7 shots anybody can rely on in the heat of competition

Written by Ron Kaspriske

For some, golf is stress relief—a pastoral stroll interspersed by 70 or 80 golf swings and maybe a stop for a hot dog at the turn. For others, it’s a fist-clenching, nerve-racking, nearly out-of-body experience where success is often defined by getting through 18 holes without feeling like you need to see a therapist afterward. We’ve been there, too. For the latter, the adventure is only exacerbated when playing for money, or in a tournament, or with strangers, or in front of a crowd—or all of the above.

If you’re faced with needing to execute in one of these competitive moments, but your central nervous system is failing like the Manhattan power grid on a 95-degree day, you need a go-to shot you can rely on. What’s a go-to shot? It’s one that might not make the highlight reel on a newscast or go viral on YouTube, but it’s so reliable and easy to execute that you can use it even when flop sweat is blurring your vision. Here are seven shots that will become second-nature once you’ve worked on them:

OFF THE TEE

Let’s start with a little honesty. Most golfers lean on their driver when they need a great tee shot. You know it, we know it. We’ve got a clutch drive when getting it in play is paramount. This shot will come out low, probably move a little left to right (for right-handers), and chase down the fairway when it lands.

1 . Tee the ball down about half as high as normal.
2 . Grip down an inch on your driver.
3 . Play the ball halfway between center in your stance and your lead heel.
4 . Make a slow, steady backswing.
5 . When you swing down into the ball, feel like your chest is on top of it.
6 . Swing through impact, finishing when your right shoulder is pointing at the target.

APPROACH FROM THE DEEP STUFF

Unless the ball is sitting up in the grass, flying it all the way to the hole might be too much to ask for in pressure situations. You need a shot that advances the ball, so it lands back in the fairway or possibly chases up near the green leaving you with an easy chip or putt. If there’s a window, you might roll it on.This is the play.

1 . Take a high-lofted club.
2 . Grip down an inch.
3 . Take a stance that gives you the best chance at minimizing contact with the rough, bush, fescue, etc.
4 . Make a steep backswing, feeling like you’re lifting the club nearly straight up.
5 . Swing down directly at the ball, but with less-than-full effort, so you maintain your address posture.
6 . Follow through as best you can, an expect the ball to come out hot and roll once it lands.

APPROACHES FROM THE FAIRWAY (OR FIRST CUT)

Hitting a green when you’re nervous is a lot simpler if your go-to shot is a shortened one that you’ve practiced. If you go with a full swing, you’ll have too much time for your brain to short-circuit and produce a wonky move. A cut-off iron shot will give you your best chance at solid contact. It also flies lower and is more accurate. The three-quarter iron shot might soon be your best friend.

1 . Use a club one longer than normal.
2 . Play the ball roughly center in your stance.
3 . Make an unhurried swing back and through, focusing on solid contact.
4 . Think: shoulder height to shoulder height. Your swing ends going back when your hands are shoulder high and ends going through when they reach the opposite shoulder.

IN THE ROUGH AROUND THE GREEN

There are a number of pressure situations when just getting the ball on the green is enough to make you breathe easier. You need a pitch that delivers every time. So forget about the low-percentage lob shot. And we’re certainly not talking about taking it in low and hoping there’s enough spin on the ball for it to check up. You need a technique that’s simple to repeat and is forgiving enough to still work even if you hit it a little fat.

1 . Grab your highest-lofted wedge.
2 . Take a slightly wider-than-normal stance, and open your body in relation to the target.
3 . Play the ball roughly in line with your front foot’s heel.
4 . Take the club back until the butt end of the shaft is pointing downward at the ball.
5 . While rotating your entire body toward the target, pull the butt end of the club toward the ball, keeping your left hand palm down and your trail hand palm up.
6 . Don’t stop the swing or your body rotation until your hands are at least shoulder height in the follow-through.

GREENSIDE BUNKERS

Sand shots should be easy because you can strike an area anywhere from right behind the ball to four inches behind it and still get the ball on the green. But when something is on the line, the fear of catching too much ball can creep into your mind and you end up making a short, choppy swing that leaves it in the sand. Don’t let that happen again by using this reliable bunker shot.

1 . Grab your highest-lofted wedge.
2 . Address the ball off your front foot.
3 . Take a wider stance, put all your weight on your front foot, and open your body in a little in relation to the target.
4 . Pick a spot two inches behind the ball and stare at that spot intently, erasing the ball from your mind.
5 . Hinge the club up quickly in the backswing.
6 . Splash the back of the club down on the spot you were staring at.
7 . Finish with the club over your lead shoulder. (Don’t stop short of that.)

