By Bill Abrams PGA, Golf Solutions Academy, Balmoral Woods
It’s that time of year again. The Masters is less than two months away and we will be outdoors playing this awesome game very soon. This is a great time to get some “spring training” in prior to those first swings outside. There are a few things we all can do to help prepare for the season. Below are a few you can do at home, but as always practicing at a dome or heated tee is great.
Grip is an area we need to monitor to keep shots from being inconsistent. Be sure your top hand (left hand for a right handed player) thumb is on top of the shaft and the club is more to the fingers than the palm. The only real pressure should be in the thumb and index finger of the top hand. This will allow the club to rotate properly and help prevent the dreaded chicken wing. The bottom hand should have the club rest in the fingertips as well. The top hand thumb will fit into the bottom hand lifeline naturally in a proper grip. Be sure to monitor the pressure and see how lightly you can grip the club – tension and excitement can increase pressure and go largely unnoticed. This can be practiced virtually anywhere you have a club handy. Watch a video to help with your grip.
One area that needs constant attention is our set up and posture. Simply stand up with a heavy object, 5 lbs. or less, and get into a position where you can comfortably stand for about 30 seconds or so. This position will have your head on top of your spine in the center of your stance with weight evenly distributed from left to right and in the arches of your feet. Your rear end should feel like it is under you not sticking out. If your posture is poor, many times you will feel strain in your upper and /or lower back. This will allow you to have terrific balance, which will lead to more consistent shots. Here’s a video on posture.
To this end, once you get into your set up position we need to practice great balance. To ensure you are in great position, simply close your eyes – if you are off balance your will notice immediately. This can be used at any time when playing or practicing to ensure you are set up well. From there, take a few practice swings in slow motion to feel your balance. Then speed up until you get to full pace – this will help you enhance the fluid motion of your swing while keeping perfect balance. You may notice if your arms and grip gets tense and squeeze too tight, this motion will not feel fluid. Watch a video on proper set up.
We can putt inside easily and the following drill can help you build consistent pace and stroke length. I ask players to put a small coin in the back cavity or on top of your putter. Go ahead and make a stroke trying to keep the coin in place until after impact. You will quickly see a fluid stroke is necessary to keep the coin in place. This will help with speed and impact as you head out to play. Here’s a video on putting with a coin.
You can check out more drills and tips on my YouTube Channel billabramsgolf. I am currently instructing at Carolina Club near Ft. Lauderdale FL during winter months through early April then at Balmoral Woods in Crete IL April through October. I am available for online lessons via V1 Internet lessons on the V1 App for iPhone and Android (V1golf.com) and a new media option called MobiCoach (mobicoach.com). Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to book coaching sessions.
Look forward to seeing you very soon!
Bill Abrams PGA
Golf Solutions Academy
Balmoral Woods, Crete, IL
Carolina GC, Margate, FL
Expert professional coaching and equipment fitting