Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bobby Jones Was Ahead of His Time.

Either Bobby Jones was ahead of his time or this philosophy got lost as the years went by.


I read a lot of the writings and thoughts of the greats of the past because I believe their message is still effective today and that the future of golf instruction is in learning to teach better.  Not in learning more "what to teach."  It appears that Bobby Jones knew over 70 years ago something that is now being learned, or relearned about how people of all ages learn to swing the golf club.  The science behind human learning is slowly seeping into golf instruction.

They learn primarily with their eyes and not their ears! 

There are sub-groups under that -  visual, auditory, read-write, and kinesthetic, but we primarily learn with our eyes.

Without getting too deep into the rabbit hole of neuroscience, the Holonomic brain theory supports that people learn motor skills not by linking a progression of positions together like line-by-line computer code, but instead by storing the entire movement as a neural 3-D hologram.  In other words they learn from watching.  

It appears that Stewart Maiden and Bobby Jones understood this.
Bobby wasn't a big proponent of teaching the golf swing.  Bobby learned the game by playing and observing the pro at his club, Stewart Maiden.  Maiden did not spend time on the practice tee giving Bobby swing instruction.  In fact, Bobby claimed that, to the best of his knowledge, Maiden never allowed himself to be drawn into a discussion about the golf swing.  To Stewart Maiden, golf was all about striking the wee ball.  Bobby might have been convinced to write about the swing, but I suspect he did so with mixed emotions.  He was not a man who believed in playing the game in a mechanical way.  He was not a fan of what he called, "rigid adherence to prescribed routine," in the teaching and learning of the golf swing. 
Bobby wrote: "Even if a person may not have begun to play golf at an early age, I believe that he may gain much by emphasizing naturalness in his learning processes. I think he has the right to convince himself that an effective golf swing can be made without rigid adherence to a prescribed routine and that there is room for differences in physical structure and capabilities. No matter how nearly equal in performance the top-rank players may be, yet they are as recognizable by their swings as by their faces.
"What the average golfer needs more than fine spun theories," Bobby wrote, "is something that will give him a clearer conception of what he should try to do with the clubhead... When we speak of sound method or good form, we mean nothing more than that the possessor of either has simplified his swing to the point where errors are less likely to creep in and he is able consistently to bring his club against the ball in the correct hitting position."



Friday, December 18, 2015

Golf Course Superintendents With a Sense of Humor

 Golf Course Superintendents With a Sense of Humor

I have always loved golf course superintendents that have a sense of humor.  Since all too many golfers take the sport too seriously, it is always nice to lighten it up a little.  I have collected these over time and if you have any others please email them to me sam@essentiallygolf.com or send them to me on Facebook.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

These are in no particular order.






This may be my personal favorite!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How To Keep The Ball In Play With The Driver




Here is a wonderful video on learning a quick and simple way to keep your driver in play.  It actually applies to every club in your bag, but I find it easier to learn by starting with the driver.

The most important key to this is taking practice swings.  You need to swing without the ball until you are comfortable taking a full swing at various speeds.

Take the practice swing and then hold the finish long enough to remember what it felt like.  Remember the feeling of being balanced and controlling speed.  Then just repeat that feeling.

Just remember that it is not a three-quarter swing - it is a full swing at three-quarter speed.

You will find out that when you start to relax and slow the club down you will start to make very solid contact.


The importance of this was taught to me by the legendary Mickey Wright.  How far I can hit a club and how far I should hit it are two different things.

The video only takes a couple of minutes and will be well worth your time.  It and several more are posted on my YouTube Channel.



Monday, December 14, 2015

A Simple Way To Check Your Alignment.

A Simple Way To Check Your Alignment.

I just ran across this and had one of those moments where you slap your forehead and say, "Why didn't I think of that."

I have noticed over the years that many of my students struggle with getting the club face square at address.  Most have it slightly open and then wonder why they slice.

Well, here is a simple and inexpensive way to help you check your club face alignment.  Simply buy some small magnets and glue long tees (the longer, the better) to the magnets.

