MAKE THE ONES YOU HATE TO MISS

A six-footer is by no means a gimme, but it’s still short enough that it stings when it doesn’t go in. To make more of these, start by locking in your speed. It’s the most important part of every putt. And when you assess speed, don’t just factor how fast the ball needs to roll to get to the front of the cup. Think about it: You’re not trying to be so precise with your putting that the ball falls in on its last rotation. So forget the front of the cup. You should be looking at a spot 1½ feet beyond the hole. You’ll still be in tap-in range if you miss, but now you know the ball is going to get there every time.

Once you’ve determined that spot, then you can read the break. Start by walking to the hole, and try to picture the line in your head, keeping in mind that it continues 18 inches past the cup. Typically a putt of this length isn’t going to break that much—unless your course is Augusta National.

To get my speed down, I often practice with a small silicone cover over the top of the hole. The ball rolls right over it. If you don’t have one, you can just putt over the location of an old cup like I’m doing here (see bottom photo). The point is to get the ball to stop at a consistent distance beyond the hole. After I hit a putt that rolls over the cup and stops where I want it to stop, I’ll put a dime down to mark that end point. Then I’ll stroke putts over the hole trying to get every one to stop on a dime, so to speak.

DEVELOP A SHOT CLOCK
Having a pre-shot routine is important, but that doesn’t mean only doing the same things before every putt. Just as important is the amount of time you take to do those things. It will make a big difference if there’s a consistent duration from setup to stroke—it gives you good rhythm and confidence. Another thing you should do before you hit a putt is to take one last look at your line of putt all the way to the hole and then back to your ball—but do it quickly. The longer you stand over the ball, the more likely you’ll start to psych yourself out that you might miss. Good putting is a lot more mental than physical. Not a lot can go wrong with your stroke on a six-footer—it’s a fairly short and quiet motion. If you can relax and trust in what you’ve done prior to the putt, your chance of rolling one in will go way up.

BE AN ATHLETE, NOT A ROBOT
If you struggle with these makable putts, it’s probably because you’re too focused on using perfect mechanics. I’ve got news for you, guys like me on the PGA Tour rarely set up and make a textbook stroke, yet the tour average for putts made from six feet last season was 70 percent. What I’m saying is, there are a lot of ways to get the ball to go in the hole.

Putting is extremely personal, but everyone should feel comfortable over the ball. I like when my arms hang freely, and I have a slight roundness to my back. As for the stroke, I don’t think about the length the putter moves back and through. Instead, I try to be as athletic as possible, meaning my process is to look at what I have to do—then react. If you’re shooting a basketball, you don’t think about how hard your arm has to move for the ball to reach the basket, you just look at the rim and let it fly. Try putting with that same mind-set.

SOURCE:  golfdigest

 

Get The Correct Golf Grip

It’s Key To Proper Takeaway and Swing Plane

Few aspects of the golf swing hold more fascination for struggling club golfers than how to achieve the correct golf grip.

Swing plane, pronation, supination, re-routing, downswing transition, leg drive, and hip resistance on the backswing are some of the more elaborate theories investigated by golfers who habitually slice or hook. Yet more often than not the real cause of wayward shots lies in the way a golfer places his hands on the club. So, before you start making extreme changes to swing mechanics, you should first simplify the golf swing technique by making sure the grip is correct. Following are three of the most important aspects of the grip that affect the takeaway, swing path, plane, and control.

Correct Golf Grip Golden Rules and Tips

The ‘V’s created by the index finger and the thumb of the left and right hands must point to the right shoulder.

Although this is extremely well known, it’s surprising how many golfers have trouble achieving this orthodox hand position. A golfer who slices normally has a weak grip where the left hand is too much underneath the shaft. If you slice, the first thing you should check is that the left hand is turned more to the right, with three knuckles visible after taking up the stance.

Conversely, a golfer who hooks should check that the left hand is not in a “strong” position where it is turned to the right too much.

