Author: Sue Shapcott

Don’t get stuck in the sand – Pro Tips from a Pro Golfer

Universally, golfers fear bunkers. When a golfer’s ball lands in a bunker, his hands start sweating, he starts imagining the worst, and fears that he’ll never get his ball back out again. Don’t worry! There is good news about bunker shots. If you do one thing correctly in a bunker, you will get your ball out of it on a regular basis. So, what is that one thing? The bottom of your swing needs to hit the sand in the right place to play a successful bunker shot. Imagine your ball sitting on a dollar bill. When you play...

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Deciphering your Bad Shots

Let me describe a typical conversation I have with golfers I teach. Me: “What are we fixing today?” Golfer: “My driving.” Me: “Describe what happens when you drive badly. Do the shots go left, right, high, low or…?” Golfer: “They do all of those things because my swing changes every time” Me: “Okay, let’s see.” At this point, I ask the golfer to hit 12 to 15 shots and I make a note of patterns that I see. And there usually are patterns. The golfer may hit three consecutive shots where one goes straight left, the next curves right...

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Improving your golf game takes practice, and not all practice is equal

Improving your golf game takes practice. But not all practice is equal. Consider these two scenarios. Player one: This player heads to the range twice a week after work to relax. He takes the same clubs with him each time. If possible, he also hits from the same space and he aims at the same target. He hits a few shots with his wedge, then 25 balls with his 7-iron. And he always finishes the bucket off with some drives. It’s his routine. And his routine has resulted in him maintaining the same handicap for years. Player two: Another...

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Pitching | Pro Tips, from a Pro Golfer – Sue Shapcott

Golfers frequently confuse chipping and pitching. They are both short-game shots, but that is where the similarities end. For clarity, chipping is the low running shot (see previous column: [add link]). It is effective and reliable. By contrast, pitching is the high shot. A pitch shot is more exciting and higher risk! Because of the risk, I recommend chipping when possible and pitching only when you have no other option: for example, hitting over a bunker. To set up for a pitch, position the ball slightly forward of center so you can hit up on the ball. This will add...

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Chipping or Pitching | Pro Tips from a Pro Golfer

Chipping or Pitching? The phrases chipping and pitching are used interchangeably by golfers, TV commentators and golf magazines. So it is no wonder that people are confused about the difference! Both chipping and pitching are short shots played around the green – for most players within 20 to 30 yards of the hole. The distinguishing factor between the shots is their trajectories. The chip shot is low and running, whereas the pitch shot is high. Considering the different goals of the shots, it makes sense that there is no middle ground between the two. You should either be chipping,...

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