Tuesday Tip – Battering Ram

Kris MoeHere’s a great drill to help you gain some power and leverage in your swing.  Frogger pro Kris Moe demonstrates the “battering ram” drill.  If you were trying to break down a door with a stick or a golf club, you wouldn’t “flip” your wrists to do it.  You would not use just your arms either.  You’d use a combination of your body and arms to achieve the full amount of power.   The same applies to the golf swing.

Once again, you don’t get power or speed in the golf swing from flipping your wrists.  Power is not achieved by only arm action either.  The combination of the upper body turn with the release of the arms will result in optimal power and speed, which equals more distance.

Friday Fun – Links Golf

royalbirkdaleWith the British Open going on this week it would be fun to talk links golf for our Friday Fun subject.  The term “links” refers to the location of the golf course.  Links courses are typically buffers between the ocean and the mainland in Scotland.  The course “links” the land and the sea.

Because of the wind and weather and location of links courses, the ground is typically very hard.  Links courses play quite differently than courses in the USA as a result of the hardness of the course.  In the USA golfers “fly” their shots onto the putting surface where the ball will leave a pitch mark, and stop a relatively close distance from where it landed.  But in links golf the ground, even the green, is so hard that this type of shot results in the ball bouncing hard and traveling far over the green.

The proper approach shots in links golf are shots which hit quite a distance short of the putting surface and bounce/roll to their final position.  Because of this, combined with wind, links golf is often played “low.”  Low flying shots and running shots are the primary shots played.  Not many high wedges are played on true links courses and lob wedges are practically obsolete.

Tee shots are also subject to the hard ground.  It is crucial to play the tee shot in such a way that the contours and bounces are factored in.

Fun

So then next time you play some golf, try some links shots.  Rather than hitting high wedges from 50-100 yards, try hitting a punch 8-iron or something which bounces short of the green and bounds up.  Of course this must be done on a course which does offer that shot as an option.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and the final rounds of the Open Championship.  Be sure to watch how the pros play some of their “links” style shots and try to emulate them the next time you are on the course.

Tuesday Tip – Step Into More Power

We golfers tend to make things worse when we are attempting to summon up a little more power and distance.  When trying to swing harder or hit it farther our golf swings suffer all sorts of breakdowns and technique problems.  Usually those issues result in LESS distance and power, not more.  They also can result in less accuracy, as in hitting that awful banana ball slice, weakly to the right.

In the video below our pro Kris Moe shows us a drill we can use to gain more power.  Simply by stepping into the shot “Happy Gilmore” style, we can understand the weight shift and the tempo of the golf swing.

The step-into move also helps prevent the flipping of the arms and wrists, and helps prevent slicing.

Give it a shot.  Step into some practice on the range to get the feel.

Tuesday Tip – Putting Pendulum

Kris MoeWe encourage you to visit the Frogger YouTube library, where we have dozens of great golf instructional videos.  We love helping you enjoy the game not only through our great golf accessories, but also via some useful and simple, free golf instruction.  Our pro Kris Moe does a great job of putting together short and sweet golf tips and exercises which are easy to implement and can make a huge difference in your scores.

Today’s tip is a very simple, yet much overlooked concept in putting. We are talking about the “pendulum” motion.  What is a pendulum?  The best example would be the bob or part of the grandfather clock which swings back and forth.  Try to imagine your arms and shoulders moving as one piece, with the same motion and tempo as that pendulum in a grandfather clock.

The shoulders, arms, and hands all move as one and there are no individual movements.  The wrists don’t break.  The elbows do not break.  The whole “triangle” moves as one unit.  That single moving unit rotates around a centerpoint in the middle of the upper chest, or perhaps around the neck or chin.

As Kris mentions in the video, practicing this pendulum stroke can be done with or without the putter.  So the next time you’re waiting for your computer to update or perhaps waiting at the bus stop, work on your pendulum stroke!

Tuesday Tip – Praying Over Putts

Kris MoeGolfers often “pray” over putts.  “Dear golf gods.  Please let me make this bogey putt so that I may beat my opponent out of that darn $2.00 he won from me last week…”

Did you know that the praying position, can help you make those putts you’ve been praying over?  Check out the golf instructional video below by the resident Frogger PGA professional Kris Moe.  In this putting video Kris shows us the basics of positioning the putter shaft on our hands and how it aligns with our arms.  He also discusses the putter grip, which is different than the grip we use on full swing shots.  Part of that difference and positioning is the “praying” position, which will help prevent us from breaking our wrists in the putting stroke and producing the dreaded “flip” stroke.  The flip almost never works.

Next time you are at the practice putting green, try the praying position/grip.  Swing your shoulders and don’t break your wrists.  Putts will roll straighter and more true.  You’ll start draining those ever-important $2.00 nassau bet-winning putts!

Friday Fun – Combo Tees

Some golf courses feature a set of tees called “combo tees.”  Combo tees are a set of tees created by combining two other sets of tees.  Often combos are denoted by a color or multiple colors.  For instance, a course with blue and gold tees may create markers which have half blue and half gold, denoting that the tee is a combination.  The benefit to combo tees done this way is that a new variation on the tees can be created without the golf course having to physically create another tee box.  Another benefit is that the players have a new variation which the players can enjoy, making the “same old” golf course seem different.

teemarker

But what if the course you are playing does not have a set of combo tees?  Easy.  Create your own set!  Here’s how.

