Welcome to "Better Golfing" - the site for the golfing community at large.
Whether you have just started playing golf or whether you are an accomplished player this site is for you.
In this website I plan to give you some honest opinions on equipment but more importantly give you a reality check on YOU. You are different to me and you are different to Tiger.
With some honest opinion and advice, the correct basic equipment and a little bit of practice we will get you on the road to Better Golfing!

Better Golfing - Simply.

With "Better Golfing" I hope to get you to relax about the game of golf, enjoy it to the best of your ability, accept your limitations, retain your competitive edge and celebrate your achievements. We need to learn to enjoy to the full those days when "everything goes right" and accept the times when "absolutley nothing you do works". I welcome your participation by way of anectodes, questions and opinions - please contribute freely. With your input I hope to make this a place where we can all enjoy the game more and all move on to "Better Golfing".

Let's Talk Golf!

Golf is probably the most mysterious game of all and is pretty unique in many aspects. First and foremost it is a game that involves a static ball. In most other games the ball is moving at a high speed and the participants either have to hit, catch, kick, dodge, steer or guide it somewhere. There are no two golf courses that are the same, and all golf course are altered daily by moving the teeing ground and or moving the pin location. No two shots ARE EVER the same. Participants have an array of up to 14 clubs to choose from for each shot. It is a game where the partcipant is the referee. The game relies on the honesty of each golfer to ensure the rules are adhered to. How unique is that? Golf is played year round - weather permitting. There are only 34 rules in golf. These 34 rules and the various definitions cover any situation that may arise in the course of a round of golf.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Latest tiger Woods Book by Hank Haney

I for one cannot wait for the release of the latest Tiger Woods book.
Obviously this book titled 'The Big Miss' was going to cause some interest not least of which is the fact that it is written by someone who was once part of Tiger's 'inner circle'.
This may have led to Tiger and some of his current 'inner circle' panicking that something bad could come out of this book.

Now that is all speculation and of course it will help, rather than hinder, the sale of the book.

I have been reading up a bit on the book as I am interested in the relationship they had as coach and player. I mean what can you teach Tiger?

I came across the following excerpt from the soon to be released Tiger Woods book which I found interesting from a player's perspective:

I believed in what we were doing, and so did Tiger. Gradually the wild drives started to lessen, but the process was going to require steps through the different levels a touring pro faces. First there would be fewer wild drives on the practice tee at Isleworth, then in practice rounds at Isleworth, then on the practice tee at tournaments, then in practice rounds at tournaments, then in practice sessions before competitive rounds, then in competitive rounds, and finally in competitive rounds at majors. That's a tour player's progression, one of the hardest things about the profession.

It seems a perfect description of what all players go through when learning something new.

How many times have you hit balls on the range and found that you cannot repeat the same thing on the course? I know it happens a lot for me and can be very frustrating.

So that chapter is encouraging. Just keep working at whatever it is you are working on until it becomes natural or a habit.

I for one will be getting a copy of the book as soon as it is released. I fully expect the book to detail everything but his personal life which has been so public and of no interest to me as a golfer.

Read more about Hank Haney's new Tiger Woods book.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chipping with backspin!!

Well as you all know I recently spent three days on a Continued Professional Development course and have since been practising my short game.
Of course practising new things and then playing golf is not always a good idea because your head is so often full of new and often technical issues.
The results are often disastrous. Why? Because you are so keen to succeed with your new swing/chip/putting stroke/slice cure or whatever, that you anxiously start lifting your head and doing all sorts of things wrong.
That in turn can get you to thinking that your new skill is not so hot and you drop it and revert to your old bad, but more comfortable, habits.
Well here is some good news for you. Persevere if you know the "science" behind the new technique (whatever it may be) is correct.
I have and the result is my putting has improved dramatically but even better so has my chipping.
Twice on Sunday I very nearly chipped in and didn't need my putter and another time one of my playing partners said:
"That is the second time today I thought you had hit it much too hard and the ball just stopped on the second bounce! How do you do that?"
Man it was good to hear that. So good that I am going out there right this minute to practice so that this chip shot becomes permanent.
Roll on Friday when I play my next game.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Short Game

