Tag Archives: featured

Top 5 Most Common Mistakes in Golf

by Alessandro de Luca

Stock photo © Deklofenak
Stock photo © Deklofenak


1. An Exaggerated Twist

Most amateur golfers erroneously believe that the more they turn their back swing, the more they will be able to gain distance.

Actually, to gain distance you need to find the perfect posture that allows you to perform a fluid swing in order to ensure solid contact with the ball. On the contrary, by exaggerating the twist in the backswing, you will go out of the “ideal” swing plane, hence, you will need quite some compensation to strike the ball correctly, see picture 1 below:


Tip: try to identify the critical phase when you make the transition from back swing to downswing: in fact this is the point where you need to be most in control !

See also: golf swing basics and key stages of the golf swing.

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: the Modern Fundamentals of Golf  by Ben Hogan  More info>>
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: the Modern Fundamentals of Golf
by Ben Hogan
More info>>

Our Book suggestion: the basic, fundamental book on how to improve your swing is this one: “Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” by Ben Hogan.




How to improve your game without picture-perfect form
The Negotiable Golf Swing
by Joseph Laurentino More info>>



For those of you who want to improve their swing without perfect-picture form, see: The negotiable swing.





2. Missing the Putting Line

The secret of good putting is to make sure that your mind can accurately visualize the line between the hole and the ball.

However, the most common mistake in doing this, is to start analyzing the ‘potential’ trajectory starting from the hole backwards to the ball stance: wrong…!
You have to do exactly the opposite, i.e. mentally visualize the ideal route of the ball from its position towards the hole (as, in the end, this is going to be the actual route of the ball….).

Tip: when putting, always accelerate at the moment you impact the ball. This will guarantee straight shots.

See also: putting grips to check which putting grip works best for you.

Putting out of your Mind by Bob Rotella  More info>>
Putting out of your Mind
by Bob Rotella
More info>>


Our Book suggestion: like we already mentioned, the secret of good putting lies in the power of the mind. By reading this book, you will understand the rationale behind solid sustainable putting scoring: “Putting Out Of Your Mind” by Bob Rotella.




3. Swing Misconceptions

Many an amateur spends a lot of time and money (in golf lessons and sophisticated equipment) trying to improve their swing with the conviction that the backswing is not straight, the swing plane is not consistent, the finish is not high enough. All good reasons, for sure.

However, nearly 100% of the swing could be corrected just by improving only the first 3 steps of the swing sequence:

o Step 1 – the grip: the right positioning of the left and of right palms (see picture for reference) is fundamental for a correct swing. Ensure that your grip is smooth but solid (nor too tight, nor too “fluffy”). Let me tell you that the importance of the grip in the overall swing movement cannot be over-emphasized.


o Step 2 – the clubface is right on the ball: start positioning yourself based on the distance given by the right alignment of the clubface to the ball towards the objective.
Don’t do the opposite (deciding where to locate your feet and after aligning the iron………).
o Step 3 – get the right posture (stance): nor too curved, nor too straight. The trick is to use a back mirror to check your posture and compare it with an ideal one (any golf book has a picture of it !!!).

Tip: while you probably remember that you should avoid gripping the club too much in the palm with your bottom hand (the right hand il you play right-handed), most people fail to find the correct grip when it comes to the left hand (the top hand, for right-handed players).

Indeed, one of the most common errors among golfers is a weak top hand (the left hand, also called the lead hand) grip. Even though the left hand grip is slightly different from the right hand it shouldn’t be too much in the palm neither. Gripping the club too much in the palm reduces wrist action. This produces a shot that slices and lacks power. As your fingers are the most sensitive parts of your hands, placing the club more in the fingers rather than in the palm produces more feel and increases the amount of wrist hinge, which results in longer and more powerfull shots. Please check the picture below for reference and keep it in mind !!!



Our Book suggestion: If you have read the previous book of Ben Hogan on swing basics, you can move towards the second fundamental book: “Golf swing Basics” by Olivier Heuler.