JUST OFF THE GREEN

Chipping it close when a match or round is on the line is a skill that doesn’t have to be reserved for better players only. There’s a technique you can employ that makes it fairly easy to get the ball on the green quickly and rolling like a putt. Try this.

1 . Use a gap wedge or a 9-iron.
2 . Play the ball center in your stance.
3 . Pick a spot that’s a third of the way to the hole on the line you think it would roll along to the hole if it were a putt.
4 . Take your putting grip and set the clubshaft nearly vertical.
5 . Mimic a putting stroke at the same fluid pace (and length) as if you were putting from that distance.
6 . Keep the clubface low and moving toward your target after impact.

MAKABLE PUTTS

When it comes to putting, the bad news is that you can do everything right and still miss. Imperfections in the green, cleat marks, a gust of wind—it doesn’t take much for a putt to rim out. That being said, you can give your makable putts a real chance of going in if you focus on one thing—face control.

1 . Once you’re confident in your read, set up to the ball so you’re eye closest to the target is directly over the ball or just inside of it.
2 . Hold the putter in whatever way minimizes control of the handle with your dominant hand. You just want that hand to lightly hold on. (The claw-style grip can help.)
3 . When you make the stroke, keep your lower body as still as possible.
4 . Trace the putterhead down the line of putt after it strikes the ball.
5 . Hold your finish position, including posture, until the ball falls in the cup.

Source: golfdigest.com

Driving for Distance: Players today know that carry beats roll

Written by Butch Harmon

The old idea of hitting a low draw to get the ball running down the fairway is, well, an old idea. Launch monitors have proven that carry distance is the key to overall distance. Here are some tips for maximizing carry. —

First, check your driver specs. A little more loft—for most players, at least 10.5 degrees—will help you launch the ball higher. A lighter, more-flexible shaft means you’ll get more out of the speed potential you have.

Next comes the setup. Move your trail foot back a few inches to widen your stance. That’ll tilt your spine away from the target and put your head behind the ball. From there, you can swing into impact on a shallow, sweeping angle and produce that nice, high launch.

You can make a few tweaks to your swing, too, but don’t try these all at once. Going back, take your time setting the club at the top. You don’t want to go slow, but be deliberate. Get as much body turn behind the ball as your flexibility allows.

Coming down, let’s focus on two things: the trail shoulder and the trail foot. Keep your shoulder back and in for as long as you can. Nothing saps power faster than the upper body taking over the downswing, which causes a steep chop. Let your hands and arms drop as the lower body starts forward. But don’t overdo the lower body: Keep your trail foot down longer, and the club will stay to the inside and come in shallow.

Finally, maintain your arm speed all the way through like Dustin Johnson is doing here. Don’t just hit at the ball. Carry distance requires a level strike and as much speed as you can muster and still hit the ball flush. with Peter Morrice

Source: golfdigest.com

How to make the putts you’ve been giving yourself all season

Written by Keely Levins

Amongst your group, you’ve probably determined an acceptable distance at which putts are gimmes at least most of the time—you don’t even wait for someone to say, That’s good. Even when you’re playing alone, you probably give yourself any putts within four feet of the cup. That’s great—many of us do. It’s helpful for pace of play, and nobody wants to lose a little match over an even smaller putt.

Where it becomes an issue is when you’re suddenly in a position where you have to putt everything out.

Maybe it’s a club championship or a qualifier, but all of a sudden those unmissable short putts you haven’t attempted all season start to become missable. The scariest part: once you see one miss, there’s a tendency to start missing more of them. To help you avoid this disastrous fate, we talked to one of our Best Young Teachers, Tasha Browner of El Caballero Country Club in Tarzania, Calif.

“When finishing out those crucial putts, we want to address a common problem that begins as a mental mistake and leads to a physical one,” says Browner. “When we have those short putts, the desire to make the putt outweighs the process of making a good stroke. Golfers tend to stop rocking their shoulders, and they steer the ball in the hole with just hands. This directly leads to problems with clubface direction and speed.”

To remedy these issues, Browner has three drills and tips that will help.

1. The Push Drill

This drill is exactly what it sounds like. Set up to the ball with your putter, and your thought should be to just push the ball toward the hole. Don’t take any backswing. “This drill forces the golfer to move their body as a unit to finish the stroke and not just with your hands,” says Browner.

2. Tip: Use Visual Aids

Set up in front of a mirror (you can do this in your house). Or set up on the putting green in a spot where you can see your shadow, and start making strokes. Browner says to focus on making sure they’re complete strokes. “Watch how your shoulders and arms move together into the finish,” says Browner. “Sense what body parts are engaged, and tap into that when you play. This rehearsal can help eradicate that handsy stroke.”