It will help you train yourself to what proper club face alignment actually looks like.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Are You A Golf Tip Hoarder?

                                                    Beware of Golf Tips

One of the most damaging things you can do is become a hoarder of golf tips.  I know it’s tough because you are bombarded on all side by the internet, TV, magazines, and your buddies that offer them freely even if they are a 28 handicapper.

One of the really interesting things about golf is that anybody that can get it airborne thinks they can help others.  This brings in the subject of myths that keep getting pasted on from golfer to golfer.  Things like “you looked up”.  Not one golf professional I have ever talked to has ever had a student “look up”.  Then we have “keep your head down” or “you took your eye off the ball”.  The head doesn’t move independently of the body on the down swing and blind people play golf.


I think one of the reasons so many women quit golf in a short period of time is “tips” from their husband or boyfriend that cause them to get frustrated.

Just remember, the seemingly innocent act of fiddling with your golf swing because of a new tip you picked up somewhere has caused many golfers to say “I have lost my golf swing. I can’t hit the golf ball anymore.”

A golf swing doesn’t disappear; your golf swing is still there … it’s just buried under these new compensations/tips.

If you have a slice there are tons of articles, videos and tips for fixing it.  You will read and hear all about why an out to in swing path is causing the problem.  If the club is facing in the direction it is traveling (square), an out to in path will simply produce a straight pull to the left.  I have yet to find one that says a slice is caused only by the club face being open to the path at impact.  That’s too simple and you don’t need to buy anything to fix it.  Adjust your grip and grip pressure (lighter) until the club squares up.  You can do that on your own.

If you want to get better and enjoy golf more, forget all your tips and swing thoughts.  Go out and relax and remember that effort is self-defeating.  Try practicing by playing instead of hitting balls.  Swing smooth, take plenty of club, and work on solid contact.

If you want to read about golf subscribe to GolfWorld - wonderful articles and no instructional tips.  You can watch golf on television all you want as long as you are only watching people play golf.  When the announcers start doing swing analysis, take a bathroom break.

The point here is to enjoy the game by learning how to get the ball around the course with your swing and remember the most important point – there is no secret and no matter what the equipment companies tell anyone, their clubs will not dramatically change their game.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Golf Instruction From 1953 With Hogan, Snead, and Others.



In 1953 the PGA released an instructional movie along with Life Magazine called "Keep Em On the Fairway".

The intro is by Bobby Jones and the explanation of the golf swing is as true today as it was then.  I love the way it uses what was then state of the art technology to inhance the instructional portion.

The film features a nice mix of footage where the pros are seen both attending to the common faults of some everyday golfers and demonstrating their techniques on the course. Included in the film are the giants of the game at the time: Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Lloyd Mangrum, Jerry Barber, Cary Middlecoff, Walter Burkemo, Ed Oliver, Jimmy Demaret, Lawson Little, Byron Nelson, Lew Worsham, Pat Abbott, Miss Louise Suggs, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Have More Fun Playing Golf!


Have More Fun Playing Golf!

I have been involved in an untold number of discussions about the decline of golf and I think one of the major issues is that people are not having enough fun to justify the time and expense.  I am not going to get into all the possible reasons for the decline or this would become a book instead of a blog.  The one thing I am going to do is offer a simple suggestion.

Let everybody that wants to use a tee and tee it up in their own fairway.  I phrase it this way because I think there should be an advantage for hitting it in the fairway.  Now before the purist start lighting their torches let me explain.  By some estimates around 90% of golfers are already playing “lift, clean, and place” (winter rules) year round.  Is it such a leap to let them lift, clean, and put a tee under it?

One of the battles that rage in clubs and Golf Committee meetings around the country is the height of cut of their fairways.  The low handicappers want them tight and the vast majority of the members/players want them longer so they can set the ball up.  Longer fairways have several major draw backs.  Aesthetically, you need definition between rough and fairway.  With a higher fairway cut the rough gets deeper and slows play down.  It also makes the fairway softer and the ball won’t roll as far making the course play longer.  The longer cut seriously penalizes anyone that plays the ball “as it lies” because it produces flyers from the fairway.