4. Lack of acceleration

It is fundamental to accelerate the club through the ball. A lot of amateurs make the mistake of decelerating trough the swing eventually trying to scoop the ball. These errors cause the ball to land short of the target.
Instead, you need to learn how to accelerate through and under the ball.

Tip: the key for gaining distance when swinging is the finish, not the backswing. And you will only get a right finish, if you really accelerate your club at the moment of ball impact.

Tour Tempo: Golf's Last Secret Finally Revealed by John NovoselMore info>>
Tour Tempo: Golf’s Last Secret Finally Revealed
by John Novosel
More info>>

Our Book suggestion: If you have read the previous two books on swing basics, you can move towards the third fundamental book: “Tour Tempo: Golf’s Last Secret Finally Revelead” by John Novosel, John Garrity





5. Restless legs (in the short game)

Always remember this key lesson, the short-game swing is dominated only by the motion of the upper body. Your legs should act as ………if they were dead! On the contrary, you should get the proper stance and use the “power and control” of your hands (a little) and arms (a lot).

Tip: it is the length of your backswing, not the force of it, that helps you to gain distance to your shots.

Our Book suggestion: Short game is an art. You cannot learn the theory but you have to “feel” it. Hence, the suggestion we have is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE………….Nevertheless, to ensure you practice in the rigt way, have a look at this book: “Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible” by Dave Pelz.

See also:
Practising golf trouble shots
Improve your game
A Good Thinking Head Makes A Better Golfer
Improve your score

Shaft Flex and Shaft Torque

(and other shaft properties such as flex point)

Stock photo © allanswart
Stock photo © allanswart

Shaft properties such as shaft flex, shaft torque, flex point (kick or bend point), shaft length and weight, influence playability by impacting on trajectory, accuracy, balance, consistency and feel. This is particularly true for graphite shafts as some variables are only of importance in graphite shafts.


1. Definition of Shaft Flex

Shaft flex has a very pronounced effect on the power and accuracy of a driver. The flex of a shaft allows it to store energy from a player’s downswing, and release it as the head makes contact for increased club speed at impact. This “whip” action imparts greater impulse on the ball for maximum distance, which is essential to a good wood shot. This requires a fine balance; a shaft that is too stiff cannot be flexed by the golfer during their downswing, which reduces club speed at impact. A shaft that is too flexible will retain some of its stored flex at contact, wasting energy and changing the angle between club face and ball at impact, causing inconsistent shots. The strength of a golfer’s swing, and therefore the required flex for maximum impact speed, changes over time and can be different from day to day, complicating this equation; the best answer is a shaft that is the best fit for the player’s average swing power, or else a shaft that matches the player’s maximum club speed, so the player retains accuracy on his/her most powerful shots.


2. How Shaft Flex can influence your game

The New Search for the Perfect Golf Club  by  Tom Wishon More info >>
The New Search for the Perfect Golf Club
by Tom Wishon
More info >>

Shafts come in a variety of flexes. The most common are: L (Lady), A (Soft Regular, Intermediate or Senior), R (Regular), S (Stiff), and X (Tour Stiff, Extra Stiff or Strong).

A regular flex shaft (R) is generally appropriate for those with an average head speed (80-94 mph), while an A-Flex (or intermediate shaft) is for players with a slower swing speed (70-79 mph).



The stiffer shafts, such as S-Flex and X-Flex (Stiff and Extra-Stiff shafts) are reserved only for those players with an above average swinging speed, usually above 100 mph (160 km/h).

Some companies also offer a “stiff-regular” or “firm” flex for players whose club speed falls in the upper range of a Regular shaft (90-100 mph), allowing golfers and clubmakers to fine-tune the flex for a stronger amateur-level player.

