Shotmaking Tips

By admin December 30, 2014 00:45

Written by Ken Venturi

1. Know How High You Hit Each Club

Most players—and certainly the good ones—know how far they hit each club, although the good ones are concerned with only how far they actually carry the ball with each club. How much the ball will roll varies with the playing conditions.
But the really good players also know how high they can hit each club, and how quickly the ball will reach its maximum height. This is crucial when you are trying to escape from the trees. Think about how often you’ve tried to hit a shot either over or under some branches, only to be surprised because the ball winds up crashing into trees, usually rocketing off into even worse trouble.

My advice is to set aside some practice time to discover just how high you hit the ball with each club. It will be time well spent.

2. Beating The Wind

When playing in a headwind, the biggest mistake golfers make is trying to hit the ball harder to keep it from losing distance. All that does is put more spin on the ball, ballooning it up in the air, and ultimately losing distance.
Here’s my suggestion: If you’re between clubs—say you’re unsure whether to hit an easy 6-iron or a hard 7—take the 6-iron and concentrate on making a smooth, easy swing. You might also try playing the ball back in your stance and setting your hands ahead of the ball at address. This will help you shut down the club, which will take off some of the loft and help you keep the ball under the wind. Because you’re making an easier swing, you’ll have more control, and this usually leads to more solid contact—and a better chance of beating the wind.

3. Coping With Crosswinds

I think it’s a mistake for a good player to try to compensate for crosswinds by aiming wide of the target and allowing the ball to be blown back to position. The problem is that your brain takes over and subconsciously won’t let you start the ball as far off line as you really need to for this strategy to work.
You’re better off aiming at or near the target and then hitting a fade or draw and holding the ball against the wind.
One other thing to keep in mind. A big difference between the successful player and everyone else is that the successful player sees only the target—while everyone else sees only the trouble.

Ken Venturi, 1964 U.S. Open Champion, is author of two STROKE SAVERS books available at your favorite bookstore

By admin December 30, 2014 00:45