I recommend putting a stick down on your toe line to check your alignment. If you ever watch the pros on the practice range, many will have sticks down for alignment as well as ball position. This video also shows hitting ball first, then turf, so your divot is in front of the ball.
Upright Swing Drill
Stand tall, club extended straight out in front. Turn shoulders to the right, allowing your right elbow to fold, staying close to your upper body, the club face points to the sky. Turn back front, club face squares up directly in front followed by the left elbow folding next to upper body into the follow through. Repeat, keep doing it, allowing your hands to roll over, rotate, whatever you want to call it. Keep your grip relaxed and enjoy the rhythm and tempo. While you are doing this drill, if you bend at the waist and stick your butt out, you are swinging the golf club. Simple.
The Finish Drill
Simple, short, quick drill – get into your finish position and hold it. My great friend, Trey Maples, gave me this drill and said “if you can hold your finish, good things probably happened before it”.
Great drill for practicing your balance. Set up to the ball, then drop right foot back on your toes, hit a shot and hold your finish weight on front foot, belly button at target.
John Wayne Drill – AKA Knees Apart Drill
The first time I showed this drill to the high school golf team, I realized they had no idea who John Wayne is!! Great drill for stabilizing the base. Get in your posture, then push your knees apart like you’re on a horse – just like “The Duke”, AKA John Wayne. Hit balls using this technique, just a half swing, and I’ll bet you hit the ball more crisply after this drill.
2 Clubs – Hands In Front Drill
This is a good drill to get the feel for having your hands in front of the club head at impact. Take 2 wedges, turn one upside down and grip both around the grips which are now adjacent. Don’t worry about your grip, grip it like a baseball bat, just don’t let the club hit your side.
The Site – Overhead
Slow Motion Drill
I can’t see how anyone could get good at this game without breaking down the swing and doing some slow motion work, in front of a mirror is always wonderful to do, daily when you’re learning the game. Notice a couple things here: my right leg hasn’t straightened out but remained flexed, and the club is pointed at the ball on the downswing allowing me to hit the ball from the inside.
Pitch Shot – Face on View
This video shows a short pitch shot. Notice the stick on the ground and my front foot pulled back a bit, and my weight is emphasized on my front foot, which I recommend on all of your short shots. Keep the backswing short, promoting nice smooth acceleration into and through the golf ball, another key to the game.
This is a quick video showing good tempo, rhythm, and balance. Notice how still my head is, and tougher to tell that my divot was in front of the ball. Always ball first, then turf, to put a little backspin on the ball which prevents the ball from hitting the green and rolling off the back. Remember, strive to hold your finish on the front foot until the ball lands.
If you’ve ever taken a lesson from me, you’ve heard me explain how to find your grip. “Put the club to your left side and allow the club to rest in your fingers. Close your fingers and the club will be in the correct position, with the V pointing to the right. Put your right hand on top placing the “hot dog in the bun”, again the V of the right hand points to the right. The beginning of the video should really be at the end, because it shows how to test to make sure the grip is in your fingers. This is an absolute must to hit good golf shots – the club must be in your fingers!! Period – end of story!!
Putting – RR Tracks Drill
This drill has 2 alignment sticks down on either side of the cup, like railroad tracks.
Chip Shot – Side View
Ball position is back, hands are forward, weight is on my front foot. Keep back swing short so you always have nice smooth acceleration coming into the ball. You can see that the ball came out on a low trajectory.
Chip Shot – Down the Line View
In this video I’m using a 9 iron or pitching wedge, definitely not a sand wedge. Ball position is back, hands are low and close – Marshall Smith says “Hug the wedges and reach for the driver”. I don’t fly the ball the entire way to the hole, rather hit it low and get the ball running. Harvey Penick says to put a park bench next to the green and keep your chip shots under the bench.
Hold a sand wedge with your thumb and forefinger and get the club swinging. Once you get the club swinging you will realize they put the heavy part of the club on one end so it can swing and gain speed at impact. In the video I go into the Toe Up Tow Up drill, letting that clubhead swing. (If you look closely, I’m actually standing on a practice putting green; no divots were taken during the filming of this video!)
Putting Drill – Make 20 3 Foot Putts
I recommend putting an alignment rod on the ground when you practice short putts. These are the putts you must make to shoot low scores. By having a stick down, you can make sure your putter is going straight back and straight through. I prefer a straight back, straight through putting stroke rather that one that allows the putter face to open on the backstroke and closes on the through stroke. Try to keep your head still during your putting stroke.
Proper Posture – Front/Side Views
In this video I’m showing how to get into the proper posture to hit an iron. Notice in the side view, the butt of the club points to my belt buckle (or lower), NOT pointed above my belt buckle; when I released my right hand from the club, you see my arm is hanging straight down, the nature place for it to hang, right?
Warm up and Daily Stretch
This is great stretch to do daily and before warm up. Start with your feet about shoulder width apart, and your arms extended. Turn to you can see something directly behind you, maybe a tree, then turn in the other direction until you can see that same tree, letting your arms swing. Turn 10 times in each direction, then pull your hands in, continue turning looking for that same tree or landmark you’ve been seeing behind you; 10 turns to each side. Lastly, with your arms in, start your turn from the ground up, starting the turn with your hips. This drill is also great for working on your balance. I admit I look a little funny, and stiff, but ever since I broke my shoulder snowboarding my movements have been constrained.
Toe Up – Toe Up Drill
The Toe Up Toe Up drill is a great drill for working on tempo. Take a sandwedge in your left hand and swing back half way, then pretending there’s a golf ball in front of you, swing down into follow through, toe up again. You’ll fee your left hand sort of rolling over, thumb up – thumb up. When you watch the pros on Tour you’ll see many doing this when they’re waiting on a tee box. Be sure to get into your posture, chest pointing to the ground, and when you get going with good rhythm and tempo, the club will hit the same spot on the ground (don’t do this drill taking divots on tee boxes or in the fairways).