As a general rule one can say that at a giving swing speed a stiffer shaft will produce a lower flight, shorter distance and increased accuracy, while a more flexible shaft will produce a higher shot, but more left/right variance and a little more distance. Players with accuracy problems or whose swing tends to go to the left (for-right-handed golfers) should usually move toward stiffer shafts. Golfers whose swing tends to go to the right (for right-handed golfers) may benefit from a softer flex which will allow them to square the clubface more easily.

However, more than often directional control problems are caused by the grip or golfer’s tempo, not by the shaft type. For the shaft to have any effect on the tempo and flight, the golfer’s hands must work as one unit with a late wrist-cock angle release. The earlier the golfer releases the club on the downswing, the less the shaft’s proprieties will have an impact and height and spin. Golfers with an early release tend to hit the ball the same height with any shaft they use.

Note that while the shaft cannot increase the power delivered by the golfer to the ball an ill-fit shaft can decrease that power.
For more info see: How the choose the correct shaft flex for your game.
High handicappers might want to read this article first: How to choose the Best Golf Clubs for your Game.


3. Shaft Torque

Newton on the Tee: a Good Walk through the Science of Golf by John ZumerchikMore info>>
Newton on the Tee: a Good Walk through the Science of Golf
by John Zumerchik
More info>>

Shaft torque is another critical component. Flex and torque are generally related; the more a club can flex, the more it can also twist around its axis (though this is not always the case).

The torque is expressed in degrees. The torque of steel shafts does not vary much and is situated around 3 degrees, while graphite shafts can range from 1 degree to 7 or 8 degrees. A high torque number means that the shaft can torque easily and is less forgiving of off-center shots as it will allow the head to twist, causing pulls and pushes.

Low-torque shafts resist twisting for more forgiving behavior, but tend to be stiffer and require more power for proper distance. The higher toque number clubs will also feel softer, while the low torque numbers will feel firmer.

The difference in shaft torque will usually not be noticeable to the average golfer. The latest generation of driver shafts combine a flexible shaft with a stiff tip, giving the golfer the required flex to “whip” into the ball while reducing clubhead twisting.


4. Kick point or Flex point

The kick-point (flex-point or bend-point) refers to a maximum bending point of the shaft. A high flex point or kick point means the club will bend closer to the grip. A low flex point or kick point refers to a flex point closer to the clubhead. A lower kick-point means that the club-head moves more through impact, while a high kick-point shaft is much easer to control direction. Since more golf clubs are made with low center of gravity club-heads, low kick-point shafts seem to have lost some of their importance.

If all this seems much too detailed and overwhelming, read this article: How to choose the Best Golf Clubs for your Game.


Further Reading:
Newton on the Tee by John Zumerchik. New York: Simon & Schuster 2002.


See also:
Types of Golf Clubs
Tips to choose your Golf Shoes
How to choose the best Golf Clubs for your Game
Choosing the right golf shaft flex

Simple Indoor Golf Drills

Indoor putting drills, indoor pitching drills, indoor swing drills

Stock photo © skodonnell
Stock photo © skodonnell


Climatic conditions and time available do not always allow us to practice outdoors as often as we wish. During the off-season or whenever we lack time to play a complete round of golf there are some simple indoor golf drills we can easily perform at home or in the office. The idea is to focus on the three areas of the game that will have the greatest impact on your score: putting, pitching and swing.

The indoor putting, pitching and swing drills designed by Jack Moorehouse (see article below) do not require any specific equipment or indoor golf gadgets. They can be executed with the help of simple props readily available at home or at your office, such as a phone book, a towel, etc. Of course you’ll need some golf balls and your putter, pitching wedge and an 8 iron (ideally also your 7 and 9 irons).

How to Improve your Golf Swing Indoors
by Marc Solomon
More info>>


For the pitching drills you may want to use limited flight golf balls or practice golf balls with holes depending on the space available to practice. They are designed to simulate the flight of a conventional golf ball, but may be safer to play indoors.





