Putting an end to golf frustration
Special to the Sun
Why do you play golf?
Whether it’s for recreation, business or a social or family activity, the bottom line is that golf should be fun. If it’s not, then you’re probably suffering from common golfer ailments ” frustration and even confusion.
This frustration and confusion generally “lies” within the fact that we as golfers do not know what to do to improve contact between the golf club and the ball.
To improve contact, consider these factors:
– The club’s FACE when it hits the ball will influence its curvature. For example, an “open” face (for right-handed golfers) causes the ball to curve to the right.
– The DIRECTION in which we are swinging the club at impact (or the PATH of the club) influences the initial direction of the ball. For example, if the club is swinging too much to the left at the moment of impact, the ball will start left of our target. Where it goes from there is dependent on the face of the club relative to the club’s path.
– The ANGLE OF ATTACK, meaning whether the club is on its way up or way down at the moment of impact, influences solidity of contact and trajectory.
– The SPEED of the club, if applied properly, meaning if the FACE, PATH and ANGLE are correct, influences how far the ball goes.
Think about it this way: Hitting a golf ball is like driving a car. Imagine how frustrating, not to mention erratic, driving a car would be if we did not know what controlled which way the car turned or what made the car accelerate or stop.
In golf, if we understand what the club is doing to the golf ball to make it fly in certain ways, it makes fixing our flaws much easier. In other words, when we hit good or bad shots, it’s nice to know the reason WHY?
When fixing our flaws, we should start with the acronym GASP:
– G is for Grip. This is the steering wheel to the club face. If you have too much curvature in your golf ball, start by making certain your grip will produce a square club face.
To self check, grip the club, then extend your arms all the way out in front of you parallel to the ground. The leading edge should be pointed straight up to “12 o’clock.” If not, adjust accordingly.
– A is for Aim. Be certain you’re aiming where you want the ball to go. This means the face of the club should be perpendicular to the target line, and your feet, knees, hips and shoulders should be parallel to that target line.
– S is for Stand to the handle. Once you have grounded the club squarely and with its intended loft, center yourself to the end of the club. This will assure the ball is in the correct spot relative to your feet. Both aiming and standing to the handle influence the direction in which you swing the club, influencing where the ball starts relative to your target line.
– P is for Posture. Put your weight on the balls of your feet, with a slight knee flex, bottom out, back straight and chin up. Correct posture will assure that the club will be working up and down and around in the proper fashion, giving you the proper angle of attack and more solid hits.
Whatever the reason you play golf, remember the goal is to have fun. End the frustration by becoming more familiar with the reasons why your ball may not do what you want it to.
The fun begins in correcting these flaws and playing better golf!
Brian Floriani is the Director of Instruction at the Golf Digest School at Old Greenwood, which is a Tahoe Mountain Resorts golf course community. Brian has taught with the Golf Digest Schools for the past four years. For more information regarding the Golf Digest School, visit http://www.golfdigestschool.com or call 550-2670.