How the Grip Affects Golf Swing Plane Mechanics

The path of the golf swing takeaway is directly affected by the grip. If the left hand is twisted round to the right too much in a ‘strong’ grip, it generally sets the left arm higher than the right – this leads to a swing path that is too inside and a swing plane that is too flat, which results in a hook. If the golfer’s left hand is on the club in a “weak” position, the right arm is set higher than the left at the address which leads to an outside swing path, a steep swing plane and invariably a slice. Although you may know that you swing the club too flat or upright, before you try to swing onto a more effective plane, check that the hands are placed on the club in a neutral grip.

The Grip Right Thumb and Index Finger Position

Topping the ball is a very common fault. In many cases it can be cured with the correct placement of the right thumb and index finger on the club of the right hand. As the club comes into impact the index finger of the right hand is responsible for accurately squaring up the blade and must be in the most efficient position to guide the club. The thumb is responsible for driving the clubhead down into the ball. It is vital for the thumb to be set on the left-hand side of the shaft — not on top of the shaft, which may seem logical but is wrong.

Backswing Control and the Long Left Thumb

One of the most common causes of mis-hit shots is the loss of control at the top of the backswing. An overswing means a loss of control but with good placement of the left-hand thumb on the club, unless double jointed, an overswing becomes almost impossible.

When taking up the grip, allow the left thumb to sit naturally on the club and not stuck down the shaft, which creates an ugly gap between the thumb and index finger. With the thumb in this position, it is much more capable of controlling the downswing transition, when leverage is at its maximum.

SOURCE: golftipsmag.com

 

Who Knew??

Golf has actually been played on the moon! It is only 1 of 2 sports to literally have been played out-of-this-world, along with the javelin throw. Back in 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut, Alan Shepard, swung a one-handed shot with a six-iron, which was all his pressure suit would allow.

Tell us the most unusual place you have played golf!

It’s time for you to shoot for the moon!

 

Only 99 days!

The 2019 Masters Tournament will be the 83rd edition of the Masters Tournament and the first of golf’s four major championships to be held in 2019. It will be held from April 11–14 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Who will you be cheering for to WIN the 2019 Masters?

GIVE US YOUR PREDICTIONS…

13th Green

How To Spin The Golf Ball

You have no doubt seen TOUR pros on television, or any good golfer for that matter, hit shots into the green that end up spinning back like a rocket, particularly in wet conditions.  You might note how that never really happens when you’re out on the course, and you wonder how exactly they do it!  So, how do they put backspin on the ball?6092745314_e0f8a716b8_z

Being able to spin the golf ball is actually something that most amateurs, and even some seasoned golfers, cannot control.

It is something that comes with experience and a certain degree of proficiency.  It requires you to know how to make solid, “ball-first” contact with the golf ball, and do it with sufficient speed for the grooves to do the work.

There are, of course, many instances where it would be quite useful to be able to put spin the ball.

Often, it’s from a tight lie off of the green, with rough, a bunker or another obstacle between you and the flag.  In such a case, you would typically want to fly the ball close to the spin and have it stop dead or even spin back a little bit.

The focus of this article is to discuss what exactly backspin on the golf ball involves, when you can spin the ball and how it is actually accomplished.  Hopefully this can help some of you who want to take your game to the next level!

How is backspin generated?

Backspin (spinning away from the direction of the target) occurs when the clubface makes contact with the ball and the grooves on the face of the club “grab” the ball, imparting a spin before it takes off.  There are several key factors which affect how much the ball spins, and they include:

  • The effective loft of the clubface at impact.  The higher this loft is, the closer the clubface becomes to pointing directly up towards zenith, and the easier it is for the grooves to grab the ball and “roll it up” the face.  For example, it’s much easier to impart backspin on the ball with a 9-iron as compared with a 3-iron, and you get relatively little spin with a driver.
  • How clean the strike is.  If there is grass, mud, sand or any other matter between the clubface and the ball at impact, some or all of the grooves won’t be able to make contact with the ball to create spin.  This is why you generally cannot spin the ball out of the rough — grass gets between the clubface and the ball.  You generally want to hit the ball before the ground in order to get solid spin.
  • Clubhead speed.  It is important to accelerate through the ball if you want a good backspin.  The faster the face impacts the ball, the more time the grooves have to grab the ball and create spin before the ball “rebounds” or “rockets” off the face.

