Sharpen your ba­sics

If your game’s rusty af­ter the win­ter break, these four Tour-proven drills will get you back on track.

Golf World (UK) - - The Spin -

“Af­ter any lengthy lay off, I’d al­ways sug­gest you have your tech­nique checked and as­sessed by your lo­cal pro­fes­sional, just to make sure you’re happy with your ba­sics,” says Damian Tay­lor, coach to Bernd Wies­berger and Daniel Brooks. “When you’re happy with the ba­sics, make time to fo­cus on four key as­pects. These are drills I work with my clients on and which should im­prove your game.”

PUTTING Start line and speed

“Find a straight putt on your putting green. Place a ball marker in the ground as your start­ing spot and put a tee peg in the ground 10ft away. Hit a few putts to the tee peg to get some feel for 10ft speed, then move the peg out to 20ft, then 30ft, then 40ft. To hone your start line, re­peat the drill but put two tee pegs in the ground, the width of two balls apart and around 12 inches on from the ball, then putt through the ‘gate’. As you progress, bring the tees closer to­gether so there’s just enough room for the ball to pass through. You’ll in­stantly see if you’re miss­ing your start line as the ball will hit the left or right peg. Amend your stroke ac­cord­ingly.”

CHIP­PING In­crease the loft

“To in­crease your chances of ups and downs from just off the green, start with a few lit­tle chip and runs with a 7 or 8-iron from the edge of the green. Aim for the same ac­tion as with your putting but just us­ing the loft of the club to carry the ball over the fringe grass to land it on the first third of the green. Pro­gres­sively move fur­ther back from the green edge and as you do, in­crease the club’s loft so you are go­ing to have more carry and less roll the fur­ther away you go from the green.”

PITCH­ING Feel the speed

“Us­ing the rel­e­vant pitch­ing club, start with short pitch shots fo­cus­ing on good, ba­sic fun­da­men­tals and on us­ing the bounce – the back of the sole of the club – and on each strike. Once com­fort­able, fo­cus on the 30-yard dis­tance, grad­u­ally mov­ing out to 40, 50, 60, all the way up to 100 yards. Fo­cus on the speed the club trav­els – the fur­ther the dis­tance, the faster the club has to move – and you’ll find the length of your swing will nat­u­rally get longer and pro­duce the dis­tance you are try­ing to hit the ball. This drill will help you find your pre­ferred dis­tance, the dis­tance you’re hap­pi­est hit­ting into the green from.”

IRONS Feel the mo­tion

“Us­ing a 9-iron, start with ball on a tee peg and make some half swings to get a feel­ing for your swing mo­tion. Hit sev­eral balls do­ing this un­til you feel com­fort­able with the swing. Grad­u­ally work up to full swings, still off the tee peg, keep­ing in mind the key thoughts of your swing while do­ing this. Move up to an 8-iron, fol­low­ing the same process, then 7-iron. Be­ing con­scious of your swing me­chan­ics gives you greater con­fi­dence with strik­ing as shorter irons are al­ways eas­ier to strike well. Once you’ve built your con­fi­dence you can work through the bag fol­low­ing the same process.”

June 2017

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