Archive for the ‘Pro Tips’ Category

TSG Pro Tips – Selecting New Golf Clubs…

Monday, July 18th, 2016
Selecting new golf clubs

                      Selecting new golf clubs

How many times have we all been heard to say the words, “I need new clubs!“? Probably once a round if you’re playing with some of my friends… so, should you change your equipment? And how do I go about selecting new golf clubs?

Selecting new golf clubs – How to choose…

Should you change your equipment? Fancy a new driver to boom those drives 300 yards? How about a new putter so you can putt like Speith?

Your next question should be – will it really help my game?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then great. An exciting time! But how do you make sure you get the correct equipment for your game?

Selecting new golf clubs – The Driver

Selecting new golf clubsIf you are looking for a new driver, the first thing is to get the correct loft.

Way too many golfers I see do not have enough loft on their driver, this can affect their swing as they try desperately to get more height and distance.

Such an issue this is, I have had a few golfers come in for a new driver, but with the help of a launch monitor, discovered they actually hit a 3 wood further.

A couple of years ago Taylormade launched their mini driver with more loft to help with this issue.

Selecting new golf clubs –  What the correct loft is for you?

The simple answer is to have a custom fitting with a qualified golf Pro who has a launch monitor (be wary of American Golf as often their custom fitters are not Pro equipment and have much less knowledge).

They will be able to tell you how high the ball launches, combined with how much you spin the ball to get the correct loft for you.

You will be able to see yourself both the difference in results of launch and spin, along with (hopefully!) how much longer you now hit it!

I’ve talked about a lack of loft here – just remember too much loft could mean shorter drives too (although in my experience this is less common).

Shaft flex and length is important too – so if you are getting fitted the pro will advise on shaft flex and just make sure it ‘feels’ ok to you.

I mentioned shaft length too – the average driver shaft off the shelf is 45”-45.5” long.

The average driver length on the PGA Tour is 44”-44.5”.

So why would us mere mortals think we can use a longer clubs than those experts!

It’s only making things harder. Now, although a longer club can create more clubhead speed and therefore longer drives – it is much more important to strike the ball out the middle of the face for distance.

Always try a shorter shaft (or grip down) to see how your results are affected.

Selecting new golf clubs – Irons…

Selecting new golf clubsThose thin, shiny blades always look great in the bag.

People will think “that guy’s good!” but if you proceed to shank one in the woods – they will be less than impressed!

So what do the different head types do?

Cavity back – This is more forgiving – the sweet spot of the club is made larger by cutting the back out the club and moving the weight around the perimeter of the club.

There are differences in these though. Some have a big cavity on the back – the bigger the cavity the more forgiving the club will be. If it is only a small cavity, the club will not be quite so forgiving.

Who should buy these? Essentially anyone. There are many Tour Players using cavity back irons now but it is important to buy the correct ones.

Hybrids – You can buy a few hybrids or even a whole set of hybrids! Essentially small woods, the sweet spot can be large as possible as the clubhead is hollow which means more weight to put around the perimeter. Often there is a little more weight put near the sole to give a low centre of gravity which helps to result in higher shots

Who should buy these? Anyone who struggles to strike the ball out the middle or hits the ball very low.

Blades – Hardest of the club to hit. A small sweet spot and a slightly higher centre of gravity leads to shots that go lower but if you do not hit the sweet spot – do not expect to be hitting the green!

Who should buy these? Only elite players – scratch and less

Selecting new golf clubs – How to choose your set…

Selecting new golf clubsYou may feel you fit into a few categories here but firstly make sure you are giving yourself as much forgiveness as possible – if the tour players use forgiving irons, why don’t you?

Golf is hard enough, give yourself a chance!

Next look at how high you are hitting the irons; for example, if you are trying out hybrids and striking them pretty well but they are going too high (possibly costing you distance), try a cavity back.

This is all about getting the balance between forgiveness and hitting the ball on a good trajectory to give you the most distance possible.

Selecting new golf clubs – How high you should hit these clubs…

  1. Hybrids
  2. Cavity back irons
  3. Blade irons

It is possible now to not have to have a full set with the same head type, you can mix and match.