It is widely believed that the steepness of the clubface path coming into the ball, or the angle of attack, affects the spin of the ball given a fixed loft However, there exists evidence, particularly from TrackMan, that is contrary to this claim.  In general, hitting “down” on the ball does appear not affect spin rates.  The three factors bulletted above are the primary determinants of golf ball spin.

What can I do to spin the ball?

Based on what I mentioned above, you should do the following if you want to maximize the amount of backspin you generate:

  1. Use a quality golf ball with a high spin rating, like the Titleist Pro V1/V1x.
  2. Use a higher-lofted club, or open your clubface.  The shorter clubs — 7, 8, 9 irons, and wedges — will naturally produce more spin than longer clubs.  If you do open your clubface, just be sure to make the necessary adjustments in your alignment.
  3. Hit from a tight clean lie, like from the fairway, fringe or even a bunker.  As I touched on above, you cannot expect to spin the ball out of the rough, especially if it’s sitting down or the grass is long.
  4. Make sure your clubface is clean, hit the ball solidly, and take the divot after the ball.  This will allow the grooves of the face to make full contact with the ball.  Unfortunately, many amateurs often neglect to clean their clubs even when they’re caked with dirt; what they likely don’t realize is that they’re either partially or completely preventing the club from creating backspin.
  5. Accelerate through the ball at an appropriate speed.  If you feel that you’re swinging too slow and it may be hindering your ability to put spin on the ball, take a look at my speed article for some clarity and tips.

Note that the firmness of the golf course typically determines how far balls spin back.  On wet grass (fairways, greens), there is less rollout and most of the spin will go into bringing the ball back.  In other words, the result of spin is much more obvious in soft conditions.

Hopefully, after reading and understanding the concise information presented above, you’ll be well on your way to developing a firm control of the spin on your golf ball.

SOURCE:  golfstead.com

’Twas six days before Christmas

when all through the clubhouse,


Not a creature was stirring—

—well, that’s not entirely true. Creatures were, in fact, stirring when I called Santa Claus Golf Club on Thursday afternoon. Golfers weren’t, though. (Too dark, too cold.) Nary a sign of St. Nick, either. (Too busy.)

“Sometimes we do see his footprints in the snow,” Pia Lillberg, the club’s cheery managing director, told me by video conference.

She was joking. I think.

Santa Claus Golf Club — yes, it’s actually a thing — sits directly on the Arctic Circle, in Rovaniemi, Finland, about 500 miles north of Helsinki. There are no sleigh-carts or elf-caddies or gift-wrapped tee markers, and, no, you don’t get coal after a triple-bogey. But the club does have reindeer. About 30 of them. Lillberg says they’re “quite nice to play with,” if unschooled in the finer points of golf etiquette. Knock your tee shot into a flock, she said, and they’ll be in no rush to clear out. (Evidently the presence of reindeer sausage on the halfway-house menu has not put a scare into them.)

A flock of friendly, if stubborn, reindeer call Santa GC home.

A flock of friendly, if stubborn, reindeer call Santa GC home.

When the club was founded in 1986, it had a far less recognizable name: the Golf Club of Rovaniemi. Its course was built not on grass but on ice and open only in the depths of winter: nine frigid holes set on the river that bisects the city. A few years later, a “summer course” emerged on terra firma with six fairways and a practice area, followed, in 1997, by a nine-hole layout. In 2011, the membership tacked on another nine — resulting in a par-71, 6,500-yard design that winds its way up and down a hillside lined with pine trees — but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that the club acquired its current moniker.