This is a follow up to a previous post about practice making permanent and not perfect!
Since then I have been to the range almost every day to perfect the "finesse" swing. The "finesse" swing is the only shot you will need to pitch the ball from 100 yards and in. The only variables you will need is the loft of the club and the length of the swing.
For example I now use 4 wedges:
46 degree which is the standard pitching wedge
52 degree gap wedge
56 degree sand wedge and
60 degree lob wedge.
These wedges are then coupled with a particular swing length which equate to a clock face.
If you can imagine that your left arm is the hour hand of a clock. When the club is in the normal address position (IE on the ground behind the ball just before take away) that would the "6.00 o'clock position".
Now the finesse swing is the length of the takeaway base on a 12 hour clock. 3 different lengths are used. All swing lengths start from the 6.00 position.
The first is the "7.30" position. This is by far the hardest to master at it is so short that it feels incomplete. Initially there just doesn't seem to be any potential to accelerate the club through the ball and it takes a lot of practice to stop the hands (especially the right hand - for right handed golfers) taking over. After a while it does become easier and the confidence builds.
The next position is the "9.00" and is the easiest. I suggest you start on this one first and master it before moving on to the others.
The final position is the "10.30" position. Again fairly easy with the only risk being the possibility of over swinging.
So with 4 clubs and 3 different length swings you have 12 distances from 100 yards out that you eventually know you can land the ball on a dime (distance wise anyway - accuracy is another story!).
Mathematically translated that means about every 8 yards you will have a definite shot to play with an almost guaranteed chance of success. I think you will agree if you could get on the green 90% of the time from 100 yards or less you would greatly reduce your scores.
But you would still need to putt. Maybe I should offer my e-book "Putt for Dough" as a freebie. It is jam packed with practical putting drills to get you to putt better and at all costs to avoid three putting.
Let me know if you would like that by posting a comment below. I will gladly do it if there is enough demand.
Next time I will report on how I am getting along with the "5 Key Elements to Distance".
Till then enjoy your game.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What a Great Tournament The Master's Was

Well what can I say?
The Masters had everything anyone could have wished for. At the end of the day golf was the winner.
Tiger and Phil gave an exibition of complete golf so that the last pairing was lamost a side show. Do these guys kow how to apply pressure or what?
Personally I thought Kenny Perry was going to coast home when he had a 2 shot lead with only two holes to play. Who would have thought he would blow it the way he did?
Chad Campbell probably couldn't believe his luck when he suddenly found him self in the play off. And then to top it all after Cabrera and Perry had played their seconds on the first play off hole Campbell simply had to put his ball on the green - he was also the closest so it should have been a formality. But it was not to be - instead he dropped it in the bunker. Cabrera was dead after putting his drive in the trees and then collecting another tree on the way out.
As the Golfing Gods would have it Campbell took three to get up and down and was out of the play off.
It was now up to the two from the last 2 ball pairing and off they went to the 10th tee. I really felt for Kenny because I am sure his nerves were raw. Not having dropped a shot in 22 holes and suddenly having dropped 2 in a row he must have been as nervous as all hell.
The result was he pulled his second giving himself an almost impossible chip and leaving Cabrera the luxury of a 2 putt from about 4 meters.
Game over and the Argentine walks away with his second Major.
The disappointment of the tournament for me was young Danny Lee, playing in his last tournament as an amateur not making the cut. He is about to turn pro and is reportedly due to sign a contract for US$10,000,000.00 so I don't really feel too sorry for him! His time will come and I look forward to his first tournament and following his career.
It was great to see Katayama come in fourth on his own. What a talented golfer he is and hopefully we will see some of his wins from the Japanese tour carried over to the PGA.
I can't wait for the rest of the Majors.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Master's Week!!

Yes its that time of year again and the 2009 Masters is of particular interest to me this year for a number of reasons.
Firstly it is the Masters and the famed Augusta course. I just love looking at the course on TV.
Secondly the defending champ is Trevor Immelman and as a former South African I am of course rooting for him and the rest of the South African contingent.
I am also very interested in his choice for the dinner. He has chosen typical South African dishes in Bobotie and Melk Tert. I'd love to know how well these are received by the players. Bobotie is a Cape Malay dish and is currie based. Delicious but not everyone's cup of tea. So I hope old Trevor doesn't send some of those golfers out hungry.
My next point of interest is the Korean born New Zealand amateur Danny Lee who is making his first appearance at the Masters. As the World Amateur Matchplay Champion he is teeing of alongside Trevor Immelman and Scott Adams. How daunting can that be for the 19 year old youngster? He is set to turn pro straight after The Masters and great things are expected of him. I hope he makes the cut as he will benefit greatly from the experience. I think it was Johnny Miller who has actually tipped Danny Lee as his dark horse to win!!
Then of course there is the irrepressible Tiger. Will his presence be enough to scare all the other bunnys away? Somehow one gets that feeling.
But hey it is The Masters and anything can happen.
One thing is for sure and that is come Sunday the cream will rise to the top.
Go Trevor!
Go Danny!
Go Tiger!
And go the rest!
I just want it to be the great tournament it is every year.
On a technical note I am also interested in watching the players swings and short game strokes.
What I learned at my recent EGTF Continued Pofessional Development course and through "5 Key Elements" has made me look at things in a totally different light.
I went out and put some of the things I learned in the "5 Key Elemants" to the test yesterady and I will be paying close attention to the position of the player's belt buckles at the top of their backswings. Something worked for me yesterday and my swing thought was "belt buckle".
Where ever you are enjoy The Masters and I hope you get the opportunity to watch every shot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hit Longer Drives.