The simple solution is short mowing heights and let less skilled golfers use a tee.  Everybody is happy (in my wildest dream).

There is already a lot of discussion about two different sets of rules - one for tournament/serious play and one for everyday play.  That’s wonderful, but you have a better chance of winning the Power Ball Lottery than living long enough to see the USGA and R&A come out with that.

My suggestion is start now.  As long as everyone in your group plays by the same rules it doesn’t matter.  If you play in a league they can adopt it for all of their members.  You don’t have to wait for anyone to “officially” recognize it.

The vast majority of golfers don’t have established USGA Handicaps now, so that isn’t a problem.  The one drawback is that you can’t have it both ways.  If you do decide to establish a handicap this way you will be at a severe disadvantage if you decide to play in an event played by USGA Rules.

My point is that we need to do things now that help people enjoy the game more so they won’t quit as fast and I believe this is a much better alternative than 15 inch cups and “Foot Golf”.

I’m simply throwing this out as a suggestion and food for thought.  I encourage you to bring your friends into the discussion through social media, email or whatever you are most comfortable with.  I would love for you to leave comments on this.  Be sure to check out my Facebook page and follow me on Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Golf Hall of Fame Celebrates Golfers That Were Veterans.



Veterans Day is a time to honor the men and women that have served their country and give them their due respect.  There is no shortage of distinguished golfers that are among this group.

 Arguably the most famous was Lloyd Mangrum, who joined the PGA Tour in 1937 and won five times before entering the Army in World War II. Mangum fought on D Day and in the Battle of the Bulge and won two Purple Hearts. After being discharged from the army, Mangrum went on to win the 1946 U.S. Open and eventually earned 36 tour titles in a career that earned him a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Lloyd Mangrum receiving the U.S. Open trophy after his 1946 victory (AP Photo).
 This video is the World Golf Hall of Fame historian Dr. Tony Parker narrated this video, produced by the WGHOF, telling the stories of several of the more than 20 members of the Hall of Fame served in the military. In the video Parker tells the stories of several of these golfers.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Finding a Good Instructor/Coach

The major reason it is difficult to find good golf instruction today is that instructors/coaches are not ranked by results.  The PGA, Golf Digest, no one does this.  What we need is an “Angie’s List” for golf professionals.  This may be why eighty percent of golfers don’t take lessons.  I’m sure it is at least a factor.

At this point word-of-mouth is all we have.  If you are thinking of taking lessons, you need to do some research before you pay your hard earned money to someone.  The good ones will have no problem with this.  If they are offended by your questions then move on.  You would be wasting your money with them anyway.

Here are a few points to consider before signing up with someone:

If they try to sell you a package up front there is a problem.  If I haven’t worked with someone at least once I have no idea how many lessons they will need.  Packages are not bad unless you are being asked to sign up for one initially.

If they do split screen video comparing your swing to some tour player you need to ask for your money back.  This is what I and my friends refer to as “Let me show you how many ways your swing sucks” school of instruction.

The real red flag is do they teach a method?  Every instructor should have a method of teaching but should never teach a method.  It’s like saying “One size fits all”.  No method fits everyone.  People and golf swings are individual.

Here’s what to expect from a good instructor/coach on the first lesson:

Introduction. Students are often intimidated by PGA pros, so he or she should try setting the student at ease and developing a rapport prior to the session. This leads to more effective communication between the teacher and the student.

They will want background information. This information includes: Previous golf and sports history; previous injury history; simple movement screens to detect physical limitations; occupation; previous instruction history; goals for golf.

They will want specific golf information. This includes: examination of the golfer's equipment; ball flight characteristics; determining how far the golfer hits each club; strengths and weaknesses in the various aspects of golf; practice habits; motivation for playing golf (i.e., competition vs. hobby vs. spouse activity, etc.); motivation for taking golf lessons.