That is why you see golfers now having hybrids in the longer irons but there is no reason why you can’t go all the way down to say 6 iron in hybrids then cavity backs for the rest if it is going to make the game easier for you.

This may help you to find the blend between forgiveness and getting maximum distance.

In order to determine the correct shaft and lie angle (which can have a massive effect on the direction of your shots) seek out a professional with a launch monitor to see the differences between shafts and lie angle.

As a simple rule, if you want the ball to go higher and longer, try a more flexible shaft – not the most scientific approach but is a good rough guide!

Selecting new golf clubs – The Putter…

Selecting new golf clubsThere are many styles of putter from blade to mallet. In my opinion, the most important thing to go for is a style you like the look of.

Take this a little further and hit a few putts. I’ve found the putters I get on best with are a shape that allows me to “see” the line to the hole.

By that I mean the design allows me to easily line the face with my target.

What can be of importance is the shaft you choose. Now we are not talking about flex here but rather how the shaft goes into the head.

Some go into the centre of the head, some go into the heel (as with other clubs), some go into the heel but have a kink near the end. But what is the purpose of these different shafts?

Depending on the shaft you choose, the putter will be balanced differently from toe to heel.

For example; a shaft that goes straight into the heel will mean the toe hangs down if held horizontal to the floor. (Picture).

This will encourage the face to rotate open and closed through the putting stroke.

Whereas a shaft that goes into the centre on the head, the putter face will remain flat.

This encourages much less rotation of the face through the putting stroke.

The same happens when you have a shaft that kinks into the head as if you were to continue the shaft line down to the head, ignoring the kink, the shaft would end up in the centre of the head.

Selecting new golf clubs – What does this mean for you…

If you have a putting stroke that is rounded, i.e. the putter swings on an arc like a small semi-circle, then the clubface needs to rotate with that arc. nd therefore you are best to choose a putter where the shaft goes straight into the heel.

And therefore you are best to choose a putter where the shaft goes straight into the heel.

If you have more of a “straight back and through” stroke, you want little rotation in the clubface, therefore a putter where the shaft goes straight into the centre or KINKS into the heel, will be better for you.

It is best to get your pro to check what type of stroke you have (or get a friend to, if this is not an option).

This is quite important as a lot of people think they putt ‘straight back and through’ but in fact have quite a large arc.

Selecting new golf clubs – How long should the putter be…

So many golfers have a putter that is too big for them.

The easiest way to find out is to set up as if you are hitting a putt, then let go of your putter and let your arms hang naturally.

There should be a slight bend in your arms, but as long as they are hanging naturally and comfortable you will be on the right lines (picture).

Then put your putter back in your hands and see how low (or high) on the grip your hands are. This is the length of putter you need.

So there you have it, more great Pro Tips from Andy next month!


By Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro. If you have a specific shot you struggle with contact Andy at

If you have a specific shot you struggle with contact Andy at andrew_clissold@hotmail.com

Andy Clissold - TSG Head Pro

 

 

Mark Crossfield to host London Golf Show 2016…

Monday, June 20th, 2016
Mark Crossfield

                                Mark Crossfield

YouTube sensation Mark Crossfield, whose golf coaching videos have received more than 90 million views, will host August’s London Golf Show and will give away six free lessons every day via his social media channels.

Mark Crossfield – Background…

Crossfield is one of social media’s most popular golfing figures, with almost 200,000 followers on YouTube, in excess of 34,000 Twitter devotees, and nearly 60,000 Facebook ‘likes’.

He is also one of the presenters of the new Sky Sports show Golf Juice. His videos cover coaching, equipment and course reviews, all delivered in his individual – often irreverent – style.

And he will be joined at the show by PGA professional Matt Lockey, who also enjoys a substantial following on social media, where he’s better known as ‘Coach Lockey‘.

The duo often work together to produce YouTube videos and will be reunited once more to entertain visitors at the show.

Mark Crossfield – Meet the man/men…

London Golf Show

                     London Golf Show 2015

Six lucky show visitors will, each day, win the chance to have a 30-minute lesson with Crossfield and Lockey, which will be recorded and shown on the former’s YouTube channel.

