Posts Tagged ‘Golf Lessons’

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

 

Pro Tips – Practice at the golf range ….

Monday, February 16th, 2015

This is the first in a series of monthly columns by TSG Head Pro, Andy Clissold…

Golf Range Practice

Golf Range Practice

What happens when you go to practice at the golf range?

I’m guessing it’s a large bucket of balls and repeatedly hitting 7 iron and driver? Am I right? While this can be good when you have just had a lesson or have something technical to work on, but simply hitting balls won’t improve your golf.

I will briefly run through how to practice after a lesson and then go on to how to not only make your practice more enjoyable but also more effective for your golf.

Practicing after a lesson…

Yes, you do need to hit 7 iron, driver or whatever club your pro has told you to use, do the drills, and engrain the movement. This is what we call block practice – hitting the same shot, same swing, over and over.

It’s really good for getting the swing engrained and making a change but as soon as you are faced with a variable – an awkward lie, a longer club, a different wind direction etc., it can be counter-productive to keep making the same swing. When we play golf – we don’t hit the same shot twice…so why practice the same shot twice?

I like to have my pupils spend 50% of their practice session doing block practice after a lesson, to get a feel for the movement and make the change. The other 50% of the practice session, I like them to do variable practice.

Practice at the golf range

Practice at the golf range

Variable practice at the golf range…

If you don’t have lessons but love to get down the range between games – spend all your practice time doing this. Especially if you are playing well!

Variable practice is hitting different shots, creating different scenarios for each shot, playing games! This practice relates much more to playing golf and can create pressure like you will get on the golf course.

What can you do to have variable practice Sessions…

I am going to give a few drills you can do next time you practice but don’t be frightened to use your imagination – I’d love to hear any suggestions or variations you have tried yourself…

  • Drill 1 – Pick a target and a club – depending on your level, aim to hit, for example, 4/10 balls within 40ft of the target. Once you hit the goal, increase the number out of 10 or decrease the target size (i.e. 40ft down to 30ft). This will help you improve your focus and get you zoned in.
  • Drill 2 – Get 3 balls, aim straight and try to start one ball left, the next one right, and the third – straight! This will start to give you good clubhead control.
  • Drill 3 – Short game – play “Par 18”. Hit 9 completely different chip shots i.e. 3 chip and runs, 3 difficult chips to a tight pin, 3 average chips. Do one shot at a time and don’t repeat the same shot twice. The idea is to chip the ball to the hole and putt out. Record your score. The idea of Par 18 is each “hole” is a par 2 so you want to get up and down. Record your score and keep trying to improve on your score – a great one to do with a friend (loser buys the beers?).
  • Drill 4 – This next drill is great for better players but also good for higher handicap players to learn how to get out of trouble. 4 balls – 1st ball draw, 2nd ball fade, 3rd ball high, 4th ball low. Good for lower handicap players to shape the ball into pins. For higher handicaps you will learn how to hit different shots and maybe instead of chipping out the trees – you can produce your own Seve magic!

By Andy Clissold

The Social Golfer appoints first TSG Head Pro…

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Andy Clissold - TSG Head Pro

Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro (Photo: Cranham GC, Essex).

 

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Andy Clissold announced as first TSG Head Pro ….

Andy’s new role will be to provide coaching and tuition to all the TSG members and will include running online Q&A tuition sessions and webinars. He will be organising on-course ‘coaching events’ whereby TSGers, of all playing standards, will be given the chance to play with him for three or four holes in a round, for no more than your green fee. He will also be offering his own golf lessons and golf coaching packages to the membership.

What else will our new TSG Head Pro be doing …

As TSG Head Pro he will also be working closely with the TSG team to develop the overall usability of The Social Golfer Network; which caters to 4k+ UK golfers and 8.5k+ registered users worldwide.

Furthermore, Andy will be the main contributor of monthly Newsletter PRO Tips  and will be a core part of the TSG official events team, which currently runs The TSG Masters, TSG OPEN and TSG Matchplay Championships.

Our new TSG Head Pro’s pedigree …

Essex based Andy began his golf career as a Pro Shop Assistant at Blakes Golf Club in Epping in 2006. He subsequently worked as Assistant Professional at Bentley Golf Club as he went on to complete his foundation degree in golf at Birmingham University. He has since worked as a teaching Pro at City Point Golf Studio, London. He currently coaches at Ingrebourne Links and Crowlands Heath GC.

Commenting on his new role, Andy said “I have been aware of The Social Golfer platform for some time but it was only when I sat down with the team that I truly understood the potential of the site. Social media has made a huge impact on the way we all interact with each other and sport and I am honoured to be given this  opportunity to be the first TSG Head Pro and help shape the future of golf in the UK and beyond  –  I can’t wait to get started”.

Ian Mullins, owner of TheSocialGolfer.com said “We have worked with a number of PGA Pro’s since our launch but Andy immediately understood what we are trying to achieve at TSG and has already contributed greatly to the ideas pool. With 66% of golfers in the UK NOT belonging to a golf club, Andy’s contributions will allow us to provide our members with added value to their annual membership fee. We are really looking forward to Andy be a valuable asset to the team”.

The announcement comes on the back of TheSocialGolfer.com recently reaching its first 1m hits in a single calendar year and breaking through the 100k page hits in a single month. With over 900 events posted and 4500+ rounds played on the site last year alone, 2015 is looking like it will be another great year for the website!

By Ian Mullins