A good instructor will form a personal relationship with you and be personally interested in your success.

The real art of instruction is figuring out what is integral to each players swing and knowing that you should not try to change that.  You have to work around it and help them become the best they can be with the swing they have.  If you know someone who does this, please let me know.  I want to promote them to everyone.

There is good news though.  There is a growing number of instructors out there that will help you simplify what you need to do and will help you maximize your swing and ability – not remake your swing in their image of what it should like.  It’s just difficult to find them because they don’t get much publicity.

One word of caution – if you try to go it alone, keep this in mind.  If you Google golf instruction, golf tips, how to fix a slice, etc. you will get a huge selection.  One reason for this is people that these people are in it for the money and not to actually help golfers.  You are bombarded by emails and infomercials telling you that if you buy this DVD or training aid, this book, etc. your game will dramatically improve and each one is telling you a different secret.  They have tour players and ex-tour players swearing its some type of breakthrough.  I hate to tell you, but virtually all of them are all scams.  Nobody has the secret because there is no secret.  They are simply trying to make money off you regardless of what they tell you in their video.  Anyone that appears on the first page of Google results has an ulterior motive or they wouldn’t go to that much trouble to get that highly ranked.

If you have questions or would like to get in touch with me just click on this link.  You can also see some of my other writing on the Pro Golf Now site.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rory McIlroy Meets The Bryan Brothers.

If you have trouble hitting your driver off the tee then you might need to try this!



One of golf’s top players meets the game’s trick-shot masters. Rory McIlroy learns the ins and outs of golf trick shots from the team that started it all, the Bryan brothers. Whistling Straits, home of the 2015 PGA Championship, has never seen a game like this, captured by GoPro.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Golf Rules for Non-Professionals

Finally, Someone Created A Realistic Set Of Golf Rules For Non-Professionals

By 09.22.15
golf rules for non professionals
YouTube - Tripp and Tyler

Golf. It sucks the life right out of you, yet many of us keep going back for more punishment over and over again. I honestly don’t know why we do it, but we do.

As Tripp and Tyler astutely point out, “The vast majority of us suck at golf, yet for some reason we subject ourselves to the same rules as professionals.” Which, as they also state, “is silly.”

So to make life better for the average non-pro golfer they have come up with a new set of golf rules perfect for the average duffer.

According to Tripp and Tyler’s awesome new golf rules for non-professionals…

— You get one mulligan for every dollar spent on greens fees.
— You also get one do-over for every dollar spent on greens fees as well.
— When you hit your ball into the woods you no longer have to find your ball. You just need to find “a ball.”

You can also do this…

They also have new rules for sand traps, water hazards, course etiquette, the fairway and more.


Yep, golf just got a whole lot more and a whole lot more fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Golf Instruction: Swing Speed vs Distance




Swing Speed vs Distance
I’m going to give you a way to drop your score without changing your swing.  This is something that all really low handicappers know that higher handicappers have trouble with.  When I was at the peak of my playing career I had the lofts on my irons set so I had exactly 10 yard increments between clubs.

One of the fastest ways to improve your score and your enjoyment is to learn how far you actually hit your irons consistently so you can make the right club selection. 

In my previous articles I stated that you should swing at about 75 to 80 percent of your max to hit the ball better.  Hold on to that truth because it is essential that you have some control over where the ball is going to land.  As effort and tension increase, accuracy drops dramatically.

With this in mind, go to the range with what you consider your 150 yard club and hit about 30 balls with it.  Eliminate the shortest 5 and the longest 5 and then measure how far it is to the middle of the rest of them.  That is how far you hit that club.  If the average is short of the 150 then park your ego and use one more club.  It is all about score.  There are no extra points for how far you hit it off the tee or what club you hit on your approach.