With all this talk about coaching and practising I have been surfing around the Internet to find ideas of how best to put it all together so that people can understand and apply what I am trying to teach them. As a coach one of the hardest things to do is teach a universal audience by means of writing.
However I have uncovered a gem in the form of Eric Young's "5 Keys To Distance".
The 5 Keys to Distance has nothing to do with the short game - in fact it is the exact opposite with the emphasis on hitting the ball longer - much longer - while still maintaining control.
I picked it up as a sceptic and couldn't wait to put it down!!
I couldn't wait to put it down because I wanted to try the very first drill he describes - it was so practical and made so much sense to me.
But I am getting ahead of myself. I was sceptical because Eric is a world long driving champion and I thought that the e-book and videos would be all about how big and strong he is. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he comes across as a humble man.
Sure his story is there but not in a bragging sort of way. He tells his story as part of the journey he undertook to find out how to hit the ball further and still maintain control. It makes for an interesting read on its own.
Anyone who can regularly hit the ball straight and over 360 yards is worth listening to.
You may not want to hit the ball as far as Eric does but if you want to add an extra 20 - 50 yards off the tee (and who doesn't) then you just have to get the "5 Keys To Distance".
I can honestly say that this is by far the best instructional e-book (with accompanying videos) that I have ever come across - and this is exactly the same description that Golf Today Magazine gave the e-book.
I don't even want to mention the 60 day money back guarantee because you won't be needing it. Anyone who sends this product back has not read it. Simple as that.
The book has a series of drills, each neatly divided into separate key swing components all with accompanying videos. So you get to read and see the drill and what you are trying to achieve.
Oh and Eric has a really smooth swing but despite its languid look you can see the power he generates.
Get the "5 Keys to Distance" and practice them on the sneak before exposing your new power to your mates - and then enjoy the look on your face as you tell them you are on a new diet!!
I'll be back soon with more short game stuff - although to be honest I have also started working on my distance!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Does Practice Make Perfect?

That's an interesting question and I always thought the answer was .....well obviously "yes".
However I have just come back for a 3 day "Continued Professional Development" course conducted by head coach Bill Abbott of the European Golf Teachers Federation.

It was a fascinating three days of intensive learning in which we learned the following:
Day1. Video Analysis - using cause and effect teaching.
Day2. Advanced Short Game Coaching and
Day3. Putting Bio mechanics.

I will cover the full course in more detail at a later stage

One of the most striking things that came out of this to me is that practice does not make perfect.

Practice makes permanent.

So if you are practising (no matter what it is) you are simply creating a habit.
The problem lies in the fact that we often practice bad habits. The more we practice them the more permanent they become.
This was brought home to all of the participants at the course on day 1 when Bill put the video on us and showed us some of the bad habits we have picked up (and practised) over the years!
Of particular interest was the very bad postures we had got into which felt comfortable to each of us but which were in fact contributing to inconsistent shots. Inconsistency leads to all sorts of issues and results in bad scores.

Over the next few weeks I will be talking more about this and I will also be conducting some experiments with live "guinea pigs" - I will be applying what we learned to real live golfers.
But first I have to replace my bad habits with good habits so I have been out on the range and the chipping green for a couple of hours each day. I'll be doing this for few more weeks before I will be ready to pass on what I have learned.

I intend taking on 3 pupils and can guarantee that I will reduce their handicaps by at least 3-5 shots just by working on their short game. Their progress (or lack thereof) will be reported here so you can follow along and hopefully participate.

Keep your eye on this blog to see how this all develops.