Before the round discuss what the combo tee setup will be for your group.  This combo can vary every time you play.  For an example lets say that you’d like the combo tee to be created from the blue and white tees.  One combo could be odds and evens.  The odd holes will be played from the blue tees while the even holes played from the white tees.

Another combo could be based on the type of hole. For example, the group may decide the play all the par-3 holes from the white tees and all the rest of the holes from the blues.  Or perhaps the par-4′s and par-5′s from the whites and the par-3′s from the blues.

Once the combo has been decided, use a marker or pencil to highlight the combo tees to be played on the scorecard to avoid confusion.

Conclusion

Combo tees are a great way to add spice and variety to the “same old” golf course.  Combos can literally create a whole new course to enjoy, from the tee markers/boxes which already exist.

Tuesday Tip – Pace Of Play

This week’s Tuesday tip is good for golfers of any playing ability, age, gender, style, location, orientation… you name it.  All golfers should play at a reasonable pace of play.

We watch the pro golfers on TV lining up putts from every possible angle.  We watch them discuss yardages, angles, wind, shot shapes and more with their caddies.  They analyze every possible factor in the shot.  These guys are pros and they are playing for millions of dollars.  They’re also usually playing in twosomes or threesomes, finishing in about four hours despite all of the analysis.

We Play Too Slow

As amateurs on public courses, we’re not lining up putts to win the Masters and millions of dollars, though that $2.00 nassau may feel like a million if you win it over your buddies.  We don’t need to line up putts from 12 angles or switch clubs 12 times before hitting an approach shot from 114 yards.

Amateurs generally play way too slow.

Tips On Speeding Up Play

I see many amateurs, especially those just starting out, take about 500 practice swings before they hit the ball.  Reduce that down to ONE practice swing which will give you the feel of the club, then hit it!  If you have to “practice” before every shot, go to the driving range and practice there first.  Bring one swing onto the course.  The less time you spend over a shot, the less time your brain can have to get in your way.  The less time you spend over a shot, the less time you’ll hold up the group behind you!

Keep up with the group in front of you.  Your group can only play as fast as the group in front of you.  Do your part and keep up with them.

Play real golf. Don’t play mulligans. Mulligans take up more time and you will never really know what score you shot or if you are improving.

In the early days of golf and still in golf’s home of Scotland, a round which takes over three hours is considered slow.  Here in the USA we are accustomed to 4.5-5 hours.  Try to play at a pace of play which is at or under two hours per nine holes.

If you are struggling to keep up the pace, let faster players play through.  They’ll be thankful and overall play on the course will be sped up.

When figuring out yardages, bring a few clubs with you.  Then you can hit the shot right away, rather than walking back and forth from your bag/cart to get a club.

When playing in a group, play “ready golf.”  Ready golf is where players don’t worry about who has honors.  The players simply proceed to their ball and hit when they are ready.

Speaking of proceeding to their ball, players should all go to their ball and figure out what shot they are going to play and be ready to hit it when it is their turn.  Don’t travel as a group to each player’s ball, watch them hit, then go to your own balls to start your shot process.

Final Thoughts

There are many more ways to speed up play.  I’ve just touched on a few of the big ones.  Speed it up.  You’ll enjoy your round more and so will the group behind you.  I bet you’ll notice that your scores won’t be any worse, and my even be better.

 

Tuesday Tip – Short Putts

Kris MoeFrogger PGA Pro Kris Moe has helped us put together a great library of easy to understand, easy to implement golf tips which can help your game quickly.  These tips are short and simple, not too much information or too many concepts to try and wrap your head or your golf clubs around.

A place where many amateur golfers lose many strokes is by missing short, easy putts.  How many times do you see it happen in a round?  Lack of concentration, lack of tempo, and a lack of keeping the putter face square all lead to 3-putts or worse.

Short putts are not hard.  Most amateurs make them harder than they need to be.  Even if the putter face is off a degree or two, the putt will still go in on a 2-3 foot putt.  Therefore the first part of Kris’s advice on short putts is to simply concentrate on returning the putter face to square, or as close to square as possible at impact.

The second part of the advice is to simply make sure you have a good putting stroke tempo.  No stabbing at the putt.  No deceleration.  Take the putter back at a smooth tempo and putt through the ball toward the target at the same tempo.

That’s it!  Those two small things to concentrate on can make a big difference on the score card.

Golf Cart Crash Test Dummies

Frogger friends and fans, after watching the video below we’d like to ask you to drive carefully on the golf course with your motorized golf carts!  Wow check this out:

No airbags.  No seatbelts.  No anti-lock brakes.  Not really safe.

In the video you can see that the primary impact of the crash is absorbed by the golfer’s FACE.  Scary.  Take it easy out there.

Tuesday Tip – Controlling Chip Distance

Kris MoeI’m very excited about today’s golf tip from our resident Frogger PGA pro Kris Moe.  I want to run out  and try some of these techniques as soon as possible, as one of the toughest parts of my own game is controlling chip distance.

In the video below Kris talks about a few different areas of focus in the swing the golfer can use to control distance and direction.  Of course, the length of the backswing is directly related to the length of the shot.  The speed of the swing is also directly related.  Another one might not have considered, is the amount of wrist-cock the player uses.

For direction and ensuring the player comes through on the proper aim and target line, the player will aim the club head at the bottom of the flagstick.  If the chip is not straight to the hole, the player would then pick a target landing spot and aim the club head at that spot.

These are fantastic chips which, if you are like me, can help a person who struggles with chipping distance.