“As we are in the Official Hometown of Santa Claus,” Lillberg said (yes, that’s a thing, too; Rovaniemi has it trademarked), “it’s only appropriate that we, too, carry the name. Somehow it seems more suitable to talk about Santa Claus golf than Arctic golf.” It’s also more marketable. The club is in the process of launching a shop on its website where visitors will be able to buy Santa Claus GC-logoed hats, shirts and balls — the perfect stocking stuffers for the golfer in your life.

Christmastime, ironically, is the club’s slow season.

“Sunrise was at 11:07 am today and sunset was 1:22 pm,” said Lillberg, who speaks excellent English with a heavy Nordic accent. “It’s not practical to go and play in the dark.”

It’s also not practical to play in the snow. But that doesn’t stop SCGC’s hardy membership from bundling up and playing the club’s “winter course,” a snowy nine-hole layout (complete with “whites” instead of greens) that the grounds crew spends a couple of months shaping. “We have to have 40 centimeters of snow before we start building it,” Lillberg said.

The course opens in early March, when the days are longer and the temperatures more tolerable. When the sun’s out, the “snow shines like crystals,” Lillberg says, turning the place into a magical golfing wonderland. “It’s perfect. I really can’t say enough good things about it.”

The course hasn’t drawn many American tourists, though one notable member of the golfing establishment did visit last March: USGA executive director Mike Davis. In his first foray in to snow golf, Davis competed in the Santa’s Snow Golf Classic. (“The whites putt beautifully,” he said at the time. “They’re actually not too different from a regular putting green.”) Papa Noel doesn’t visit the course much, either, what with all his duties down in Santa Claus Village. He has some other forces working against him, too, Lillberg says: “It’s a bit difficult for him to see the ball because of the stomach and the beard.”

The snow-golf season at Santa Claus GC lasts only about six weeks.

The snow-golf season at Santa Claus GC lasts only about six weeks.

Still, whether the big man is on site or not, his spirit thrives at the club that bears his name, from Rudolph and Co. grazing in the rough, to the twinkly Christmas decorations in the restrooms, to the staff that runs the place.

“I have to make a confession,” Lillberg said at the end of our call. “I’m actually an elf in disguise.”

Come again?

Yep, for 10 years, Lillberg said, she moonlighted as one of Santa’s helpers, sorting letters for him at the post office in downtown Rovaniemi.

“Once an elf,” she said, “always an elf.”

I laughed when she said this in spite of myself,

A wink of her eye and a twist of her head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.’

SOURCE:  golf.com

1) Don’t chase a score on the course, you have to stay patient and let it come to you.

2) Change your practice routine, and start focusing on your weaknesses. If you keep doing the same things over and over again, why would your scores improve?

3) Don’t pass the buck. It wasn’t the club’s fault, or the the wind, or the golf course. You are the captain of the ship. The sooner you take responsibility, and try to fix your mistakes, the better off your game will be.

4) Never assume you have it all figured out. Golf has a funny way of humbling you at the moments when you think you are invincible!

5) Enjoy the process. The one constant in golf is when you fix one thing in your game, another one will break. Accept it, and try to limit your frustrations. Golf is a beautiful mess.

6) Whatever scoring milestone you are looking to achieve, mastering your short game will probably be a huge part of it.

7) It’s OK to get upset with yourself when things don’t go your way during a round. It becomes a problem when you let it carry over to the next shot.

8) If you are obsessed with hitting the ball farther, you are likely ignoring parts of your game that will actually lower your score.

9) Your worst putt is usually better than your worst chip. Try using your putter more whenever you can if you are just off the green.

10) If you’re not having fun, you will never get better. Focus on enjoyment first, and the rest will follow.