Mark Crossfield, who has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, will also host the daily ‘Innovations in Golf’ section on stage, which focuses on gadgets and equipment new to the market.

Welcoming Crossfield to the show, Events Director Simon Jones said: “Mark is the epitome of the social media star: somebody with excellent knowledge to impart, in an engaging way, on a specialist subject.”

He went on to sayIn just a few short years, his ever-expanding fan base has enabled him to become an established part of the modern golf media landscape and a ‘golf guru’ to the digital generationHis unique, enthusiastic style will enhance the event and add another interactive level to the show.

Mark Crossfield added: “I love golf shows. I love the excitement and the buzz about them, and the enthusiasm for the sport that visitors generate. So I was delighted to be asked to work with the guys from the London Golf Show.”

He addedIt will give me the opportunity to meet some of the many people who watch us on YouTube and to give a few lessons to show visitors. Also, and this is a great one for me because I love playing with gadgets. I’ll also be presenting the ‘Innovations in Golf’ section, which will highlight some of the great new ideas in the game – and also some of the wackiest. I can’t wait to get started.

London Golf Show 2016 – August 26-28th…

London Golf Show 2016

Launched in 2005, the London Golf Show is the UK’s longest-running consumer golf show and was designed to appeal to golfers – and potential golfers – of all ages and abilities.

With myriad interactive stands – including Nearest-the-Pin, Long-drive and Long-Putt contests; free PGA tuition; a massive indoor driving range featuring the majority of golf’s best-known club brands; custom fitting; club testing; trick-shot displays; simulators; the latest golf gadgets; extensive retail; and the opportunity to win everything from a packet of tees to an exotic golf holiday, it is the ultimate day out for any golf enthusiast.

London Golf Show – Purchasing Tickets…

Tickets to the London Golf Show, which takes place at Glow, Bluewater, in Kent are FREE for accompanied under-16s, and also for lady golfers, until August 25th.

Book your tickets before the 31st July and get them for the discount rate of just £7.50!

Entry will cost £15 on the door.

The London Golf Show takes place at Glow, Bluewater, in Kent, from August 26-28, 2016.

Tickets can be purchased from www.londongolfshow.com/buy-tickets

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For information on the show or on Mark Crossfield on Twitter at @4golfonline, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AskGolfGuru.

For further information please contact Dave Bowers (dave@theazaleagroup.com) or Andy Barwell (andy@theazaleagroup.com) at the Azalea Group on +44 (0) 1730 711920.

Pro Tips – Psychology of Golf…

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Psychology of Golf

As we approach the new season, we start with the year discussing the  ‘Psychology of Golf’ and how to prepare yourself mentally for the season ahead.

Psychology of Golf – The basics…

I’m not going to give a lesson in ‘winning‘ or ‘how to get in the zone‘ here (although if you would like to improve that side of your game, I can help!).

Here I am going to give you some ideas about playing smart – i.e. course management.

Golf being the frustrating, euphoric, and mind boggling game it is, (and that’s just one hole!) you will find yourself in many different situations.

Too many to cover in this blog, but I will cover some common scenarios you may find yourself in.

Psychology of Golf – Thick Rough…

This can be your friend or your foe, all depending on your lie.

If the ball is sitting up and the grass around you isn’t too long, you may want to hit a wood or hybrid and get the ball as far up the hole as possible, as it is effectively sitting on a tee.

This assumes you are far enough away from the green that you need a fairway wood.

If the grass is really thick and/or long (think, The Open) and you have a bad lie, your first point of call is to look for the fairway and the shortest possible route to the fairway.

Sometimes this may be backwards or even onto another fairway, an option I see few amateurs use. In terms of club selection, get some loft in your hands; use a sand wedge or pitching wedge.

If your lie is average you need to assess how much thick rough you can go over and get up the hole and still get the ball on the fairway – but DO NOT bite off more than you can chew.

Your goal here is to make sure your next shot, IS from the short grass!

Psychology of Golf – Trees…

Vila Sol

Anytime you go in the trees, look up, you may find an apple to eat.

You may also see a gap in the trees to hit through! It is time to assess your situation, can you punt the ball up the fairway (or even reach the green)?

