Instruction

The 15 best takeaways from Jeff Ritter's Make the Turn series

Last season, golf instructor Jeff Ritter introduced his Make the Turn series to Golf Digest. Ritter's teachings took a holistic approach to golf improvement, with just as much focus on the mental aspect of the game as the technical. Ultimately, Ritter's tips strive for a healthier and happier life on and off the course. Ritter, who runs his Make The Turn Academy out of Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif., is now hosting a sweepstakes to win a Pebble Beach Dream Vacation.. In honor of this occasion, here is a list of our favorite 15 takeaways from Ritter's Make the Turn video series.

It's no secret many golfers neglect a proper warm-up before hitting the first tee. Whether it's a time issue or just not knowing what to do, most people aren't properly preparing their body to play. This exercise will battle that problem. Placing a ball under your legs helps loosen tight hamstrings, which will prevent injury and aid recovery.
Riding in a cart has become an epidemic in American golf. Walking the course increases awareness, improves fitness and delivers more enjoyment with a sense of accomplishment.
Reasonable range in hip mobility is critical to executing a powerful and efficient golf swing. The ability of the hips to move to an acceptable degree facilitates rotation, speed generation and the ultimate transfer of that energy to the golf ball at impact.
A great way to develop awareness on the golf course is to start your next round with about 50 paper clips in your front pants pocket. Each time you find yourself having a negative thought or reaction, mental or verbal, remove one paper clip from your front pocket and transfer it to the back pocket.
There is a direct correlation between a positive mindset and hitting good shots. Be enthusiastic in your pre-shot routine.
I love everything associated with a great day at the course, including a post-round celebration with my group. But, just because it's time to cut loose doesn't mean you can't still make mindful decisions that allow you to unwind while protecting your health. Upgrade your fluid intake by drinking a couple tall glasses of water between cocktails.
Being healthier doesn't mean you have to take on some "all or nothing" effort that leaves you feeling deprived. In fact, getting started is as simple deciding to choose one thing to upgrade and one thing to drop. What if you did something as easy as dropping the bread from your normal post-round burger?
A great way to develop rhythm is to practice with a metronome. A metronome has adjustable speeds, a feature that makes finding the appropriate tempo a snap. Place the metronome on the ground and time your stroke to match the beat.
Walk off 25 feet on the putting green to a hole. Place a tee within putter's length behind the hole. Attempt to make the putt or keep it between the hole and the tee to cut down on three putts.
Although there are many ways to diagnose and develop patterns of movement, one of the best drills you can do on your own is to try making a one-minute-long golf swing. It seems like a pretty simple exercise, but one minute of intense focus directed to every inch of your golf swing can be downright exhausting.
11

Short-Game Showdown

Play a game with yourself, keeping track of an individual ball's score against other practice balls. This drill improves critical scoring and performance under pressure, all under an organized practice setting.
To "hit for the cycle" simply means that during any given practice session you prove the ability to hit pretty much any shot. The goal is to start by learning how to produce a draw, fade and on-line hit. If you wanted to make this exercise even tougher, however, you could also include creating the same flight patterns in low, medium and high trajectories as well.
Take an alignment stick and whip it 10 times with your right. Each swing should be a little harder than the previous motion. Switch hands and repeat this exercise, finishing with both hands on the stick.
Great bunker play is largely rooted in attitude. It's about developing a sense of freedom and trust which ultimately lead to having more command over your game. This challenge is all about determination, so set aside an hour, dig in and really get get focused.
15

50-Yard Flag Breaker

Place a few circles of tees around a hole. Walk 50 yards out and drop 10 balls. Proceed to try to hit these balls inside the circles of tees, scoring yourself in the process. The closer to the hole, the higher the point total.

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