11) Your round one big gambling experiment. Self control is rewarded, and blind aggressiveness usually ends in disaster.

12) The number one priority on any tee shot is hitting the fairway, choose the club that gets you there.

13) There is no one right way to swing a golf club. Look at all of the different swings in golfing history.

14) Mastering one shot is better than trying to be good at 5 or 6.

15) If it’s windy out, don’t swing harder.

16) What happens on the 5th hole will be a distant memory by the 13th. Try and save every shot you can even if you’re having a few bad holes. Things can turn around quickly!

17) Don’t play an expensive pro-level ball if your game isn’t suited for it. You’re wasting money, and the extra spin on the ball will do more harm than good.

18) Try playing a few rounds where you don’t keep score, and just focus on trying to hit good shots. You’ll probably be amazed at how much fun you will have, and how capable you are of hitting great shots.

19) Bad shots are inevitable. The better golfers move past them immediately, and shift their focus to limiting the damage rather than compounding their mistake.

20) You can only handle so much technical information before it does more harm than good. If you have several different thoughts before you approach a shot, it’s likely you won’t be confident. Try working on one thing at a time until your are comfortable with it on the course.

21) New equipment, and getting fitted for clubs can help your game. Don’t fall into the trap of giving it more importance than you should (See tip #3).

22) Be careful when someone makes a promise that’s too good to be true for your game. Their training aid, or learning course is likely fool’s gold.

23) If you are serious about becoming a better golfer you have to make a plan for yourself. Think long and hard about the parts of your game that need work, and make a practice schedule that focuses on those areas. If you just show up to the range, and start hitting balls without any purpose you will have wasted your time.

24) It’s probably a good idea to have your swing looked at by a professional from time to time. Choose one that you are comfortable with. The most important part is being able to understand what they are saying. If it doesn’t make sense, then they are not the right teacher for you.

25) What you see on TV is not reality for a golfer. Do not try and play the difficult shots that the pros can pull off. They’ve put in thousands of hours mastering them! That’s why they make it look so easy.

26) Figure out some creative ways to practice at home. It can sometimes be much more effective than your work on the range.

27) Read some books, here are a list of 10 that every golfer should have on their shelves.

28) Your goal is to limit your 3 putts, not make more one putts.

29) Sometimes your best rounds are right around the corner. If you’ve had a few bad weeks on the course don’t give up hope!

SOURCE:  practical_golf.com

May you share joyful memories, laughter and good cheer this Christmas.

From our family to yours, we wish you peace, joy and all the best this wonderful holiday has to offer.  

Merry Christmas from all of us at Stonybrook Golf Club

 

Image result for christmas gif

“The best golfers without a major championship” is always a fascinating discussion and maybe never more so in the world of golf as we enter 2019. The sport is absolutely loaded with stars and superstars at the highest level, and you could argue that with Tiger Woods back to winning, the PGA Tour hasn’t been healthier in a long, long time.

Because of this and because a healthy PGA Tour leads to massive purses, golf is becoming more and more competitive. The rise of social media has engendered an era when even three-win or four-win golfers without majors are well-known personalities. All of this is a great thing of course, but it also means that the major-less crew is more recognizable than ever. That’s good for golf (so many stars can win in any given week!) but tough for the players on this list to continually field questions about why they haven’t won the big one.

With that, let’s get to our top 10. Remember, this isn’t a list of the 10 most accomplished but rather the 10 best players in the world who have yet to win a major championship.

1. Jon Rahm: He doubles as the most decorated on this list as well. For the second consecutive year, he won at least three times worldwide and solidified his spot as one of the handful of guys most likely to win the most majors from this point going forward.

2. Bryson DeChambeau: Only Rory McIlroy got to five wins more quickly in recent years. I don’t think DeChambeau is “somewhere between McIlroy and Spieth” good, but he’s certainly being undervalued.

