Two of the most important things that you can pay attention to when you are practicing are alignment and ball position. To many of my students these often seem almost too simple to worry about but I can promise you they are not! So many of the swing flaws that I see when I am giving lessons often come back to trying to compensate for poor alignment or ball position.
So why are they so important?
Lets take alignment first. The setup is the first thing that dictates which path the club needs to travel on in order for the ball to go toward the target. Launch direction and curve of the ball are determined by this club path and the angle of the clubface at impact. If you do not start with your body and club aligned close to the target then there will have to be a compensation somewhere in the swing, either with the path or the club face in order to get in back to the target. Many times when someone says they have a club path problem it is often due to an alignment problem at address. One of the goals of the swing is to take out as many compensations as we can so that we get the most simple and efficient motion that we can. Some people will want to line up slightly away from the target to play for a desired curve (draw or fade), which of course is fine. But if you are lining up a good deal to the left to allow for a slice that you don’t want, your alignment is encouraging that slice. Square up your body so that your path can change and you can curve the ball less.
Now what about ball position? With very few exceptions, most players and instructors would agree that there needs to be a little weight shift to the trail leg on the back swing and then a weight shift to the lead leg on the through swing. This motion is much like an NFL quarterback who will push off his back foot and step into his front foot in order to throw the ball the farthest he can. This same motion in the golf swing gives the maximum amount of power assuming the correct ball position. If the ball is too far back, no amount of weight shift to the back leg will allow you to “get behind the ball.” Using the same analogy, a ball that’s too far back often creates a swing that is like throwing of your front foot. The weight doesn’t shift and so we must use more arms and hands often losing power because of it. On the other hand, if the ball is too far forward then you can never get your body up to the ball and the compressing, downward strike of the club to the ball will be next to impossible. The correct ball position helps the body move back and through with the most efficiency and most power.
Check out these two short videos tips that will help you practice your alignment and ball position.
Check out my lastest video tip that will help your chipping. So often the secret to good contact is to take your focus off the ball. This simple tip will show you how.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Sign ups are going on now for 3 classes that will be starting this month!
GET GOLF READY
There are two sessions of Get Golf Ready that are about to begin that will be led by David Kite, Director of Instruction at The Links at Stono Ferry. The classes will meet on weekend afternoons at 3 pm (Men on Saturday, Women on Sunday) and run for five weeks. Get Golf Ready is designed to teach everything you’ll need to play golf in just a few lessons. PGA Professionals will show you that there are lots of ways to play by combining fun, friends and fitness. Each session will focus on the various golf skills you will use while playing. In addition to learning the basics, you will be guided onto the golf course to put your skills into action in a casual, friendly setting. All “Get Golf Ready” graduates from Stono Ferry will receive a packet of specials and deals to use as you continue to enjoy the game of golf!
- Men’s Get Golf Ready – Saturdays @ 3 pm, Januray 25th – February 22nd
- Women’s Get Golf Ready – Sundays @ 3 pm, January 26th – February 23rd
- Cost is only $99 for all five weeks plus a packet of specials!
Short Game Class
Need work on your SHORT GAME? Sign up now for our short game clinic with David Kite. Get professional instruction in a casual group setting and see your short game improve! This 5 week clinic will cover a different aspect of the short game each week including CHIPPING, PITCHING, FLOP SHOTS, BUNKERS, and PUTTING.
Classes are scheduled on Thursdays at 4:30 pm beginning January 30th. Cost is $125 for the 5 class series.
SIGN UP FOR ANY OF THE CLASSES LISTED ABOVE BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW!
As you can see its a little cold here in Charleston. Days like this mean that most people wont be out at the course, and who can blame them. But if you do brave the cold here are a few suggestions:
- Consider walking instead of riding. Getting the blood moving and not sitting still will keep you warm and ready to swing.
- Make lots of practice swings. A lot of times when you are cold you lose the feel of the motion you are trying to make. Making a bunch of swings will also get the blood moving a little bit and will give you the feeling of what you are trying to do.
- Get some hand warmers and keep your fingers warm. Thats where all your feel comes from around the green.
- Try to keep your golf ball warm in your pocket between holes. A warm ball will compress much more than a cold ball. The more compression you have the more loft and speed you will have. You might want to even consider playing a softer ball on days that are especially cold.
- Play more club. For the same reasons, the ball flies further when its warmer. It can be around a 2 yards difference for every 10 degrees. So if you play in the summer at 90 degrees and in the winter when its 40 degrees you would see a 10 yard difference in the distance you hit each club.
Get out and have fun! Don’t let the cold keep you away from the game. Layer up the clothes and go enjoy the round.
Greetings from David Kite Golf! Happy New Year to everyone, I hope that you all had a great Holiday Season!
With the new year comes time for making plans and setting goals for the things that you want to accomplish. When it comes to your golf game I think it is always good to have plans and goals so that you are intentional with your time at the course. Often times I see people out on the range practicing without any specific plan and I wonder what they are trying to accomplish.
Here’s what I suggest:
Break up your time on the range into one of two different categories.
The first is warm up time. This would be the normal bag of balls that you might hit to warm up before your round. There might be a swing thought or two that you have but the main goal is to get loose and ready for the course.
The second is practice time. This is where you get some time to go to the range or short game area to work on your game, not just to get loose before a round. Make sure you always have a plan for your practice time that falls in line with the goals you want to achieve. Are you going to work on your putting or your driving? Are you going to hit one bag of balls and then chip or are you going to hit 2 bags of balls? You want to show up to the range with a plan on what you want to work on, not wondering what you should do. Most players that show up to the range without a clear practice plan will do one of two things. First we gravitate towards doing what other people that are out practicing are doing. I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t be social while we practice or that golf isn’t a great thing to do with your friends, but often times we need to practice different things than someone else. The second thing we gravitate towards doing when we show up to practice without a plan is working on the shots that we are already comfortable with. Lets face it, we like doing things were good at, but if your a great putter but a poor chipper, than its probably not the best use of your time to just come out at putt.
A few other notes on your practice time… Make sure you always have a specific target for every shot. You would never not have a target out on the course, so why would you practice without one? Also, always remember to go through your pre-shot routine. Get in the habit of addressing the ball, lining up and getting ready to swing the way you would on the course. Lastly, this is where you can really take time for those drills and swing thoughts that you are working on. Don’t feel like you have to hit every shot full, swing some half speed and rehearse what you are trying to do.
Take some time and do some goal setting for your golf game this year and then come up with a plan for your practice that helps you achieve them. Be intentional with your time at the course and you will see your game begin to improve. If I can ever help in any way don’t hesitate to ask.
– David Kite