Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Smallest Target Shotmaking

Improve your ability to hit any target by practicing to absurdly small windows

What to do:
Once you've warmed up on the driving range, locate 2 objects in the distance that are roughly 3-7 paces apart.  The space in between them will be your "acceptable" landing area for shots that you will hit.  Imagine that there is Water and Out-of-Bounds on either side of these boundaries, and that you must land your shot inside these defined boundary markers to keep your ball safe. 

Once you have your target zone defined, hit 3 shots with each club, attempting to land each inside your two points.  If it rolls outside, that's OK for this drill... you're just trying to fly the ball into the safe zone. You should hit 39 total shots (13 clubs x 3 shots for each club). 

Tally how many shots your were able to successfully fly onto safe grass, away from the O.B. and Water.

How I did:
Look back later, trying this today!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Shark Tank Putting

Do or die putting game

What to do:
Picture yourself strapped into a harness, suspended in air by a rope and pulley system, dangling perilously over a large water-filled tank.  Inside it teems a school of hungry sharks with an appetite for human meat.  Pretty terrible, right?

You do have control of your fate, however, as you will see in this week's putting game...

Bring 1 golf ball, 7 tees and a putter to the practice green.  Pick a relatively straight putt and, with a tee, mark a spot on that line 3 feet from the hole.  Mark 4 feet, 5 feet, 6 feet.. all the way to 9 feet.  Once you have your marks placed in this fashion, begin by hitting a putt from the middle mark, which is the 6-footer.  If you miss, move to the 5-footer... if you make move back to the 7-foot putt.  You will continue to play the game this way, moving back one mark if you make the putt, or moving forward one mark if you miss.  Each miss brings your feet closer to the water's edge, while each make lifts you away from the gaping jaws and slapping fins.  The game is won by making it all the way to the 9-foot putt and sinking it.  However, if you miss your way down to the 3-footer and then fail to hole out, you fall into the "shark tank", losing the game! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Putting Waves

Learn to sink important 3, 4, 5 and 6-foot putts again and again

What to do:
Take 6 golf balls and your putter to the practice green.  Select a hole located on a gentle slope.  Now, arrange your golf balls in a circle around the hole, spacing them evenly at distance of 3 feet.  Once you've formed a circle around the hole with a 3-foot radius, begin putting each in, one-by-one.  If you miss a putt, start over... you must make all six to move on.

Upon draining all six 3-footers, form a circle around the same hole with a radius of 4-feet (each putt should be 4-feet from the hole).  You are allowed to miss (1) putt from this distance.  Upon making at least 5/6 putts, move on and create a circle at 5-feet.  At 5 feet, (2) misses are allowed.

At the final distance of 6-feet, you are still only allowed (2) misses (you must make 4/6).  For an added challenge, mandate that the putt which will bring you to this number, 4 , must be holed.   If you fail to sink the fourth putt, start over*.

*To be clear, "starting over" means beginning again at the distance you are currently putting from.  For example, if you fail to complete the 4-foot circle, start over at that distance, do not go backwards to 3-feet.

How I did:

No results yet, look for them later today. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sand Snake

Improve distance control of green-side bunker shots

What to do:
Take your sand wedge and 7 balls into a sand trap located either on your practice facility or on an empty golf hole.  Arrange all 7 balls in a winding line, beginning as far up the bunker face as possible, extending backwards as far up the rear face as possible.  The balls should be evenly spaced out, leaving you a mix of uphill, flat and downhill green-side sand shots.  Once you're organized, start with the ball closest to the green, playing a bunker shot to a hole of your choosing.  Upon executing the first shot, take note of its proximity to the hole.  Move on to the second ball and attempt to put it even closer.  Repeat this process until you've played each of your 7 shots to a hole in this focused fashion.  The purpose of this drill is not to attain an objective score or goal, but rather to focus intensely on 7 unique sand-shots and strive for improvement with each successive explosion.  Stay patient and go through your full routine before pulling the trigger. 