3. Rickie Fowler: He’s the lightning rod for this conversation. I won’t belabor the point — I’ve done that plenty elsewhere — but he remains one of the most underrated big tournament players in the world.

4. Tommy Fleetwood: I struggled with these next two. Hideki Matsuyama is more accomplished, and neither is a tremendous putter, but Fleetwood has displayed a flair for the big stage. That gives him the nod over Matsuyama.

5. Hideki Matsuyama: One of my low-key favorite predictions to make is that Matsuyama won’t ever win a major. Not that he’s not good enough — he is — but at some point it just becomes a numbers game. There aren’t enough of them to go around.

6. Tony Finau: Embarrassment of riches when it comes to talent, but as Justin Ray of Golf Channel recently pointed out, Finau is also probably the most dominant player in the world who doesn’t win (or at least hasn’t won recently).

Yet, Finau finds himself with just one PGA Tour win so far. Over the last three seasons, Finau has 20 top-10 finishes — twice as many as any player without a victory in that span. Tony can find solace in his bank account — his $5.62 million in official earning last season are the second-most in PGA Tour history by a player without a victory.

7. Xander Schauffele: If you value winning, this is your guy. He’s maybe done more of it compared to his brand value in the general public than anyone else on the PGA Tour. Definitely has the goods to win a major or two.

8. Paul Casey: I wanted to go with Thomas Pieters right here, but Casey, even at his age, is still astoundingly good. To go with his Valspar win last season, he had five top 10s and 13 top 25s. It would be pretty awesome to see him win an Open Championship at this stage like Henrik Stenson did.

9. Patrick Cantlay: He’s become mildly overrated in deep golf circles if only because he became somebody sexy to hitch your hipster wagon to, but the talent is there. He’s made four of his last five cuts at majors, and I think he’ll give himself a chance to win at least one in 2019.

10. Gary Woodland: Seems to be having a later-in-his-career resurgence. At the age of 34 he won, had 11 top 25s and made it all the way to the Tour Championship in September. He was one of 17 players without a major to do so. I could have gone with Aaron Wise, Billy Horschel or Cameron Smith right here, but for my money right now, Woodland tops all of those guys.

SOURCE:  msn.com

Don’t make hitting a draw or a fade complicated

Modern launch monitors have taught us exactly what makes the ball go where it goes, but most golfers would be smart not to get too caught up in technicalities. Decades ago, Jack Nicklaus described a simple way to shape shots, and it’s every bit as valid today.

Jack said to hit a fade—his preferred shot—aim the clubface where you want the ball to come down, and align your body to the left (for right-handers). To hit a draw, do the opposite: Aim the face where you want the ball to finish and align your body to the right. For both ball flights, swing the club where your body is aimed.

Here’s the procedure, starting with the fade (above). After sighting your target from behind the ball, step in and aim the face at the target. Next, set your feet, making sure your stance line is well to the left. (Remember, a square stance is parallel-left of the target line, so you have to be farther left than that.) Your body lines—knees, hips and shoulders—should point where your feet point. Then swing where your body is aimed. The ball will start left and curve right.

“TO SHAPE A SHOT, BETTER TO CHANGE YOUR SETUP THAN YOUR SWING.”

Now, take the draw. Aim the clubface at the target, then arrange your stance and your other body lines to the right. Swing where your body is aimed, and the ball will start right and curve to the left.

What I really like about this method is, you get most of it done at address. I see golfers trying to roll the face closed for a draw or hold it open for a fade. Jack’s way is better.

GOLF’S NO. 1 MISTAKE
People ask me all the time, What’s the biggest fault you see with amateur golfers? My answer: They don’t take enough club. They take the club that requires a career shot to get to the target.

Optimistic? No, more like unrealistic. You should base your club selections on the average distance you get out of your clubs. Take one more than you think you need, and then swing within yourself. Trust me, you’ll make better contact and hit your target a lot more often.

SOURCE:  GolfDigest