Thursday, November 29, 2007

Manage Your Left Arm For Better Contact

I said I wasn't going to give people advice on how to hit the ball, BUT.... I love the game and when I find something that works for me I can't resist passing it on.

My latest and greatest tip has to do with the left arm. For me the change has worked wonders and proven to be effective the last 3 times out so I'm confident it's a real fix. I was practising a few weeks ago and not making consistently crisp contact. I was also pushing a lot of shots. As is my habit at these times, I try to put my consciousness in my body and let it find where the problem is.

What I discovered was that my left elbow was bending a small amount just prior to contact. This was probably from an overly aggressive swing and desire to 'beat the snot out of the ball', something I have to constantly fight against. My fix was to keep the left elbow straight at the end of the downswing and to make sure I pulled the outside of it (where the sharp protrusion is when you bend it) in towards my body. Low and behold! I now had something to hit against, AND the club face was squaring up beautifully.

Try this little drill. Even without a club I think you'll see why this move has to happen or your shots are going to be erratic. Make a downswing in slow motion, you don't even need a club. Bend your elbow slightly just before contact and watch were the club face squares up - past the point of ball contact. That explains your (and my) weak push. Now try the same slowmo downswing keeping the elbow straight before contact and pulling it in towards your body. Does the clubface square up perfectly? How can it not! Try this move on your chip shots and you'll notice a dramatic improvement in how crisply you hit the ball.

I hope this tip works as well for you as it did for me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Getting the Most Club for the Money

It ain't cheap to own the latest and greatest golf equipment, but there's no doubt that technology has improved balls and clubs in the last 15 years. Anyone who doesn't know that by now has been golfing in a cave. The big question for all golfers is how to buy what will actually help, avoid what won't, and stretch your money as far as possible. Based on my own experience, I've got a few tips that may help.

Forget the $40+ a dozen golf balls. Yeah, they're nice, but for anyone with a double digit handicap they aren't going to make a noticeable difference. There are actually some good 3 piece balls for less than $26. Check out the e5 and e6 from Bridgestone for starters. They're soft, they fly long, and they spin well for the short shots. Most major golf ball suppliers have there own version.

If you have to get the latest equipment, try to wait for the sales - which happen more frequently than you may think. Lots of clubs get marked down this time of year in an attempt to move inventory for the new '08 models. Let's face it, if it was the new 'hot' technology for '07 or '06, it will be just fine for you. Before you buy, go online and check the price of your equipment at the major Internet retailers. If you don't know who they are, go to and look under equipment/ishop. It won't take you more than 10 minutes to find the street price. Your local golf shop will match it if they plan on staying in business. You can also go to the GolfDash website and find out street prices for many items under the Daily Specials tab.

My final piece of advise is for anyone looking at Callaway equipment. I just bought my wife a used Ladies Big Bertha 460 driver and saved one hundred bucks - honest. If I showed you the club, it would be impossible to tell it wasn't new. They test every club they sell and guarantee it will perform as new. If you don't mind a few cosmetic scratches, you can even save more.

Good luck shopping.