How I did:
Was able to better my previous shot 3 times.  What made this drill difficult the fact that each of my 7 shots became progressively more challenging as I moved backwards in the bunker.  My final shot left my right leg outside the bunker, body tilting 45 degrees forward. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Putting for $1's

Closest to the hole putting contest for time-constrained golfers

What to do:

Find someone to putt with and head to the practice green along with 1 ball and your flat-stick.  The game is simple: players take turns selecting a hole to which both players will stroke a putt.  After a hole is picked and both players have gone, the ball resting closest to the hole wins, say, $1.00 (put something of worth on each hole...  I'm advocating gambling, only added pressure to each putt).  Play as many holes in this fashion as time allows.  For added gain, when playing second on a particular hole do not watch the first player's putt.  This ensures that you receive no advantage by "going to school" on the first putt.  (I call this the 'NO LOOK' local rule).  Of course this applies to your competitor as well...

How I did:
I never lose. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Steeplechase (Repeat)

Today's Game is a repeat, as the title implies.  This drill is one of my favorites and worth sharing/completing again. 

Distance control on chipping... land your chips where you want

What to do:
Lay 2 clubs parallel to each other, about 2 feet apart, just on the green.  They should also lay parallel to the fringe.  Move off the green 1 yard.  Grab the club you chip with the most (in my case a 54 degree sand wedge) and hit a chip, attempting to fly the ball over the closest club and short of the second.  Do this 5 times, seeing the ball fly and land on a spot in between the clubs.  Once you land all 5 in a row between the clubs you're done with that distance... move back another yard and do it again.  Make it to 7 yards and you've finished!

How I did:
From 1 yds: 1 try
          2 yds: 1 try
          3 yds: 2 tries
          4 yds: 3 tries
          5 yds: 1 tries
          6 yds: 3 try
          7 yds: 3 tries

I love this drill.  Most good chippers focus on a 'spot' on which they want to land their ball, and this drill speaks directly to that.  It forces me to chip with solid contact, focusing on nothing but my target.  Putting a quarter in the middle of the 2 clubs really narrows my focus. 

Intermediate- spread club 3 feet apart, only move back 5 yards
Beginner- spread the club 3 feet apart, only move back 3 yards

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hickory Golf and Smooth Tempo Shotmaking

Sorry for the delay.  I competed in my second United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship yesterday... not the best showing for the defending champion   For those who didn't read last year's post about this unique event, all players must compete with hickory shafted clubs, dressed in period clothing. 
( http://eddiepeckelsgolf.blogspot.com/2012/02/chipping-line.html )
Given this was only my third time ever playing hickory, I can't get too down on myself for not playing up to my expectations... instead, I'll try to take away something from yesterday's round and move forward.  Which leads into today's interesting ball striking game...

(No you won't have to use hickory.)

Improve solidness of contact, consistency, feel for the club face, and rhythm

What to do:
Grab your driver and head to the driving range.  Tee up 10 golf balls in a line extending out in front of you.  What you will be doing in this drill is making FULL SWINGS at DIFFERENT SPEEDS.  So basically you'll be hitting each ball different distances, making a full swing.

So now you may ask, "How will I do this if I'm making a full swing on each shot?"  The answer is in changing the speed and fluidity of each of your swings.  The first ball in front of you must be hit the shortest distance, followed by the second ball which is hit a little father, and the third a little father still.  The game ends with the final ball being hit the farthest with what should be your normal swing tempo and maximum club-head speed.

 I think the easiest way to explain this is as follows: hit the first ball making a full swing as slow as you possibly can.  Hit the second ball a little farther by making a full swing slightly faster than the one before, and so on until you've reached the tenth ball which should be struck with your normal full speed and acceleration through impact. 

Its helpful as well to imagine a fairway, giving yourself a challenge by identifying a target to which you must hit your shot.  The main purpose of this drill is to give you better feel for the club-head during your swing, however identifying boundaries will help you build confidence in your ability to hit the fairway.

How I did:
It's hard not to over swing on some of those early shots.  I was able to hit every ball between my boundaries, however my distances didn't perfectly increase with each successive shot.  Ideally, each ball should land incrementally father than the one preceding it, all the way up to the tenth shot.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chipping Contest, worst shot vs. worst shot

Ratchet up your touch around the green with this partner game

What to do:
Both players need 2 golf balls and a wedge.  On a chipping green, begin by picking a hole to chip to.  Once you've selected a shot, both players will hit 2 chips each.  Compare each player's ball resting farthest from the hole.  The closest of each golfer's "worst" shots wins the hole, earning 1 point.  Set a point limit, for instance '7' and play until one of you reaches this number. 

How I did:
N/A, depends on who I played.