Simple Indoor Drills To Keep Your Game
In Shape During the Winter

by Jack Moorehouse

Master the three scoring clubs-the driver, the wedge, and the putter-and you’ll improve your game dramatically. With 14 clubs to hit, golfers often have trouble deciding which part of their game to work on. If you’re serious about working on your game, focus on the three scoring clubs. They have the greatest impact on your score.

Unfortunately, not all of us live in a climate where we can always practice outdoors. Even if we do, we don’t always have the time to go to a driving range and hit balls. That doesn’t mean we can’t work on the fundamentals needed to master the three clubs. We just need to do it indoors.

Below are several indoor drills that will help you master these three clubs. They can are done in almost any location, even your office.



There are three “musts” in becoming a good putter: (1) your stroke must follow target line; (2) your putter must remain square to the target line; (3) and your forward stroke must equal (or slightly exceed) your backstroke. The following drill emphasizes these putting musts. The next drill focuses on distance control, also a key aspect of putting.

1. Drop two phone books on the floor. Position them far enough apart so that your putterhead barely squeezes through them. Place a golf ball between the books, assume your putting posture, and make your stroke.

Use the books as a visual guide to match the lengths of your backstroke and forwardstroke. Matching the lengths ensures a smooth stroke with perfect tempo. You’ll find it difficult to guide your putter between the phone books unless your stroke follows the intended putting line. If your putter strikes the side of either book, your stroke strayed off-line.

Also, mark your ball with a straight line. Set that line parallel to your target line. Marking the ball makes it easier to align the putter perpendicular to the target line at address. See if the line falls to the right or left of center as your ball rolls after impact. If it does, then your stroke may have deviated off-line or made contact with a slightly open or closed putter face.

2. This drill improves distance control. Set or balance a ball (or a tee turned upside down) on a penny and putt a second ball to this ball so that it touches the first, but DOESN’T knock it off the penny! This one is SUPER TOUGH! Try various distances.

You should soon forget about the line and “making” the putt-distance control is everything. Rolling the ball to the target with an acceptable “sink” speed becomes second nature as you try to just touch the target ball.


Pitching Wedge

These drills can be done just about anywhere. It improves one of the most important parts of your game-wedge play.

Find about 10 feet of open floor space. Put a small towel on the floor and stand about 10 feet away. Use a short, smooth stroke, keeping your hands ahead of the clubface. Try chipping 50 balls onto the towel. Practice so the balls land on the towel, not come to rest on the towel. Start with an 8 iron, then move to a 9 iron, and then to a wedge.

The more you practice the better control you’ll have over those short chips. Next time you’re on the practice range, try the same drill. Watch how far each club makes the ball roll on the putting surface. Now you’ll have more control over your chips under different conditions. After awhile, you should be able to nestle every shot close to the pin, or sink it!



Many golfers turn their hips and shoulders simultaneously when swing a club. Too much lower body rotation eliminates torque between the upper and lower body. Adding more backswing torque to your swing generates distance.

1. Sit down in a chair. Spread your feet out wide and keep them flat on the ground. Hold a 7 or 8 iron out in front of you. Hold the clubhead with one hand and the end of the grip in the other hand. Raise the club over your head and rest the shaft across your neck and shoulders. Turn your shoulders to the right. Hold this position for a few seconds. You should feel a lot of torque along your left side. The turn your shoulders back and face forward. Relax and repeat.

Many golfers use their hands and arms only when swinging the driver. They don’t rotate their shoulders, sapping power from their swing. This drill helps keep your hands, arms, and shoulders in sync as you swing back and through.

2. Lower yourself down to the floor onto your knees. Hold a ball between your hands and out in front of your. Start by making some small moves swinging the ball back and forth. The idea is to keep the ball in front of your chest as your arms swing and your shoulders rotate. Increase the length of your swing going back and through. As you reach the end of your backswing and forward swing, allow your arms to fold. Swing back and fold your arms. Swing down and unfold them. Swing through and fold them again.