And if so, how big is the gap?

You need to be very honest with yourself in this situation, can you see yourself being able to hit the ball through the gap?

If there is any hesitation in your answer or a hint of a no, it is onto option 2.

Option 2, is chip the ball out sideways, it is rare you cannot find a big enough gap you feel confident chipping the ball through and back onto the fairway, but there are times there isn’t.

You need to look at maybe hitting onto another fairway or going slightly backwards.

Club selection in the trees is important, more than likely you want to keep the ball low under the branches (including chipping out).

So make sure you take a longer, lower lofted club to make sure your ball flies out the trees untouched.

Psychology of Golf – Fairway Bunkers…

Course designers like to play with our emotions and see our high soaring drives take a dodgy bounce and end in a bunker.

If this happens to you, make sure you get the ball back in the fairway.

As with all these shots, it is about ensuring you do not have the same shot again. So get your sand wedge out and play it like a greenside bunker shot so you are back on the fairway, ready to hit the green.

So there you have it, thinking about the game or the ‘Psychology of Golf’ before you start the season –  the mental part of the game is just as important as your swing!


Andy Clissold - TSG Head Pro

Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro

 

By Andy Clissold – Head TSG Pro.

If you have a specific shot you struggle with contact Andy at andrew_clissold@hotmail.com

 

Indoor Golf – The future?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

GC2 Launch MonitorThere are plenty of golfers who describe themselves as ‘fair weather golfers’. However, is this the reason behind the growth in indoor golf over the last ten years?

Or is it due to advances in technology or the reduction in the amount of time available in modern society but there’s no doubt that we will see more indoor golf clubs opening in the next decade.

We asked ‘Director of Golf‘ Harry Varney at CityGolf in London’s busy square mile, on the benefits of using a Sim and on how the industry will evolve.

Indoor Golf – The History…

Golf Simulators have been around in one form or another since the 70’s.

The first simulators were very simple and TV based using a joystick or gaming control but as both the software and screen technology developed in the 80’s, it was not long before the handheld games were replaced by the golf mat and golf club.

Early on, the sensors measured the movement of the hands and fed the information to the video game. However, the overall experience was rudimentary, to say the least.

It wasn’t until the mid-late 90’s that we started to see real advancements made.

Relying on a battery of environmental sensors, the new software tracked each shot, from impact to how the ball bounces visually on screen.

In this way, the golfer has a detailed analysis of the entire flight of the ball which can be used for practice or training.

There are several types of measurement system used in golf simulation to achieve this, such as Simulator Mats, Sonic Sound systems, Optical Sensor arrays, Radar and Camera ball tracking systems.

Indoor Golf – The TechnologyGC2 Launch Monitor 2

Golf has always found itself at the heart of ‘gaming’ with some of the first computer games simulating Putting…

However, it was the invention of the PlayStation that really saw the potential of indoor golf albeit using a ‘controller’ rather than an actual golf club.

At the moment, there are lots of different ‘Sims’ on the market including TrackmanGolfzon and probably the most well known, GC2 launch monitor. The latter, being preferred by CityGolf.

This industry-leading technology that redefined performance analysis outdoors has also proven to be a game changer for indoor simulation.

Powerful enough to drive the world’s most cutting-edge commercial simulation studios, the GC2 is as flexible as it is accurate.

Two high-speed, high-definition cameras give you a true measurement of performance without compromise, delivering the most realistic virtual golf experience possible.

We chose to go with the GC2 product, as we felt this had an edge of all the other as it calculates over 10k images of ball and its position on impact!” said Varney

The GC2 gives you exceptionally precise understanding of both the club head speed and ball trajectory, meaning we can also provide a very accurate ‘ball fitting’ service too”

Varney went on to say….”In addition, of the four GC2 Sims we use, we have two advanced GC2 HMT (Head Measurement Technology) meaning we can cater to both the beginners and single figure handicap“.

Indoor Golf – The BenefitsCeltic Manor

The advantages of using a golf simulator is the ability to conveniently play and practice in a controlled ambience.

Often this means the ability to play without any pressure while still bringing many of these competitive and social aspects into the simulated game.

