9 Tips For Keeping A Good Round Going

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9 Tips For Keeping A Good Round Going

May 25, 2015

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: John Loomis

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Chip it close without chunking it

Golfers who try to chip the ball close run the risk of chunking it. Butch Harmon advocates a specific technique to avoid this: "Ball back, hands forward, weight forward. Step in with your back foot first, directly in line with the ball, then set the clubface square behind it, then position your front foot. Lean everything a touch toward the target, and swing your arms back and through. If you turn your body through with your arms, you won't chunk these little chips."More: Four Ways to Turn Bogey Into Par, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Know how to ride the wind

According to Sean Foley, knowing both the prevailing wind direction for the round and the wind direction at any given moment can benefit golfers. Being downwind, for instance, calls for a certain type of shot. "To take advantage of a breeze at your back, first set up to hit a higher shot: Address the ball farther forward, and let your spine tilt away from the target a little. Unless you hit a shot on a fairly high trajectory, it won't ride the wind," said Foley.More: Ride the Wind, by Sean Foley

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Take an extra club on approach shots, and go 75%

When it comes to swinging with the green in reach, try to leave ego out of the picture. Instead, go with more club and just swing lighter. According to Butch Harmon, "Take an extra club on approach shots, and then swing within yourself. You'll hit the ball solid a lot more often if you go at 75 percent instead of 100. Trust me, your swing will be mechanically better at a speed you can support."More: Avoid These Ego Mistakes, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Make crisper contact with your irons

One of the real secrets to securing a low round, according to Sean Foley, is consistent iron play. For those who find that they strike the ball poorly with their irons, try to increase your angle of attack. Foley says, "to steepen your downswing, let your weight shift to your rear foot on the backswing but keep your upper body and head stacked above the ball's position -- no swaying. Then, when you start down, shift your weight to your front foot and rotate your body in place, without lunging toward the target."More: The Secret to Lower Scores, by Sean Foley

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Swing properly with fairway woods, but don't overswing

Martin Kaymer believes mastering your fairway woods is essential for those par 5s where more distance needs to be covered. The key is to take a longer swing without overswinging. "In general, the longer the club, the longer the swing should take. I really take my time with the backswing and try to load up. In the past, my swing has gotten long and my accuracy suffered. So I shortened it. This can help you hit the ball more solidly, too, because you'll have better control if you keep the motion compact."More: Hit More Greens From Way Downtown, by Martin Kaymer

Photo By: Dom Furore

Know when to unhinge your wrists

To ensure an extra burst of speed on any shot, your must know when and how to properly unhinge your wrists on the downswing. According to Jim McLean, "Amateurs tend to let the wrists unhinge too early, but the root of the problem is in the lower body. If you fail to make a good lateral move toward the target on the downswing, your left leg straightens too soon, which causes you to throw the club away from your body and unhinge your wrists way before impact."More: Fast Fixes For Every Fault: No Power, by Jim McLean

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Control the trajectory of chip shots

To easily control where your chips land, a quick fix is to adjust your left hand position. According to Tom Watson, "To play a high shot, I weaken my left-hand position by setting my thumb straight down the handle at address. I also play the ball a little forward of center in my stance, which helps add loft to the shot. To hit a low, running chip, I strengthen my left-hand position by moving my thumb to the right side of the handle so I can see almost three knuckles on that hand when I look down at address."More: How to Handle Your Chips, by Tom Watson

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Don't be a hero

When you get into a tough situation on any hole, go with the shot that will get you out of trouble rather than the prayer shot that you believe will save your score. According to Henrik Stenson, "When you're under a tree and have to keep the ball below the branches, find the easiest way out, grab your 5-iron, move the ball a little back in your stance, and take a short swing with the intent to make solid contact and bunt it back to the fairway. Dropping one shot isn't so bad, and you might even manage to save par."More: Problem Solvers, by Craig Bestrom

Photo By: John Loomis

Know when to use your 3-wood

Although the 3-wood may be an appealing club to swing on a spacious par 5, only use it if you can reach the green. Butch Harmon says, "The 3-wood is the hardest club to hit off the fairway, so using it to just advance the ball is crazy. Hit your 5-wood instead. The 5-wood has more loft, so it's easier to get the ball in the air. And unless you're a powerful swinger, you probably hit it as far as your 3-wood anyway, certainly far enough to knock your next shot on the green."More: Bench Your 3-Wood, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

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