3. Tip: Practice Pressure

Aimlessly putting around the practice green isn’t going to help you when you’re in a match, grinding over a four-footer for bogey to halve the hole. Instead, Browner says to simulate pressure-filled scenarios when you practice. “For example, don’t let yourself leave the green until you’ve made five consecutive four-footers in a row,” says Browner. “Any form of pressure that you can add will help you feel more at ease in those situations on the course.”

Source: golfdigest.com

How to correct your slice in golf

Written by Golfweek

Dealing with a slice can be one of the most frustrating aspects of golf for amateurs. The banana ball flight off the tee makes it difficult to keep the ball in play and can drastically reduce the ball flight.

Here are a few tips to help eliminate your pesky slice and hit it further and straighter off the tee.

The grip

This is often the first thing that goes wrong and can lead to a big slice. In order to properly grip the golf club, right-handed players should take the club first in their left hand and grip it mostly with their fingers. With the clubface on the ground, turn your left hand until two knuckles are visible and form a “V” shape with your left index finger and thumb. Place your right hand over the left and create the same “V” shape with your right index finger and thumb, pointing to your right shoulder.

The Setup

Start with the ball teed up and placed just off the inside of your front foot. Place your head a few inches behind the ball. This will help create an upward strike off the tee rather than a downward strike. When the club makes contact at a downward angle it can create a lot more spin and take away distance, leading to that big slice. Your shoulders should also have a natural tilt due to your head placement behind the ball.

The swing

Using that shoulder tilt from setup, rotate your shoulders and bring the club back until your left shoulder is underneath your chin. This will allow you to complete an inside-outside swing path. A big slice is often the result of an outside-inside swing path, which feels like it should cause the ball to go left but creates the opposite effect. For the proper inside-outside swingpath, picture hitting the ball to the opposite field in baseball or softball.

The Clubface

One of the biggest contributing factors to a slice is an open clubface. Once you’re swinging on an inside-outside path, slightly rotate the toe of the club over the heel while swinging through impact. This will square the clubface at impact and help produce the proper ball flight.

 

Source: Golfweek

The month of August is National Golf Month!

In celebration of that, we’ve decided to do a giveaway.

You have the chance to win a $100 Gift Card to Chenoweth Golf Course!

HERE’S HOW:

1. Join our E-Club!
2. Play golf!

We’ll choose at random at the end of the month! The more golf you play, the more chances you have of winning!

Golf Top 100 Teacher: This is how your right arm should feel at the top of your backswing

Written by Martin Chuck

Good arm structure—most critically at the top—has been a hallmark of many wonderful golf swings.

Sloppy arms can lead to all kinds of problems. Among these is the flying right elbow and the torso-hugging right elbow. In fact, the right elbow is responsible for most backswing arm woes.

But don’t worry, I’ve got a drill for you that’s as easy as a Sunday drive.

Hold your arms in front of you as if you were (properly) driving a car—for those of you who skipped driver’s ed., that means hands at 10 and 2! In other words, the wheel is a clock; put your left hand on 10, now the trick, reach into the middle of the wheel and grab 2 o’clock, palm up. This funky’ opposing hold on the wheel gives your right arm the primo feeling for the top of your swing!

Source: Golf.com

The trusted secrets of a member-guest juggernaut

Written by: Guy Yocom

Tom McQueeney Jr. is 81 now, his golf in abeyance as he waits to have his right hip replaced. Tall and regal, he likes to give junior golfers lessons on the putting green, and he chips a bit, but his main pastime is keeping the grillroom at Race Brook Country Club in Orange, Conn., alive with jokes, gossip, wisecracks and tales of yesteryear. The centerpieces of his best storytelling, shared only after he has placed his drink order—(“Beefeater on the rocks with olives, please”)—has to do with the Blakeslee Memorial Cup, the club’s three-day member-guest. McQueeney and his partner, the late Clem Miner Jr., dominated this tournament. Over the course of three decades, beginning in 1960, they won it 14 times and finished runner-up another eight.

“TMac,” as he’s known around the club, is Exhibit A for the case there is much to be learned from crack amateurs. He was a school teacher his entire adult life: He taught Greek, Latin, French, U.S. history and was a high school basketball coach. Thus, a pro career was never on the table. But his zeal for practice and competition, combined with having a chunk of the summer months off, made him one of the most skilled and shrewd players around. His acquired knowledge is often fresh and always helpful to those he shares it with.

