Before you hit the course this summer, here are a few pro tips that will help you chip, putt and stroke at the top of your game.
By Gevin Allen
τ Golden Triangles
When hitting a chip or pitch shot, keep the triangle of the elbows consistent from the address position. When done properly, the elbows should remain the same distance as it was at address as you turn your body freely towards the target. Missed shots are caused by changing the position of the arms from the address position and changing your spine inclination from the ground. At the finish, the club points towards the center of the body and the elbows are hugged on your sides.
The right elbow position at the top of the swing determines the consistency of downswing. During the top of the backswing, create a triangle with the elbows. This ensures the separation of the elbows are maintained from the address position. From this position, the right elbow will go down to a proper swing path toward the golf ball and remain connected to the body.
τ The Perfect Speed
The speed of a putt determines the line. The faster the ball rolls, the less it will break. The optimum speed is for the ball to pass the hole by 18 inches if you miss the putt, regardless of the distance of the putt. When practicing, place a tee 18 inches past the hole as an intermediate target. When hitting a putt, you should strive for the putt to stop past the hole but short of the tee. Putt downhill and uphill before a round to get the feel of the green before you play.
τ Calibrate Your Feel
Although some say practice strokes are unnecessary, how many times have you putted a second ball and performed better than the first putt? Practice strokes are a great way to calibrate your target to the stroke. Take practice strokes looking 18 inches past the hole. Step up to the ball and make the same stroke. With practice, the length of your stroke will be appropriate to where you are looking. Practice a variety of putts with different distances and breaks.
Gevin Allen, PGA, is the Director of Instruction and Player Development at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.