These drills improve control of the three most important clubs in your bag-the driver, the putter, and the wedge. You can do them in your house or your garage. Each focuses on fundamentals you must master to take your game to the next level.


About the author:
Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “How To Break 80…And Shoot Like The Pros!” http://www.howtobreak80.com. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that helped thousands of golfers lower their handicaps without quitting their day jobs.


Recommended books:

Weight Training for Golf: the Ultimate Guideby Kai Fusser
Weight Training for Golf: the Ultimate Guide
by Kai Fusser







See also:

Practising golf trouble shots
The five most common mistakes in golf
World hardest golf courses
Five score killers in golf

Types of Golf Shots (Different Golf Shots)

Different types of golf shots are used depending on the spot from where the ball is being played. The opening shot is called the tee shot, while approach shots or feel shots, such as chip, pitch and flop shots, are played from outside the green into the green. The shots played on the green are called putts.

Photo: Steve Mcsweeny
Photo: Steve Mcsweeny


Each shot is usually played with its own specific type of club, although it is possible to play a range of different shots using only one club, modifying only the speed and direction of swing.

There are four major categories of clubs, known as woods, hybrids, irons, and putters and golfers are allowed to carry up to fourteen clubs during a round. More info: Types of golf clubs >>

Photo: Volker Kreinacke
Photo: Volker Kreinacke


A tee shot is the first shot played from a teeing ground. It can be made with a driver (i.e. a 1-wood) off a tee for long holes, or with an iron on shorter holes.

Ideally, tee shots on long holes have a rather shallow flight and long roll of the ball, while tee shots on short holes are flighted higher and are expected to stop quickly.

See also: Seven key golf swing stages >>

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: the Modern Fundamentals of Golf  by Ben Hogan  More info>>
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: the Modern Fundamentals of Golf
by Ben Hogan
More info>>

A fairway shot is similar to a drive when done with a fairway wood. However, a tee may not be used once the ball has been brought into play, therefore playing from the fairway may be more difficult depending on how the ball lies. If precision is more important than length (typically, when playing on narrow fairways or approaching a green), irons are usually played from the fairway. Irons or wedges are also often used when playing from the rough.

A bunker shot is played when the ball is in a bunker (sand trap). It resembles a pitch and is done with a wedge.

See also: How to get out of bunkers >>

On the green, putts are played along the ground.

Putting out of your Mind by Bob Rotella  More info>>
Putting out of your Mind
by Bob Rotella
More info>>

See also: Five key steps to improve your putting >>

An approach shot is played into the green from outside the green, usually over a intermediate or short distance. Types of approach shots are:

Pitch: a high approach shot that makes the ball fly high and roll very little, stopping more or less where it hits the ground. Pitches are usually done with a wedge.



Flop: an even higher approach shot that stops shortly after it hits the ground. It is used when a player must play over an obstacle to the green. This high lob is usually played with a sand wedge or a lob wedge.

Chip: a low approach shot where the ball makes a shallow flight and then rolls out on the green. Chips are done with a wedge or “short” (higher-numbered) iron.

These are the most common types of golf shots. For a complete list of golf shot terms, colloquialisms and slang to designate different golf shots, see Golf shots terminology >>

Now that you have an overview of the different types of shots, you may also want to investigate a bit further about the different scoring systems and how handicap systems are calculated.

We also recommend you go through the golf rules and golf etiquette pages, and of course, have a look at the safety tips on the golf course.

However, one of the most important things in performing these golf shots correctly is choosing the right equipment, tailored to your level. This may considerably help you in ‘masking’ your temporary shortcomings in the game. To help you make the right choice, we advice you first have a quick look at the articles explaining the different types of clubs. If you are new to the game of golf, make sure you also read this article explaining the basic set equipment for the novice golfer.


See also:

Three Great Reasons to take up Golf
Four Ways to take your Golf Practice to the course
A good Thinking Head makes a Better Golfer
Health Tips for Buying Golf Shoes