I have put together a little chart that may help you using swing speed and distance.  Club selections are based on what club to use to hit the ball 150 yards.  These are general numbers that don’t take in to consideration varying lofts and lengths of different models.  If you are hitting it farther than these swing speeds indicate, then you are playing with very strong lofts.
Swing Speed                                                      150 Club
60 mph                                                                 Driver
70 mph                                                                 3 Wood
80 mph                                                                 3 or 4 hybrid
90 mph                                                                 6 or 7 iron
100 mph                                                               8 or 9 iron

The next thing you need to do is figure out the distance gap between your clubs.  At 100+ mph swing speed that gap should be about 10 yards.  As swing speed slows down that gap narrows.  When you get into the slower speeds there is no need for a full set of clubs.  If the difference between your 6 and 7 is only 5 yards you can eliminate one of them.

Now you are in a situation where you can figure your distance from the 150 and add or subtract.  If you are at 175 and the gap between clubs is 8 yards then you need you are going to need two or three more clubs.  When in doubt take the longer club and choke down on it.  Making it shorter will take some distance off of it.

One other thing to factor in is how are you hitting the ball today?  How solid you are hitting the ball today and weather conditions can change club selection by as much as three clubs not counting wind.

I hope this will help you to score better and I want to thank those that took me up on my offer analyze their swings.  Keep me posted and leave comments about any questions you have.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tour Players Can't Help You

I have been saying for a long time that reading tips from tour players is not beneficial to the average golfer.  Their hand-eye coordination and talent is so superior that they can't relate.

Having someone explain how tour players do it by breaking down their swings in videos or swing sequences is also a waste.

I love it when some instructor starts in on how "critical" it is that you do this or that, especially if it involves posture or alignment.

Here's a video from possibly the best shot maker ever that shows what a really talented person can do.  This is hard to believe.








Friday, September 11, 2015

Take Shots Off the Next Time You Play




Would you like to know how to take 5 or 10 shots off your golf score the next time you play without trying to change your golf swing or doing some exercise routine? Well not only is it possible, but it’s simple and here are some golf tips to help you do it.

The first thing you are going to need to do is hit the ball in play off the tee. You can do this by either hitting something off the tee that you have confidence in or choking down on your driver a little and swinging at a slightly slower pace. The object with your tee shot is to get it in play – not hit it as far as you can. You should never swing as hard as you can at any shot.

Now that you are in play off the tee your next shot should also be something you are comfortable with. If you are a 90 or 100 shooter you should never attack the pin. Use plenty of club and play for the middle of the green. I had a golf course architect tell me once that they put most of the trouble in front of the green because most golfers under club. You never hear a golfer ask “do you think a seven is too much”. If you are not comfortable with reaching the green on your approach, play to a spot that leaves you a relatively easy chip or pitch.

"Set your own par.  For the 20 handicapper par is not 72 - it's 92" John Jacobs

In the event that you do get in trouble off the tee or on your approach the first rule is get the ball back in play. Never attempt to hit a shot you think you might pull off – hit a shot you know you can hit.

Once you are comfortably on the green the object is to never three putt. Never try to force something to happen. Concentrate on relaxing, gripping the club lightly, and being able to feel the putter. Your hand eye coordination will take it from there. Do not think about technique while you are playing and don’t try to force the putter to do anything.

On the par fives you want to end up with a relatively simple approach. It is not necessary to hit three woods on your second shot just because it is should go farther. A well struck five wood or hybrid will go farther and end up better than a miss hit three wood.

It is as simple as that. The main thing is to avoid large numbers at all cost. As I said earlier in this article, when you get in trouble just get the ball back in play safely as quickly as possible and don’t try to do anything heroic.

I f you would like help with your golf game or just have questions just get in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

Wonderful Article on Bobby Jones and Stewart Maiden

One of my friends on Google+ that is an excellent blogger and a true golfer posted this the other day and I just thought it worth passing on.