For those who live in a cold and wet climate or in urban areas (that’ll be most of us), golf simulators offer the ability to play and practice year-round or within the confines of their locale.

The next important advantage is the player’s ability to see each facet of their swing.

Many golf simulators measure: angle of attack, angle of the club face, club head speed, spin, club path (inside out or outside in), and more.

These measurements help both students and teaching professionals identify exactly what a player needs to know to improve their swing.

You also get to choose where you want to play, including some great UK courses. Courses available at CityGolf include Celtic Manor, The Belfry and Haseltine Golf club (the home of the 2016 Ryder Cup).

Indoor Golf – TeachingHarry Varney City Golf

Sitting chatting to Harry, I soon find myself forgetting that I am not on a standard golf range and concentrate purely on what he is telling me.

In addition, he is quick to tell me why he and his colleague Liam McGrossan, ‘Director of Instruction’, have a different approach to teaching.

Firstly, the first hour’s consultation rarely involves hitting a club but concentrates more of what ‘your’ understanding of the game is.

He tells us that most teaching Pro’s, immediately start critiquing your swing, long before it is understood how much you know about both the dynamics of the golf swing and the physics of the game.

To be fair, this is a fresh approach and given that I am slumped into a big leather sofa, while sipping a coke as I learn this, I really can see why Indoor Golf has taken off.

Coupled with the fact that often, that if you work in London, the chance of getting to the range or out for nine holes after work midweek, in today fast world of living, is difficult to achieve.

Indoor Golf – Custom FittingCustom Fitting City Golf

Getting ‘Custom Fit’ for your clubs is vital towards improving as a Golfer.

Just as a suit is made to measure, so it is fits an individual’s body shape, a Custom Fit is vital towards ensuring that the correct equipment is matched to the each individual to suit their personal needs.

The team at CityGolf have extensive knowledge and experience and are committed to helping each individual find the best equipment for them.

The guys are adamant they have repeatedly seen the benefits that personalised equipment does for a Golfer towards improving distance, accuracy, shot making, and overall enjoyment of Golf.

The cost of this service starts from as little as £50 and last an hour.

Indoor Golf – EntertainmentCityGolf Gym & Bar

Putting the technology, the courses and the teaching to one side, there is another advantage to golf simulators….

In most indoor golf centres, there will a couple of ‘simulators’ available to book but in the bigger clubs like CityGolf there could be six or more.

Thus meaning you could realistically hold an entire golf event in one place, with all your golf mates and you, all playing the same course.

Not only does this mean additional availability for the visitor but it means indoor clubs like CityGolf can hold events and fun nights, regardless of the weather conditions. You can have a beer while you play.

Yep, many Golf Studios also have a bar or refreshments on site; it can make for a very entertaining evening. Consider it….

Hire two golf simulators for an afternoon or evening (from £60ph each) and invite seven golf buddies to join you. You’ll find that three hours flies by.

You’ve played a Texas Scramble at Wentworth, enjoyed a drink and not a speck of rain in sight and you’ve still got change out of £50.

Of course, if you book an evening out at a golf studio, you’re even beating the lack of daylight.

Indoor Golf – CityGolfHarry Varney - City Golf Sim

And finally, having visited CityGolf and seen their set-up, we were impressed!

As such, from April 2016, ALL TSGers are invited to try their facilities and receive a FREE one-hour Performance Analysis’ (worth £90!)

Yep – that’s a FREE golf lesson in the City of London.

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For more information on the benefits of Indoor Golf and claiming you free lesson at CityGolf go to: www.citygolflondon.com or call 020 7796 5960

Alternatively, email the guys at harry@citygolfclubs.com or liam@citygolfclubs.com

Opening Times: Mon-Fri – 6.30am – 9.30pm

US Masters 2016 – TSG Tips Fowler, Mickleson & Rose…

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
US Masters 2016 - Green Jacket

US Masters 2016 – Green Jacket

Come Thursday, April 7th 2016 we’ll all be sitting down to watch the now infamous ceremonial tee shots of the US Masters 2016.

