get the hang of it.
- Check your lie. Make sure the ball is up against the first cut of rough. If it is and you can’t putt the ball, use your sand wedge. Next, read the green and determine the putt’s line and speed. Remember, you have the option of leaving the flagstick in or taking it out.
- Take as normal a putting stance as possible. Make sure your stance doesn’t interfere with your swing. Take the same grip you use when putting. For many, that’s an overlapping grip. You’ll also want to choke down on the grip. That boosts club control.
- Putt the ball with your typical putting stroke. Use the leading edge of the sand wedge as your putting face. Try to hit the ball squarely at its equator with the leading edge. Be careful when taking the shot. If you hit the ball too far above or below the equator, you’ll either pop it up or roll it way past the hole.
While you may not learn this shot in golf lessons, you’ll have another shot that can bail you out of a tight situation and save strokes.
Once you’re comfortable with the shot, try it on the course. You’ll see it’s a much less risky shot than using a putter on the fringe on the green.
Secrets to Hitting Three Shots You Won’t Learn in Golf Lessons
Ever take golf lessons? Savvy beginners take lessons before they first start playing. Golf lessons can boost your game no matter the level or how long you’ve been playing. They ingrain the fundamentals, help cut strokes from your scores, and increase your enjoyment of the game.
But golf lessons can go only so far. They can’t teach how to control your temper after a lousy shot. And they can’t teach you every shot in the book. Some shots you have to learn on your own. That can cost you strokes.
Below are golf tips on three stroke-saving shots that can help your game. These shots aren’t often taught in golf lessons unless you ask about them. These shots don’t come up every time you play. But they do come up enough to where knowing them helps.
Master these shots and you’ll save strokes. More importantly, they’ll help you card more pars and birdies. Doing that is the secret to breaking 80 and taking your game to the whole new level. Who wouldn’t want that?
Pop and Stop Shot
Lofting the ball over a greenside bunker to a tight placement is among the toughest shots in golf. You may have tried this shot before and skulled it or popped it into the bunker. But this short can turn three shots (or more) into two. Here are five keys to beating this challenging shot:
- Set up with a wide stance
- Lower the handle of your club at address
- Open the clubface to increase loft
- Bend your knees to help you get down
- Keep your right hand under the shaft
The key to this shot is sliding slide your right hand under the shaft with the palm facing upward. That encourages the clubface to stay open and pass under the ball as you swing through, creating a high super soft shot. Use a 56-degree or 60-degree wedge for the best results.
Escape the Woods with a Cut-Punch Shot
If you’re like most weekend golfers, you’re no stranger to the woods. Trying to get out of them can cost you strokes. Hit correctly, a cut-punch shot can get you out of the woods in one and set you up for your next shot.
But you need to be careful with this shot. You have to have room to make a full backswing to pull this shot off. Plus, you need room to start the ball left of target. Here are five keys to hitting a cut punch shot:
- Align your stance left of the target line
- Make sure you have a weak grip
- Play the ball just inside the front heel
- Begin backswing along the line of your stance
- Swing aggressively into the back of the ball
The key to hitting this shot is your setup. Get it right and you’re more than halfway there. Also, combining a slightly open stance with a weak grip encourages the ball to slice a bit. You should feel as though you’re hitting the ball straight despite an open clubface. Use a long iron for this shot or your longest hybrid.
Hitting a “Stinger’ Off the Tee
Tiger Woods popularized this knock-down shot off the tee. It’s hit with either a long iron or a fairway wood and has a low trajectory. It works in all conditions and provides more control off the tee when you need it. Here are six keys to beating this shot:
- Set up with the ball back about two inches
- Choke down on the club an inch or two
- Open your stance about two inches
- Turn the back of your lead hand down
- Keep your arms relaxed through impact
- Shorten your follow-through
The key to this shot is turning the back of your forward hand down, so it faces the ground more at impact than usual as you come down. This move de-lofts the club and generates the low trajectory you want. Also, don’t try to muscle the ball. If you try to muscle it, you’re libel to hit it high with a lot of spin. That’s not what you want.
These three shots don’t come up that often, which is why they’re not usually covered in golf lessons. But they come up often enough that you should know how to hit them.
Practice these shots a few times before trying them on the course. Learning to hit them will cut strokes from your scores. Plus, they can help transform your game and take you one step closer to breaking 80.