I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I know 2020 is going to be a great year. The Word of the Year for 2020 is Vision. As you plan this year, think about where you want to be this time next year. That vision will guide your decisions, and actions throughout the year to make sure this is your most successful year to date! Be sure to check out the interview with PGA Tour player Tony Finau, and some great tips from my coaches. Enjoy!
Big fan! Is there anything I can do to help overcome mental weakness when putting for birdies from short range? Give me a 4 footer for par and I like my chances. However, a 4 footer for birdie and let's just say I'd bet myself to miss it. It's the difference between knowing I'm going to make the putt and knowing I'm going to miss it. Any suggestions on a thought process that I can use to help distract myself from the idea of it being a birdie putt?
Thanks, - Chad
Thank you for asking! When you’re putting, your goal is to make the putt. This is the problem. There are so many factors that go into actually making a putt, one of which is luck! For this reason, you cannot worry about making or missing a putt. You can only focus on hitting your target. Next time you face a 4-foot putt for any score, pick your target based on the break you think you need to play (i.e. left edge). Now, your target is not the hole, it is the left edge of the hole. When you roll your ball at the left edge of the hole, you are successful whether the ball goes in the hole or not. Next time you face that putt for birdie, ask yourself the question, can you hit your target?
Are you "over the top" in your swing? Are you losing distance? The key to getting your club to strike the ball from the inside, and the key to adding power, both come from a ground-up sequence in the downswing. A ground-up sequence is when your weight shifts from your trail side, to your lead side, then, your hips rotate toward the target leading your shoulders, arms, hands, and golf club.
The key to initiating this sequence is in your knees, more specifically your trail knee. Start your downswing by moving your trail knee toward your lead knee. Try to physically touch your knees together. You can't touch your knees together without first, placing your weight on your lead side, and second, rotating your hips.
Start your downswing by moving your trail knee to your lead knee, and you will initiate that ground-up sequence that gets your golf club to strike the ball from the inside, while adding power!
- Greg DuCharme
Michael Breed Golf Academy
Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America Greg@michaelbreed.com
My favorite question to ask a golfer when I meet them for the first time is: What’s your shot? Do you play a draw or a fade? I have learned over the years that their answer to this question tells me a lot about their game. If they give me a quick definitive answer then I know they have worked hard on their game and if they have no answer then I know there is so serious work to be done. In my experience the most successful amateur golfers I work with know their shot and play their shot every time. It does not matter if it’s a left to right or a right to left ball flight. What matters is that you know which way it is going to curve.
Once we know our shot curve we can use some course management strategies to learn to shoot our best scores. Let’s start with the tee ball. In order to increase your chance of hitting the fairway you should tee your ball on the side of which your ball curves. For example if your shot shape is left to right you should tee your ball as far to the right that the tee box allows. This will set you up to play your shot and give you the whole fairway to work with. On approach shots you must be aware of where the flag sits on the green. Is it in the middle on the right or on the left? If we assume the same baby fade ball flight then pins that are on the right and center are green light pins and you should play aggressively. Pins that are on the left of the green are red light pins and you should take your medicine and play to the center of the green. I promise you that if you know your ball flight and learn to play with these course strategies you will give yourself the best opportunity to maximize your potential play your best golf. Let’s Do This!
Place your ball on the right side or left side of the fairway. Become familiar with targeting and execution of making the shot down the right/left side and the opposite side as well. Typically, amateur golfers are not use to being able to keep the ball down one side or the other, or hit it to the other side. Frequently this is related to perception, eye dominance, etc. This is a great exercise to become familiar with what is not familiar. Effective performance is having the ability to perform well under pressure in unfamiliar circumstances.
A major congratulations goes out to our very own Andrew Losey. Andrew has officially graduated from the Methodist University PGA Professional Golf Management program. When Andrew returns to the Michael Breed Golf Academy this spring, he will officially be a Class A PGA Member. Congratulations Andrew, we are so lucky to have you on our team!
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