McQueeney and Miner individually were superb players. TMac at his peak was a 1-handicapper, Miner a scratch. Together they played as though conjoined at the brain stem, not speaking much but performing precisely on the same wavelength. From the order they played, to the way they read putts together, to club selection, it was a clinic, neat to watch and a little mysterious.

It being the heart of the member-guest season, I suggested to TMac he would be doing readers a favor by passing along some four-ball advice. For McQueeney, the list flowed easily. Herewith, some collected member-guest wisdom, according to TMac:

• Remember, meden agan. “That’s Greek for nothing in excess. It really applies to booze but applies to food, too. Having said that, I’ll eat a hot dog if I feel like having one. This isn’t the Olympics. You’ve got to live a little.”

• Go easy during the warm-up. “Find your rhythm and try to hit the ball solid, nothing more. Hit mainly wedges through the 7-iron. Don’t hit more than a few drivers. End by hitting a few of the harder shots you know you’re going to face.”

• Play a side game with your partner. “Clem and I always played $5 birdies between the two of us. The times we each made bunch of birdies, it didn’t work out too well for our opponents.”

• Have a secret skepticism about your opponents. “We always quietly held the other team in playful contempt. We joked about them. It lifted Clem and I up, helped us bond and play hard for each other.

• Farthest from the hole putts first. “If your partner has a three-footer for par, and you’ve got six feet for birdie, don’t ask him to ‘clean up’ the three-footer. If he misses, you’re going to lag the six-footer instead of trying to make it. Don’t get cute. Don’t overthink it.”

• Putt aggressively. “In general, be much bolder than if you were playing individually. If you hit a putt long, well, that’s why you’ve got a partner, to cover you.”

• Keep the course in front of you. “I just told you not to be short, but having said that, on almost all courses, it’s better to be short than off to the sides. That’s where the bunkers and trouble are. Always try to keep a clear route to the hole for your next shot.”

• With the irons, take one more club. “Even good amateurs tend to miss short. Coming up short puts pressure on your partner. The sweet spots on those irons are small, so give yourself the benefit of the doubt.

• Don’t talk too much. “Be friendly, but don’t get too distracted. There’s time to discuss your opponents’ family and job after the round.

• Compliment your opponents. “Maybe to a fault. I was never big on gamesmanship, but when we played against a guy who swung hard and hit it a mile, I couldn’t help but mention it. ‘I’ve played with long hitters before, but you’re very long,’ I’d say. They loved the praise. They also tried to swing even harder, and you know what happens when they do that.”

• Thin beats fat. “Always err toward hitting shots a little thin, especially under pressure. There can be a temptation to dig, especially from bad lies, which you seem to get more of in tournaments. Don’t give in. Fat shots are demoralizers.”

• Redefine the gimme putt. “It’s shocking to me how many two-footers are missed in tournament play. I’ve missed them, too. Don’t be too quick to give short putts, and expect to putt them all yourself.”

• Never change putters during a tournament. “Metal doesn’t change, you do. If you’re putting poorly, do your best to work it out. If you switch to another putter, nine times out of 10 you’ll putt even worse.”

Sated by his most recent round of tip-sharing, McQueeney takes you to the parking lot to show off his new car. He pops the trunk and points to a lone club inside. “Last thing, always keep a driver in your car. You never know when you’ll pass a driving range.”

Source: GolfDigest.com

There are busy dads and lazy dads, fun dads and grumpy dads, golf dads and football dads, but they all have one thing in common: they’re the best dads in the world. Get your dad the perfect gift!

Celebrate Dad (or yourself) with our new Golf Package!

He will love it! Also, don’t forget to stop by the course for 20% off apparel in the Pro Shop!

Give Mom the gift she’ll LOVE! If your mom is like mine, she’s happy when you find a good deal.
To Redeem: make a tee time, show up with your mom, we pay for mom’s greens fees and you pick up the tab for everything else

Doug Lemons

Exciting things are happening at Chenoweth Golf Course this season! Today, we are excited to announce Doug as our new PGA Golf Professional!

About Doug

Doug Lemons has been a professional golfer for over 20 years and has been twice recognized as one of the Top 50 Kids instructors in the country. From adults to kids as young as 5, Doug will consistently teach over 1,000 lessons annually.

He has mentored and/or taught aspiring Junior players to State Championships, collegiate careers, or just helping them qualify for their High School golf team. Whatever your goals are, he can help you reach your greatest potential.

Have kids? Check out Doug’s website to register for this year’s Summer Camp!

To schedule a lesson, visit: http://golfohio.websites.uschedule.com/Instruction-Programs/Private-Instruction-Rates