As the world’s best golfers begin their way down the first fairway at Augusta (assuming they hit the opening hole fairway that is) all the competing players will be looking to don the famous Green Jacket at the end of the tournament …

In 2015 Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer kick-started one of the most remarkable performances from a young man Augusta National has ever seen.

A man who has since projected himself to the top of the world, reaching peaks that can only be compared to the two most successful players in history; Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

The new wonder kid of golf now has seven titles on the PGA Tour, and has finished in the top ten, 34 times in the past 3 years; let’s not forget he has only played in 79!

That young man was Mr.Jordan Spieth.

After winning by 4 shots last year we know that Spieth will be battling whoever decides to turn up for the first Major of the year with his best golf.

However, the last few weeks, we have witnessed some issues with his swing, inconsistency and those putts have not been dropping.

Therefore, Jordan Spieth, may not be passing the US Masters 2016 title and green jacket back to himself this April.

US Masters 2016 – TSG Predictions…

So who is going to win? We asked TSG blogger, Craig Murray on his favorites for the US Masters 2016…

US Masters 2016 - Mickleson

US Masters 2016 – Mickleson

Phil Mickleson?

One of the sport’s most loved players of all time has found his mojo!

After ditching Butch Harmon in the autumn, Phil has hired a new swing coach in Andrew Getson. A fairly unknown character in the world of golf, Getson’s first few months have supplied big Phil with some superb results.

Slumping to his lowest overall world golf ranking (OWR) since 1995 last year, Phil has already knocked up a 2nd, 3rd and 11th spot in just 4 starts this calendar year.

This 3 times masters champion chased Jordan to the end last season, finishing 2nd, and definitely has another major left!

If the putts drop, Phil could easily bag himself a 4th green jacket.

US Masters 2016 - Rickie Fowler

US Masters 2016 – Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler?

Once voted, ‘The most overrated golfer on tour’, this young heartthrob has found himself sitting just 3 spots away from the best player in the world.

Not a bad year for Rickie with 4 victories including the Players Championship in 2015.

Known for his eccentric clothing, he is now one of the most feared players on tour with an ‘incredible’ short game, just what Augusta asks for.

T12th in 2015 and T5th in 2014 this guy knows what is needed here and could well find his first Major. Augusta could be Orange come April 10th.

Justin Rose?

US Masters 2016 - Justin Rose

US Masters 2016 – Justin Rose

With one of the best swings on tour, one major in the bag and a solid start to the new season, Justin could be the man to follow around Augusta.

In 10 appearances at The Masters, Justin has only finished outside the top 25 twice, including a tied 2nd place last year behind Jordan Spieth.

A couple of poor putting performances have cost him a title or two this year however he has a few weeks to get this sorted.

If you are looking at following a Brit, here’s your man!

There you go, there’s the three tips for the US Masters 2016, Good luck!

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by Craig Murray

Pro Tips – Fix Your Swing…

Saturday, October 10th, 2015
Fix Your Swing 1

Fix Your Swing fig.1

Has your playing partner ever said after a bad shot, “You need to fix your swing! You’re bending your left arm!”?

Well, the good thing about this swing fault is,  it’s very easy to see! So if you heard it, there is a strong possibility you did it. (Note: This is for right handers. If you’re a lefty, it will be your right arm)

Fix Your Swing – What causes it…

The left arm bending can cause a whole host of shots, but mostly I see either a topped shot or a slice.

Why does this happen? Above Right, I’ve ‘set-up’ to the ball and bent my left arm. As you can see the club has raised and therefore, I am going to hit the top of the ball from the bottom of the club.

Great! We now know why we ‘top’ it, but how can the left arm cause a slice?

Fix Your Swing – The Set-up…

Fix Your Swing 2

Fix Your Swing fig.2

If you bend the left arm in the backswing, after a few missed shots or topped shots, your brain will react and find a way to get the club to the bottom of the ball.

The brain’s fix is to get you to dip the upper body down to the ball. When the body does this in motion, it make the shoulder plane steep and throws the club over plane.

Apologies, some technical jargon there but below you can see from a good set up, I’ve dipped the upper body.

I’ve also lost my height, and you can see the club has moved well out in front of my body. The only place to go from here is to swing across the ball.

