Kandi Comer Golf is excited to host the 4th Annual Memorial Day Junior Golf Festival on May 30th from 1:00-4:00PM. There will have basic instruction, fun inflatables, water balloon contests, parent-child relays, snow cones, and much more. All the fun will take place on the driving range at Old Trail Golf Club located in Crozet, Virginia. The festival is totally FREE and all ages and skill levels are welcome.
Never a dull moment at the Masters. Ernie Els, one of the all time favorite golfers on the PGA tour, made every golfer around the world feel normal after hitting 6 putts from within two feet on the first hole at Augusta National. Every golfer has missed a short putt, and of course we feel like an idiot when it happens. As upsetting as it was to watch Ernie missing short putt after short putt, this thought had to enter our minds: wow even the best miss short putts.
Once again, Ernie handled it with class after the round during his interviews. He said he has snakes in his head and probably needs a brain transplant, and also that he just cannot get the putter back. Amazing that he was able to have a sense of humor after that devastation. I know I have had the so called “yips” (thankfully after my playing career was over) and I am grateful to have been able to overcome them. I have also given many lessons to golfers who have trouble getting the putter back and through the ball without a twitch or two, and it is so frustrating that those golfers just want to give up the game.
I have used a few tips and drills with my students that have helped them get the joy back in putting by making more putts.
- Focus on developing a good putting routine where you look at the hole and then as soon as your eyes return to the ball start the putter head back.
- Try putting looking at the hole.
- Try different putting grips. The claw grip has had a lot of success along with the oversize Super Stroke putter grip.
- Putt short putts looking at the hole. This has helped many golfers even play looking at the hole on their short putts
- Hit putts with your left hand only (right handed for left handers).
Good luck and happy putting.
Improving your golf game does not mean you have to start over and change everything you have learned. it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Most good golf instructors make simple, incremental improvements in the golfer’s existing swing so that there is no need for a difficult and time-consuming overhaul. Golf instructors understand that golfers do not want to get worse in order to get better. Time is of the essence for most golfers; therefore, instruction needs to be simple and clear so that rapid improvement can occur. On the other hand, the golfer must understand that even the simplest changes require some practice in order to see improvement. As a golf instructor, I tell golfers I do not have any magic pixie dust. Like anything that you want to improve, a little work is required.
The million dollar question is: how do I find a golf instructor that I know will improve my game so that I can start having more fun quickly?
- Ask your friends that you play golf with who they have taken lessons from and ask them about their experience with that instructor.
- Research online for instructors in your area, and do not be afraid to drive 60-90 miles to receive good instruction. Make a list of instructors that you think seem like a good fit.
- Call the instructors on your list and see if you can set up a time to meet with them to talk about their philosophy and programs. This is an informational interview of sorts for the golfer to see if the instructor seems like a good fit.
- Ask what technology they use in their instruction and, more importantly, how they use it. For example, you would not want an instructor who can only teach with a launch monitor. You want an instructor who can teach without technology, but uses technology in a simple way that will benefit the student by making learning easier.
- Ask the instructor what program he or she would suggest based on the goals you tell him or her. You want an instructor who is willing to set up a coaching program versus a one-and-done lesson. You want to feel the instructor has a vested interest in helping you improve your game. Ask if the instructor holds supervised, group practice sessions.
- How accessible is the instructor if you have a question after your lesson? You want an instructor who you can contact to ask a simple question about what you are working on. Again, they need to have that interest and be willing to answer an email or return a phone call to help you reach your goals.
- What kind of facilities are available. If you live in colder weather: do they have an indoor facility? I believe that working on your game during the off season is the time to improve so that you are ready to go when the warm weather arrives.
Once you have decided that you are ready to start having more fun playing golf in 2016, take your time and research the right instructor. Good luck and if you are struggling to find an instructor, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help if I know instructors in your area.
It is the time of the year that I publish my annual high school article. I have been very busy over the past several weeks teaching high school students who plan to try out for their school teams at the beginning of August. It is great to see golf become a sport that the teenagers are really interested in. We are fortunate to have some great players in the Charlottesville area who have produced some great teams over the last several years.
I encourage all high school golfers to brush up and familiarize yourselves with the Rules of Golf. The Rules of Golf can help you, as well as hinder you if you are not familiar with them. It is also very important that everyone is familiar with the proper etiquette, not only to the course, but also to his or her fellow teammates and competitors. I also want to remind all the high school golfers that they will have to walk when playing. So for everyone I have seen riding in a cart, I encourage you to get out and walk and play. Walking and playing can be very different than riding in a cart.