Stewart Maiden 

By  John Haynes at Top Hand Golf

I was thinking this evening about just how much time I've wasted, and how many lousy shots I've hit and rounds I've played because I've been thinking about my golf swing instead of hitting golf shots.  Paralysis by analysis can happen to anyone.  It happens when we get caught up in thinking about how we want to hit it, instead of where.  It's when, instead of picking a target and taking dead aim at it, we stand up to a shot thinking about keeping our left arm straight, or keeping our head down, or whatever other tip, or idea, we've latched on to.  Paralysis by analysis; it's been the ruin of many a man's game.

It got me thinking about what Bobby Jones had to say about his teacher, Stewart Maiden.  In his book Golf is my Game, Bobby, when speaking about learning the game, wrote:

"I do recall that as I became a little more aware of the general object of the game, I began also to be aware that some people played better than others, and I began to swing my clubs as nearly as possible as the club professional, Stewart Maiden, swung his.  I was fortunate, I suppose, that Stewart was a good model.  His method was simple.  It seemed that he merely stepped up to the ball and hit it, which to the end of my playing days was also a characteristic of my play.

Although Stewart Maiden has quite properly been known as my first instructor and the man from whom I learned the game, it is true that I never had a formal lesson from him while I was in active competitive play.  In fact, it was not until he had returned to Atlanta, only two years before he died, that I ever went on to a practice tee with him.

Although neither Maiden nor I ever saw much point in spending laborious hours on a practice tee, there were many times when I required a few words from him to put my game back in the right groove.  I suppose we didn't wear out the practice tee because it was never necessary, and Stewart never liked to waste his own time.  There was, however, one lesson that was memorable, and at the same time typical.

I had been having a most trying time with my long irons, and some sort of tournament was in the offing.  I had tried to work the thing out for myself, but could not do so.  There didn't seem to be any pattern to work on.  I would hook a few and then hit one a mile out to the right.  Indesperation at last, I told Stewart of my troubles while he was at his bench planing down a hickory shaft.

At first he said nothing, which I had long before learned was for him a normal response.  After a while, though, he took the club out of the vice, squeezed the grip end as no one else could ever do, so that barely a perceptible tremor agitated the whole club, appeared not wholly displeased, and set it aside for further attention later on.

'Let's go,' he said.  With no more conversation my caddy with my clubs and I followed Stewart down the first fairway to a spot some two hundred yards from the green.  'Hit a few,' he said.  I hit two.  As I stepped up to the next, he said 'Wait.'  With the grip end of a club he was holding in his hands, he rapped quite sharply on my left arm just below the shoulder.  I moved back.  Again he rapped, 'Move back,' he said.  I moved back some more, then looked up to see where I was aiming.  'Stewart,' I said, 'I'll knock this ball straight into that left-hand bunker.'  'Never mind,' he said; 'back some more.  Now, that's good.'  'What do I do now?' I asked, trying to be bitterly sarcastic. 'Knock the hell out of it,' said Stewart.  I did.  The ball almost landed in the hole.  I hit another and another straight at the flag.  I looked up for Stewart, but he was on his way back to his shop to finish that club.

All this may seem a pointless discussion, but it does have a purpose.  By this means I am trying to show how I think instruction in golf can be most useful.  A good instructor can be helpful at all stages of a player's development, but it is most important that the doses of instruction should be simple, direct, and practical.  It is folly for either teacher or pupil to expect that any swing can be perfected in an afternoon, a week, or even a season.  It is significant that Stewart did not try to fill my head with theories.  He merely put me in position to hit the ball and then told me to go on and hit it.

Stewart Maiden was a successful instructor because his eye went always to the point of basic disturbance.  He seemed always to be able to pick out the one point in a swing at which the making of a small change would work an improvement in the performance of the whole.  I'm sure he never once thought of trying to remake a swing or to create one from scratch precisely along copybook lines.  Throughout all the years I knew Stewart he never once allowed himself to be drawn into a discussion of  the golf swing.  To him, the game of golf consisted entirely of knocking the ball towards the hole, or into it, and that in the simplest manner possible."