Fix Your Swing – How do I send it straight…

Fix Your Swing 3

Fix Your Swing fig.3

The Grip…

  • Firstly ensure the grip is in the fingers of the left hand
  • Have a look at the thumb on your left hand – make sure it is “short” i.e. tucked up close – as shown right.
  • Both of these will help engage the muscles in the forearm effectively, allowing you to hold the weight of the club in the swing easier

The Swing…

  • From waist high in the swing, we need to make sure the wrists hinge (and not the elbow). A thought that works well is to feel yourself push down on the handle of the club.
  • This will push the clubhead up and cause the wrists to hinge. Pushing down on the handle engages triceps which will keep that left arm straight!
  • Fix Your Swing 4

    Fix Your Swing fig.4

    As you swing to the top, keep pushing down on the handle and turn the right shoulder behind you

The swing section today is quite detailed as failing to hinge the wrists and failing to turn will both cause the left arm to bend.

Fix Your Swing – Practice makes perfect…

Work on this, one swing at a time! Practice the wrist hinge, until you’ve got it and it feels less of a conscious thought.

Make a lot of half swings doing this, so the arm stays straight…..

Then get the shoulders turning!

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By Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro

Pro Tips – Cure your shank and topped shots….

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Ever topped your shots or suffered from not hitting the ball flush on the sweet spot? Well let’s discuss how we can cure your shank.. however, don’t despair, it’s something we have all done, especially when we first start playing the game, I know I did!

There are many reasons why you could shank the ball but let’s go through the most common reason and something that you can easily fix yourself at the range.

Cure your shank – The Problem…

At some point in your swing, you stand up. People will often say “you lifted your head” or “you looked up” and to some degree they are right.

However, when you hear someone say this, they actually mean you looked at the target before you struck the ball – which does not have a direct link to hitting these horrible shots.

Cure your shank

Cure your shank – are you standing up?

Cure your shank – What do I mean by “standing up”?

During your swing, your hips push forward towards the ball.

As you do this it straightens your spine angle, you come out of your posture and “stand up”.

To the right,  I’ve shown the address position and what I mean by standing up.

If you do this in the swing, you are moving towards the ball and often you find the hands (therefore the club) move towards the ball, causing the hosel of the club to contact the ball.

By going towards the ball and lifting up, you are effectively not allowing the club to bottom out at the ball, and this can mean you hit the ball from the bottom of the face and/ or the top of the ball.

Cure your shank – How do we fix it?

To fix the problem, we need to maintain our posture in the swing so that we do not move towards the ball. As I mentioned earlier – the reason you come out of posture is because the hips move forwards towards the ball. This is the root of the problem.

cure your shank and stop topping the ball

Cure your shank and stop topping the ball!

To keep the hips back, get your golf bag and place it against your bum. Make some swings and keep your bum back on the bag throughout – as shown right.

To start with just do this without the ball.

Once you start feeling your bum staying back, hit some shots. But when you hit some shots, feel the right bum cheek stay on the bag on the backswing, and the left bum cheek stay on the bag on the way through.

I’ve changed the thought slightly when you hit the ball just to make sure you still keep the hips turning whilst keeping the bum back.

Cure your shank  – Other things to consider…

Often when a golfer makes this movement, it is because they have a weak core and/ or their hamstrings are tight.

Nowadays, many of the tour players are doing Pilates or Yoga to strengthen their core muscles and help maintain posture when they practice and play for hours on end.

I think this just shows the importance of maintaining posture and may be something worth considering to help your golf. Speak to a personal trainer before undertaking any exercises yourself!

Now read about how to cure that slice

By Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro

Pro Tips – Cure that Slice…

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Fed up with wayward drives? Need to cure that slice? How about we get it fixed then…

In this month TSG Pro Tips,  I am going to cover a common lesson I give to all my students. Often when I see a golfer slice the ball, the clubface is wide open at impact (pointing right).

So today, let’s get that clubface pointing more at the target and stop that ball going right and cure that slice.

The good thing about what I’m going to cover here is that the fault comes from the takeaway – the reason I say this is, is that is often easier to fix, than breaking down the swing bit by bit and rebuilding.

