Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fall Analysis

One of the great mysteries to me concerning golf in the mid-west is why golf rounds played slow so dramatically after Labor Day. I understand the football argument, but even so fall is the best time of the year to play. The weather and golf course conditions are usually very good. The courses are less crowded, so pace of play is less of an issue. Most important, from my point of view, is that the later you play into the season the better the chance you have of playing better in the spring.

Fall is the best time to analyze your game. You have had the summer to develop some feel for your swing, good or bad. Now is the best time to go to your teaching professional and talk about the changes you can make to be a better player. Most mid-summer lessons are what I call conditional sessions. The student wants you to fix their game, BUT, don’t do too much. They just want one or two swing keys that can help you hit the ball in an acceptable manner. Most of the time they come a week before a special event like a member guest or charity outing. No time to really look at your game and truly evaluate your method.

Fall is the perfect time to take serious look at developing some new strategies for your game. Consider the following:

Grip – It is really tough to make a grip change. However, once you overcome the new feel it can make all the difference in the world.

Drivers – Now is the best time to have a professional look at your driver strategy. Get some help on proper set up and ball position demanded by new driver technology. Once those are understood then look to find the best driver for the new set up.

Putting – Now is the time to become a better putter. It is not a matter of luck, great putters are made not born. The first step is to make sure your putter fits you posture and vision. Depending on the individual some putters are easier to aim than others. Spend some time working to find a stroke you can repeat. Focus on these three factors in this order. Control the face. The majority of influence on the direction the ball leaves the putter is determined by face angle at impact. Control the speed. Rhythm and tempo are key factors in controlling the stroke for both distance and direction. Finally, when you can control the speed the putter swings then learn to associate the length of stroke to the length of the putt. Too many try to hit long putts hard and short putts softly with the same length backswing rather than using a consistent tempo and a longer stroke for a longer putt.

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