I have been busy working with a lot of the golfers that have played for their respective teams over the last few years, but I am also happy to say I have seen lots of new golfers who are trying out for the first time. The advice I offer these new golfers as tryouts begin in August is:
- Relax and enjoy the opportunity to play golf with other golfers your age.
- Play one shot at a time and give it your best on every shot.
- Keep your emotions in check. Don’t get frustrated or too excited depending on how the round is going. Stay in the moment.
- Do not worry what others think about your game. Trust me, everyone is worried about their own games and do not have time to worry about someone else’s game.
- Make good decisions if you get in trouble — always play the highest percentage shot.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy snacks throughout the round (nuts, bananas, etc.)
- HAVE FUN!
I wish everyone the best of luck. Enjoy the game and enjoy the friendships you establish along the way.
Although are one of the most frequent shots played, it is one of the most feared. As a matter of fact, studies show that the fear of missing is one of the main reasons this shot is missed so often. Although no one makes 100% of these shots, this tip will help you make the short putt with increased confidence and success. When dealing with this shot, the player must do four things:
- Be absolutely certain that the putter face is aimed at your intended target. This sounds overly simple, but you’d be surprised how many putts are missed because the face was not pointed directly at the target. Try marking a line on your golf ball and then line this line to your target. Then all you have to do is align the center mark on your putter with the line on the ball; if you have read the putt correctly and you have the correct speed, you will make more putts.
- Make sure you have a very specific target. Aim at something definite – a blade of grass or spot on the line of your putt. The theory is that if your target is the entire hole, a quarter inch left or right of that target will result in a miss.
- Stroke the ball hard enough to go 12 inches past the hole. When you hit the ball hard enough to go 12 inches past the hole, it is less likely to be affected by such things as grains of sand, or other impurities that might deflect the ball. A ball that is accelerating to the hole will hold its line much better than a ball that “dies” at the hole.
- Listen for the putt to go in the hole. This means you need to keep your head still and do not follow the ball with your eyes as it leaves the putter face. A good thought is to count to two before you look up.
Give these tips a try and you’ll see improvement in your putting and your score. So practice it regularly. Good luck and have fun!
For more tips please visit our website at kandicomergolf.com or stop by my office located at Old Trail Golf Course located just outside Charlottesville in Crozet, VA.
This will be a day that you will not want to miss. We will have basic instruction, fun inflatables, water balloon contests, parent-child relays and much more. Dennis Walters will have an amazing trick shot show beginning at 2:00 along with Dottie Pepper 17 time winner on the LPGA tour and now an ESPN commentator. Come join us at 1:00 for a fun day at Old Trail Golf Club located in Crozet, Virginia. This is all free of charge and all ages invited.
During lessons, I always ask golfers what shape they are looking for with their shots. It seems like everyone wants to hit a draw. Since I wrote about the clubface controlling the launch direction of a shot in last week’s article, I figured I would explain how to hit a draw this week.
There are several theories on how to draw the golf ball, and the theories have changed over the years due to more testing with new and better launch monitor technology. That new technology has determined new ball flight rules and has revealed what causes the ball to curve.
Here is my advice:
- If you are a right-handed golfer, aim your clubface to the right of your target.
- Aim your feet, hips and shoulders further to the right of the target than your clubface. This will give the clubface a closed position in relation to your swing path, which will create draw spin on the ball.
- Swing along the line of your feet, hips, and shoulders. The ball will start right of your target, because that’s where the club face and swing path are going, and will curve it back left because the club face is closed to the swing path.
- Note: if you are a left-handed golfer, reverse the direction of alignment.
Hit the range this week and practice this advice so that you are comfortable with it before you take it to the course.
Enjoy the game! Find a PGA professional that uses a launch monitor so that learning and improving can be easier for you. Launch monitors tell us the cause and effect of each shot; therefore, it is much easier for the golfer to make corrections in their ball flight, which results in quicker learning and quicker results.
For more information, please visit KandiComerGolf.com, or stop by and visit us at Kandi Comer Golf located just outside of Charlottesville at Old Trail Golf Club in Crozet, VA.
I have seen several golfers lately who come for a lesson and tell me they are always starting the ball left (right for left handed golfers) and hitting pulls, so they think they must be coming over the top. When I look at their swing path through video and when I put them on the launch monitor it does not show an over the top swing. They look at me so confused about how can they hit it left of the target if they are not coming over the top.