Pro Tips - Cure That Slice 1

Pro Tips – Cure That Slice fig.1

Part One – How to cure that slice…

OK, let’s make some ‘takeaways’ checking the arc you make in the mirror behind you at your driving range. Whether you’re driving or playing your irons, swing the club to waist high and see what the club looks like.

Is it “open” where the toe end of the club is pointing behind you? (See right)

I’m going to give a quick explanation of how this causes your slice and then we will get it fixed!

When the clubface gets in this open position it will often stay open to the top. Now from here, you will often find the golfer tries to square the face with the shoulders.

What they in fact do, is make the club swing left and the face stays open. This club swinging left, face open combination is always going to give a horrible slice.

Part Two – How to cure that slice…

If we can get the club face in a better position as you swing back, then you won’t want to make the reaction where the shoulders swing the club down, therefore swinging the club left….

Pro Tips - Cure That Slice 2

Pro Tips – Cure That Slice 2

So how do we fix it?

When you take the club away, I’d like you to swing to waist high and have the leading edge of the club parallel to your spine angle (See right)

A simple feel to get the is to imagine the club face is looking at the ball as you swing the club back.

Do this till you get the feel for it and the face in a better position, then try hitting some half shots (waist high to waist high). If you do it correctly you should see the ball fly straighter.

Once you’ve hit a few half shots, take the ball away and create the same feeling into a full swing. If it feels different or odd – it’s probably correct!!

Now you have a feel for the full swing, hit some full shots, practice as much as you can at the range, and watch that ball fly straight…..and that’s how you cure that slice!

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By Andy Clissold – TSG Head PRO

Pro Tips – Chip like Seve…

Saturday, July 18th, 2015
Chip like Seve

The set-up…

Your driving well, your fairway play is coming on but your short game needs help? It’s time to improve the game from 150 yards and in and learn here how to ‘Chip like Seve‘… are you lacking that magical touch around the greens?

Let’s look at the basics of chipping along with something 90% of golfers do. (and I’ve seen this in some very low handicap players I’ve taught!)

Chip like Seve – The Grip…

– As normal (refer to “Pro tips – Summer golf” for a refresher)

– Hold half way down the grip to give more control and feel to the shot

Chip like Seve – Stance, Ball Position, and Posture…

– Firstly – make sure you do this in the order set out here

– Stance width will be approx. 1 foot apart and I’d like you to pull your left foot back a couple of inches – as shown right

– Position the ball opposite your sternum

– Now lean slightly to your left with your upper body – once you have moved, the ball should now be just behind your sternum – as shown below. This will allow us to make a slightly downward blow onto the ball giving you that crisp, spinning chip.

Chip like Seve – Swing Technique…

Chip like Seve

Swing technique…

When we chip the ball we want a consistent strike and consistent loft. Both of these help to judge distances as if you get these the same every time, all you have to do is vary the length of your swing to hit the ball different distances.

A big fault I see when I give a chipping lesson is the golfer will try to help the ball into the air, destroying the strike and giving very inconsistent loft. In the finish and through impact you will see the club get ahead of the hands – as shown right

Often this is because the golfer is trying to use the hands and wrists to control the distance of the shot. Not only does this make it incredibly difficult to strike the ball consistently and create consistent loft, but also makes it very hard to get a consistent speed through impact.

This happens, as our hands have fast twitching muscle fibres which are difficult to control – especially under pressure!

Chip like Seve – Feeling it….

I’d like you to feel like the shaft of the club moves in line with the sternum as you swing the club back. To give an example I’m going to use Luke Donald – sure you will agree – not a bad chipper!!

Luke Donald Chippin

Luke Donald Chipping…

See how the hands and sternum are pointing parallel to each other.

This shows the body is more in control of the swing and allows him from here to keep the hands very passive and let the chest turn the club through the shot.

Below we can see the finish position where the sternum, club, and hands are all pointing in the same direction. No flip, just a swing controlled from the chest!

Chip like Seve –  And finally…

– Feel the sternum move the club shaft back and through, and FEEL as though they stay in line through out.

So there you have it, get down the range and add some ‘Seve Magic’ to your game!

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By Andy Clissold – TSG Head PRO