Applecross Facilities, Practice = Improvement!
Practice is a game Changer and winter means time to rev up your practice routine; a solid routine moves you along from “thinking” about your golf swing to "feeling" it. The colder months offer a great opportunity to make adjustments while practicing without the pressure of performing on the golf course. Instruction is available indoors at the Learning Center and at the Pulte Welcome Center thru the off season. As we transition into the regular season, the many practice areas of Applecross such as the Driving Range, the main Putting Green, the putting green and bunker around the Learning Center as well as the fantastic 19th hole offer tremendous opportunities to work on the skills acquired during your lessons.
Practice "Parallel Left"
During a lesson, one priority we review is how you are positioning your feet and body in relation to where you think you are aiming the club. A vast majority of the time, a golfer's aim is nowhere near where he or she ”thinks” that they are aiming the ball. Fixing this issue can become the single biggest improvement in your game. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper body alignment. Learning how to ”check” your forearms is a good place to start because they are a part of your body you can see. Schedule a lesson today to focus on improving your aim >
Practice "Staying Balanced"
During a lesson, another priority we review is how you are positioning your hips and legs during your backswing. I always try to keep in mind that the body has to be in proper position for the hands and arms to be athletic. If the body is out of position the hands have to do things in a compensatory manner to catch up and flip the clubhead toward the ball. A vast majority of the time, a golfer's body is nowhere near where he or she "thinks" that it is. Fixing this issue can really become one of the single biggest improvements in your game. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper body positioning. Learning how to "check" the amount of pressure in your back foot and leg at the top of the backswing is a good place to start. If you use a mirror you can really see this part of your body and help your consistency. Schedule a lesson today to focus on improving your balance >
Practice "Compressing the Ball"
During a lesson, we may review how our students are striking the ball at impact. This means whether contact is solid, thin or heavy. Most good players deloft the golf club at impact by properly shifting weight on the downswing toward the front leg and relaxing the wrists to allow a subtle amount of downcocking as the club is descending toward the ball. This will create a positive lean of the shaft towards the target. Keep in mind that the body has to be in proper position for the hands and arms to be athletic so in this particular case the weight must be shifting toward the target. If you hang back then your hands have to do things in a compensatory manner to catch up and flip the club head toward the ball. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper impact positioning. Learning how to "check" your impact using a mirror or a video camera is a good place to start. If you use a mirror you can rehearse the proper movements and help your consistency. Schedule a lesson to focus on improving impact >
Practice "Where's the Bottom?"
During a lesson, a priority we continue to review is where our students are striking the ball at impact. Again, this means whether contact is solid, thin or heavy. The best players contact the ground after they strike the ball. We often say “you have to hit the little ball before you hit the big ball (earth).” This can happen by properly shifting weight on the downswing toward the front leg and retaining the wrist angle created on the backswing all the way down till you get to the last possible instance. This is called retaining the lag. If you have soft enough wrists to allow a subtle amount of downcocking on the downswing, the club will descend properly into the ball. Keep in mind that the weight must be shifting and the body pivoting toward the target for this to occur. Hanging back can cause your hands have to compensate and flip the club head toward the ball. By checking a few key points, you can develop proper impact positioning. Learning how to "check" your impact using a mirror or a video camera is a good place to start. Schedule a lesson to focus on finding the bottom >
Practice "Proper Arm Extension"
During a lesson, we may ask our students where the lowest point in the swing arc is. Most people think it is at the ball or just in front of the ball. The absolute lowest point is in the middle of the divot which should begin after you strike the ball. The slow motion cameras on tv show us that the typical low point for a tour player is four to five inches in front of the ball. This is three or four more inches forward than the average player's low point. To strike the ball correctly you have to have great extension and a proper weight shift. If you can get it right you would eliminate most of your fat or thin shots and you would probably gain a great amount of yardage. Our staff has a large arsenal of drills to help you. If you need help, you can schedule a lesson today to focus on creating proper arm extension>
Practice "Proper Distance from the Ball"
As an instructor, when we see a new student we are looking for the “weakest link” in the swing which, if found will unlock your success the quickest. Most players need not look any further than the setup for an answer. My teacher, Bill Hacket always said that 90% of all golfers stand too far from the ball. After 25 years of teaching, I see this still holds true. The better players always stand closer than the rest. If you watch tour players you’ll notice they are right on top of the ball. This allows your body to stay in balance easier and your arms to stay relaxed during the swing. The correct distance breeds consistency in your ball striking. Just remember what Bill taught me. “Let your elbows gently touch your clothing” when you set up. It’s so much easier to hit a draw when you are closer than when you are reaching for the ball. Give it a try. If you need help, you can schedule a lesson today to focus on proper distance from the ball >
Practice "Steady your eyes to help your putting"
Instructors often see golfers struggle with distance control when it comes to putting. Most of the time it happens when a golfer moves their body too much as they "peek" early to see the result of their stroke. Your head needs to remain still which is in contrast to the full swing motion when you release your head. Putting is the one time you DO want to keep your "head down" when you play. Try this excercise and I bet it will help. Go to the putting green or a carpet and put a quarter on the ground. Then put your golf ball on the coin and set up to it as if you are going to hit the putt. Now go ahead and hit it but don't take your eyes off of the coin after the ball is gone. Wait at least three seconds until you look to find the ball. Keeping your eyes steady will help keep your body quiet which in turn will help you make more consistent contact. It takes patience but I promise your speed control will be vastly improved. If you need help, you can schedule a lesson today to focus on putting or any other part of the short game. >