In order to get the ball started on line, the club face must be square to your target at impact. The face of the club at impact determines the launch direction. The path of the club will determine curve (spin) and path relative to face determines the overall shape of the shot. So the first step for any golfer is learning to control the club face at impact so they can get the ball started on line.
A good drill is to put an alignment rod about 20 feet in front of you and practice launching the ball right of the rod by controlling the club face in an open position at impact. Then try to launch some shots left of the rod by controlling the club face in a slightly closed position at impact. Finally try to launch some shots right over the top of the rod by keeping the club face square at impact.
A second drill that gives golfers a really good feel for a square impact position is to take swings into an impact bag. You will feel how the club face squares up once it hits the bag. I suggest taking these swings in slow motion so you can feel the club face squaring up.
Once you can start the ball on line, you will have a much better feel for the club face at impact. I will talk about path and curve in another article.
For more information please visit kandicomergolf.com or stop by and visit us at Kandi Comer Golf located just outside Charlottesville at Old Trail Golf Club in Crozet, VA.
There are a lot of golfers that have a lot of fear when they hit the ball in a fairway bunker. Here are some simple steps to help you eliminate that fear. Set-up is very important when you are trying to hit a shot out of a fairway bunker.
1. When you step in the bunker stand on top of the sand and do not bury your feet.
2. Play the ball slightly ahead of center in your stance.
3. Put a little more weight on your front foot.
4. Look at the front of the ball.
5. Make sure you have enough club to clear the lip in front of you.
6. Think tempo and hitting the ball first.
Try these tips and I think you will see yourself hitting more successful shots.
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As I drive into work every morning and see a snow covered driving range and golf course, I only have to think that the golfers are getting bored being stuck inside. The first thing I want to remind everyone is that Spring will be here on March 20th. This has been the busiest winter to date with golfers taking lessons in the indoor teaching center but there are also ways you can prepare at home.
Here are 5 tips to get your game ready for the spring:
- Check your equipment. Do your clubs need to be re-gripped? How do the faces of your wedges look? Are the grooves worn down? Go through your golf bag and check your golf balls and get rid of any old golf balls. How do your gloves look? Take the time to do a club fitting to make sure you are playing the right clubs for your swing and your game. If you are playing with a club that is too flat your misses will have a tendency to go right and if the club is too upright your misses will be left. Find a facility that has a launch monitor that can fit your equipment and also do a gap fitting to see if you have any major gaps in between clubs. We use the GC2 launch monitor which will give you the feedback you need immediately.
- Get your mental game in check. Take some time to read some books on how to practice and how to think both on the golf course and while you practice. There are some good books out there written by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott that I would highly recommend along with some of Bob Rotella’s books. One of my favorites is the The Little Red Book by Harvey Penick. I would not read a lot of books on instruction because there is not a “one swing fits all” technique out there. Everyone is different and therefore everyone has a different swing.
- Practice putting indoors. Putting is something we can all do indoors on the carpet. Practice with the Putting Arc training aid and then when you get back outdoors you know your putting stroke will be ready to go. I like to practice putting to a quarter because then I know the hole will look large when I start playing again. Practice different distances to work on your speed control.
- Fitness. It is important to get your body ready from a fitness standpoint to be ready for the spring season. I encourage Yoga, Pilates, and any cardiovascular workout that you enjoy and work on your core strength. I would highly recommend finding someone that has a golf specific exercise program. I use a Redcord program with my students, which is a core based program that has shown tremendous results for golfers. Fitness is important to prevent injuries and to add more yardage to your shots.
- Lessons. It has been a great winter in our indoor facility and it has been very encouraging seeing so many golfers work on their game. I always hear golfers say, “I wish I would have worked on my game during the off season.” If you choose to put your clubs away for the winter, save yourself some frustration by starting the season off with a series of lessons so you know what to work on and you will be way ahead of the game. It is important to find an instructor that you are comfortable with and will teach in a simple and concise way so you are not overwhelmed. Taking a lesson should be fun and you should see improvement quickly.
So get to work on these five items and I can guarantee you that you will enjoy the spring golf season with improved golf. As I always remind golfers, playing better golf is more fun.
For more information please visit kandicomergolf.com or stop by and visit us at Kandi Comer Golf located just outside Charlottesville at Old Trail Golf Club in Crozet, VA.