Bobby Jones learned a great deal from Stewart Maiden.  He even developed his swing by watching and to some degree copying Maiden's swing.  But, perhaps more importantly, he copied Maiden's practicality when it came to the game.  He believed that golf was about knocking a ball from the teeing ground into the hole in the fewest strokes possible.  Golf was not about trying to swing a golf club in a prescribed manner.  It was all about the strike.  I sense from his writing that he dearly loved and respected Stewart Maiden.  That old Scot was one hell of a teacher.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Short Game Alignment and Setup




I keep seeing articles about your setup on short shots and chip shots, but for some reason, no one mentions that alignment and setup for each shot is slightly different.  The length of the shot and how high or low you want the ball to fly is determined by your setup and alignment.

Align the Shoulders


While ball position and lower body alignment may vary, the one constant is shoulder alignment.  Your shoulders should always be parallel to your target line on any shot whether you are hitting a driver or a putter.  NOT pointed at the target, but parallel to it.

The Lower Body


The lower body – meaning the feet, legs, and hips - will be open or pointing left of the target in order to get yourself out of your own way.  The club needs to travel down the target line as long as possible and a square stance makes it much more difficult to accomplish that. 

Do NOT Shift Your Weight


The single most important factor in developing a good short game is that you absolutely must learn to contact the ground in the same spot in your swing every time.  To accomplish this you simply need to stabilize your weight.  The low point in your swing arc is where ever your weight (or center of gravity) is.  If you shift your weight the bottom of your arc moves constantly with your weight.  The odds of winning the lottery are better than the odds of getting your weight in the same spot every time if it is shifting.

One point that needs to be made at this time is watching and reading about how tour players do it is a waste of time unless you are already that good.  Tour players have extraordinary hand-eye coordination, touch, and feel so they can do things in their swing that would be problematic for the average golfer.

It is easier to just place the weight on the left side or left foot and keep it there throughout the swing. 


 Keep the Club Head Low


Keep the club low to the ground as long as possible on the back swing and the follow through.  Never make any attempt to lift the club or cock the wrists unless hitting out of deep grass.  Keep the hands quiet.  Over active hands will result in fat and thin or skulled shots.


Another very important factor is to be able to have your hands in the same position at impact that you did at address.  The club head must never pass the hands until well after impact.  The chipping or pitching swing is made primarily with the arms and shoulders – not the hands.

How long the shot is determines how wide or narrow the stance and how open your body is.  For a chip shot your right foot is very close to your left foot and your lower body is very open.

For a pitch shot it is less pronounced.  The hands will generally be more forward on a chip, but the height of the ball flight will be determined by the loft of the club and the forward lean of the shaft.

Grip Down On The Club


One final point that needs to be addressed is gripping down or “choking up” on the club.  The shorter the shot the more you choke up.  It is perfectly fine to grip all the way down to the bottom of the grip.  This enable you to be firmer and more aggressive because the shorter you make the club the shorter distance you will hit the ball.


Hubert Green who had 19 PGA Tour wins including 2 majors used to choke the sand wedge all the way down onto the steel and open the face so he could be firm and aggressive. 

Never let the golf club slow down prior to impact.  Taking it back too far and slowing down prior to impact will cause the club head to pass the hands with the absolute certainty of a bad shot.

Practice with slightly different alignments until you find what is most comfortable for you.  I suggest practicing extensively with a sand wedge which is about 56 degrees.  By adjusting the shaft lean forward and backward and opening and closing the face you can learn to hit a variety of shots.  I am not a fan of using the lob wedge to chip or pitch with.  I agree with Barney Adams, the founder of Adams Golf, when his club designer told him they were going to design a 60 degree lob wedge he told them to stamp a skull and cross bone on it. 

As you go from a full swing to a less than full swing to a chip the right foot gets closer and closer to the left and the hips open more and more.  Shoulders stay parallel to the line.

Once you have learned to develop a solid short game simply start taking a bigger and faster swing and gradually square your body alignment and you will have an excellent full swing as demonstrated by the video below.